Bishop’s Move saves London's oldest chess club from a final checkmate.
24 October 2017
Battersea Chess Club, which has served the London area for 132 years, was facing the alarming prospect of being turfed out of its home south of the river when it received an unexpected rent hike. Based in Falcon Road, the club is a founding member of the London Chess League which has been established since 1886. The club's notable alumni include Raymond Keene, who in 1976 became only the second Englishman to achieve the Grandmaster title, and the Hollywood actor Jeremy Spenser.
Bishop's Move were delighted to step in and help especially as they had been headquartered in nearby Stewart's Road from the late 1970s to early 2000s and several members of staff had even played at the chess club.
"We were blown away," said club secretary, Leon Watson. "They basically saved us from being homeless. Our membership is as high as it's been for decades and we put on lots of events to put Battersea on the map but losing our venue would really put us at risk. Chess clubs like ours are really struggling to keep their venues so we are very thankful. This club has been going since 1885 and losing it would have been a disaster not only for the club itself but also for the local community.
Hopefully now, thanks to Bishop's Move, we won't have to pack our bags for years to come.”
Neil Bishop, Bishop’s Move’s Chairman comments: ‘It was a great tie in opportunity for the company not only as of the chess connection but also as Bishop’s Move was established in 1854 in the same area of London. We wish Battersea Chess Club all the best and couldn’t have been happier to help.’