Does a Popular Netflix Series Have You Asking: Where Can I Play Chess?

Learn to play like “The Queen’s Gambit’s” Beth Harmon at these Pittsburgh-area organizations.


If you’re one of the millions of people who watched “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix and now want to play chess like fictional Beth Harmon, then check out these Pittsburgh-based organizations.

Before the shutdown, the Pittsburgh Chess Club was open during the week at its location in Squirrel Hill. The club isn’t meeting right now because of COVID restrictions and plans to move to a different location soon. Right now they have virtual competitions. Membership has a small fee but is currently in a “pay what you want” format, due to the pandemic. The non-profit traces its roots to the mid-1800s and offers classes, lectures, exhibitions and chess tournaments.

The Queen’s Gambit Chess Institute, a nonprofit founded by Ashley Lynn Priore, is based in Shadyside but has numerous classes throughout the region as well as virtual programming. Beginners are welcome and membership is free, check out its calendar for a class schedule. The institute’s mission is to provide “quality chess programming to Pittsburgh’s youth.”

Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University also have clubs with varying membership requirements. Duquesne’s chess club is for students and faculty only but the clubs at CMU and Pitt are open to the public. None of them are meeting right now due to COVID. The Pitt chess club offers a link to other chess groups in the region. 

For more information, including a complete list of chess clubs, check out the U.S. Chess Federation website.

Categories: The 412