Chess in the Park 2022

June 2022

Please note that due to the serious fire at the Fountain Cafe on 22nd June we lost all of our chess equipment. The cafe lost part of its structure and all of its indoor furniture but is being rebuilt - albeit in smaller form for now. It has now reopened.
The outdoor picnic tables where play takes place survived intact and we are able to continue to play from 2-5pm on Thursdays and Sundays as long as players bring their own equipment.

The information below should be read with these circumstances in mind.

We wish the Scott family well in rebuilding their business and would urge anyone attending to support them as they reopen.


May 2022

Chess in the Park - Princes Street Gardens

Chess in the Park at Princes Street Gardens at the Fountain Cafe starts for the season from Thursday 5 May 2022, 2 – 5 pm every Thursday and Sunday.

Chess in the Park, twice a week on a Thursday and Sunday from 2 - 5 pm at the Fountain Cafe, underneath Edinburgh Castle and next to the Ross Fountain, West Princes Street Gardens.

Free of charge at the best Chess in the Park site in the World!

Should anyone attend, please support the Cafe in which we indebted to the Scott family for their continued support.

We have ten sets and clocks on site, although you can bring your own especially on the Opening Day.

Those players that bring their own Chess equipment are guaranteed a game and are able to continue after the official 5 pm closing time until Princes Street Gardens closes.

For players from other parts of Scotland should you travel by train on a Sunday, you receive Off Peak Fares, without any time restrictions.

All abilities catered for, from novice to International level and of all ages.

Our normal rate of play is ten minutes each, or you can play without a clock.

You can stay for as little or as long as you want.

An open invitation to anyone that is available or come in a group.

How the project developed

Chess in the Park was an idea that was floated in 2017and was taken forward successfully in 2018 and 2019 is outdoor chess, of the style that is more familiar in New York or Belgrade, and we've been happy to lend our support to it.

With the enthusiastic agreement of the owner of the Fountain Cafe, Gary Scott, players from Chess Edinburgh member clubs, in addition to visitors, have been meeting each Thursday and Sunday afternoons from 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm at West Princes Street Gardens.

The Covid-19 pandemic naturally meant that play was suspended in 2020 and most of 2021, but now that restrictions have been lifted it is able to resume.

Chess in the Park now have their own Facebook page

The Evening News ran an article about the development, while you can view a video below showing IM Mark Orr playing Mark Fraser at the Cafe.

The Chess magazine published a four-page article, July 2018 edition, which can be read here.