Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mechanics' Institute @ San Francisco

Well, I'm right now typing from one of the 3 terminals in the Chess Room at the Mechanics' Institute in San Francisco.

There are a few social players right here in the Chess Room playing a couple of social games. I played 1 or 2 games to a few of the players. Nothing fancy.

The Mechanics' Institute is located in a nice little building sandwiched (somewhat) between a few other buildings right here in the financial district in downtown San Francisco. It's located at 57 Post Street.

Unfortunately, I can't upload any pictures of the Chess Room as yet but suffice to say, it's a very cosy location and the chess tables are nicely setup on both sides of the room of 2 rows each.

Beautiful pictures adorn the walls of the Chess Room with pictures of Spassky's and Tal's visits among them. The Chess Club here is the oldest chess club in USA.

Tonight apparently is blitz night but unfortunately I can't play as I'm due to leave tomorrow at 7 am, I need to turn in early to get some much needed sleep.

The library occupies the first 2 levels of the Mechanics' Institute. A day pass costs US$10.

If you have a chance to pop by in San Francisco, do give this building a look in. The library is beautifully decorated and it's a very quiet and idyllic place considering it's smacked right in the middle of downtown.

The lower level houses books which members can borrow books while the upper level of the library houses the reference section.

There's quite a bit of history associated with the Chess Room and the pictures lined up both outside and inside the Chess Room tell quite a story.


  1. Thanks for the great review! The Institute offers free tours on Wednesdays at noon. Membership to the Institute affords you access to a world-class library, world renowned chess room, and a wide assortment of cultural events. Check us out at

  2. Hello,

    You're most welcome.

    Thank you.

  3. Glad you enjoyed your visit to SF.

  4. Hi Polly!

    Indeed, I did like my trip to SF. Beautiful city!

  5. Hello Hippo,

    I will be in Sydney again. April 21 - May 12.

    I am toying with the idea of plaing in thus event in Melbourne:



  6. Hello Ivan,

    I just read your message on my blog.

    The Anzac Day Weekender in Melbourne is a tough tournament in that you have to play 3 full games on Sunday and that's after finishing 2 games on Saturday and the 2nd game on Sat starts at 7pm. However, the Melbourne chess has a lot of good players and you won't be short of good competition. :)

    If you're thinking of going to participate, you can take a return Tiger Airways/Jetstar flight from Sydney to Melbourne which costs about $100. Driving from Sydney takes about 9++ hours so if you're thinking of driving, do remember to rest up.

    You can also travel via train via CountryLink but it costs like $130++ each way which is not worth it.

    It's a pity there's no tournaments in Sydney when you're over here and the Sydney International Open just concluded. Bummer.

    PS: I've duplicate posted on your blog too in case you miss this post.

  7. Thanks for the reply. I don't think my parents read my blog, but my visit is a surprise.

    What will you be up to during April 21 - May 12.

    I have family in Melbourne so the plan is to drive there and spend about 5 days.

    Will keep you posted.

  8. I was in San Fran last June and visited the club.

    I was lucky to be there on a Tuesday when IM Donaldson gives a free lecture

  9. Hello Ivan,

    I don't have any plans as of yet. I may consider playing for the NSW Grade matches but I don't quite like this comp anymore.

    The problem is that I find a lot of bad-attitude chess players from other clubs (and one club in particular) that really is off putting.

    Didn't realise you visited SF before. Pretty kewl. :)