The Montreal Chess Club

The Montreal Chess Club was founded in 1844. Not much is known about it during most of the 1800's (I will keep looking!), but it soon became THE chess club in Montreal throughout the first half of the 20th century.

The Thomas Workman trophy was donated in 1890 to the winner of the club championship.

In 1908, the Westmount and Montreal chess clubs merged to form the Westmount Chess Club, which began meeting in Victoria Hall in Westmount. A fire in 1924 forced it to move back to Montreal, and subsequently changed its name back to "Montreal Chess Club". After sharing quarters with the Nationale club, it found a new address at 745 Ste-Catherine W, suite 26 (this would probably have been on the current site of Place Montreal Trust).

On May 1, 1927, the club moved to 1410 Guy, suites 26 and 27. The building still stands at the northwest corner of Guy and Ste-Catherine - a Toronto-Dominion bank on the ground floor, and offices upstairs where the club would have been located.

In October 1935, the club moved to 1173 Drummond, sharing quarters with the Harmonia CC. This building was demolished to make way for the Le Centre Sheraton in the mid-1970's.

In 1937 or 1938, the club moved to 460 Sherbrooke E.

In 1939, the club moved to 259 St-Jacques, #39.

In 1942, the club moved to 840 Cherrier (at St-Hubert - the "Palestre Nationale". The building is still there - it is a community centre.

In November 1944, the club celebrated its 100th anniversary with a 10-board match against Quebec (winning 6-4), and a banquet at the Plaza Hotel.

In the late 1940's, or maybe 1950, the club moved to 901 Ste-Catherine W.

Sometime between 1951 and 1955, the club moved to 470 Ste-Catherine W.

During the 1955-1965 period, it became a well-known haunt for high-stakes chess players. During most of this time, it was located in a restaurant on Ste-Catherine St., which was closed in the evenings and on weekends except for the chess players. Ignas Zalys claimed to have won "thousands" playing chess there.

It died in the late 1960's, and was revived briefly in 1972 and 1979, but to no avail.

In May, 2000, the "Chess Specialist" moved from 1365 St. Catherine E. to the Chess and Math quarters on the 4th floor at 3423 St. Denis. It then became known as the "Montreal Chess Club".