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This fundraiser closed 3 months ago

For over 30 years, chess games have been a popular activity near Fifth and Market. Earlier this month, SFPD shut down the games and confiscated the chess pieces and boards because, "It's turned into a big public nuisance. I think maybe it's a disguise for some other things that are going on." saids police Capt. Michael Redmond to the Chronicle.

SF Beautiful believes that fun, engaging, and social activities make public spaces better.

Chess isn't a public nuisance! Chess is awesome! Let's buy some nice new tables and chairs and give our players a better place to play. We've already applied for a grant to buy new chess tables and chairs for UN Plaza, but we still don't know if we'll receive the funding.

With your help we can ensure that SF has the funds in place to build a better home for chess in San Francisco.

"It's a great game, very intellectual and most of those chess guys are great guys and they deserve a spot to play" said Will Thacher a local business owner to the SF Business Times.

We think so too, help us build a home for chess.

We want only the best for our public spaces and our devoted players. We've sourced top-quality tables, made in the USA from triple-reinforced concrete, inlaid with marble and recycled glass, polished to a shine, and given an anti-graffiti coating. We hope they'll last a lifetime.

Estimated Costs:

  • $6,000 for tables and chairs
  • $2,500 for permits
  • $1,500 for installation


Q.Wait, who are you guys?

A. We've been around since 1947, when WE SAVED THE CABLE CARS! The city wanted to replace them...with MUNI buses. Yeah, you're welcome.

Since then we:

  • launched the 1st City-wide tree planting program
  • made it legal to have sidewalk cafe seating
  • capped the number of billboards in SF, and
  • gave away more than a million bucks for neighborhood projects.

Q.What if we raise more than $10,000?

A. Cool! We'll just buy more tables and chairs. An example of the chess tables that we've sourced can be found here. We have some other ideas, too...

Q.What if the City shuts you down, too?

A. The tables and chairs are moveable, so if for some reason they're not working where they are, we can move them to a more appropriate location, or remove them.

Q. Wow! You guys are rad! How can I get more involved?

A. Join as a member or check us out on Facespace, we'd love to hang out sometime.

Articles on the topic:
Endgame: S.F. police shut down sidewalk chess - Chronicle
Wanted: a new home for Market Street chess players - SF Business Times
SFPD Shuts Down Sidewalk Chess Games - SFist

Upcoming Events:
Chess-In on Market Street!


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