Summer knights

Clerkenwell resident James Richards has started what he claims is London’s first outdoor chess club

As lockdown comes to an end, some EC1 residents are looking beyond pub and park visits to mingle again with their fellow Londoners. While desperately trying to cure his boredom during quarantine, and inspired by Netflix hit The Queen’s Gambit, I took to playing chess with strangers online.

Although it rekindled my love for the game, the online format was missing a crucial part of what makes the game great – the chance to meet and chat to a fast friend. Coming out of lockdown, I created FourCorner – London’s first outdoor chess club.

Free and open-to-all, the club aims to encourage players of all creeds, ages and abilities to gather in London’s underutilised public spaces.

You can catch us and other club regulars every Saturday in St John’s Square from 12pm until 3pm, whatever the weather.

If you’d like to keep in touch with updates about the club, follow us at @FourCorner on Instagram or directly by email to James at