Chatham Square Association

Fair Haven is a Diverse Community with a Rich History and a Beautiful Waterfront

Chess players: Citywide Competition is Looking for You

Gambit n [It gambetto, lit., act of tripping someone, fr. gamba, leg, fr. LL gamba, camba, modif. of Gk kampê bend – more at CAMP] 1 : a chess opening in which a player risks one or more minor pieces to gain an advantage in position 2 a (1) : a remark intended to start a conversation or make a telling point (2) : TOPIC b : a calculated move : STRATAGEM

Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1977






  • A citywide network of chess clubs: The Gambit
  • Each neighborhood and New Haven Ward is represented
  • Each Gambit venue has its local Chess Master or Chess Mistress
  • Each Gambit venue is self-directed
  • Each Gambit venue offers free instruction in chess
  • Age range of participants is decided by each individual Gambit venue to match its needs and resources
  • Male participants of all ages are enrolled in The King’s Gambit
  • Female participants of all ages are enrolled in The Queen’s Gambit
  • Each individual Gambit venue forms chess-teams that compete among themselves for excellence
  • Each venue hosts a winning team as selected by the Chess Master or Chess Mistress
  • All the winning teams compete in a Citywide Grand Gambit Tournament on the New Haven Green
  • Prizes awarded to all competing teams, and a Grand Prize awarded to the Crowned Team
  • Ancillary activities presented at the Citywide Grand Gambit Tournament include:
  • Speed-Chess games by Chess Mistresses and Chess Masters and advanced students
  • Multiple-Game demonstrations by Chess Mistresses and Chess Masters
  • Display and sale of chess-pieces and boards created by New Haven Public School art program students
  • Free play for all on a huge board with life-sized pieces on the New Haven Green
  • A dance on the huge chessboard, choreographed by New Haven Public School Dance Teachers
  • The dancers, drawn from New Haven Public School dance programs move like the pieces themselves
  • The choreographer works with a game devised by an annually selected Chess Master or Mistress
  • The game-inspired dance is four minutes long, maximum
  • The music is composed and performed by New Haven Public School music program students
  • All posters designed by New Haven Public School art program students
  • A juried exhibition of posters is awarded prizes in different categories TBD by the judges



  • The united Gambit venues
  • City of New Haven Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Town Green
  • New Haven Public Schools



  • Classes conducted in libraries, community centers, and New Haven Public School facilities as after-school programs
  • Evening and weekend classes conducted at libraries, community centers and such New Haven Public School facilities as are available
  • In-house and semi-final tournaments held at libraries, community centers, and New Haven Public School facilities
  • The Grand Gambit Tournament held outdoors on the New Haven Green



  • The Gambit chess classes are continual
  • The Gambit chess classes are offered as after-school programs and early evening and weekend programs as decided by the needs and resources of individual Gambit venues
  • A series of in-house practice tournaments conducted by the individual Gambit venues as the chess students gain mastery
  • In-house, neighborhood semi-final tournaments conducted as the individual Gambit venue leaders decide, approximately 8 to 10 months after the initial cases begin
  • The semi-final tournaments decide which team goes to the Grand Gambit Tournament on the New Haven Green
  • A month of preparation ensues for the selected individual Gambit winning team
  • The Grand Gambit Tournament takes place approximately one year after the classes begin, on a date TBD by the New Haven Department of Parks and Recreation



Chess is silent music. Chess is mathematics dancing to that silent music. Chess is ambition, channeled. Chess is instant aggression formed into patient strategy. Chess is smart. Chess makes people smart. Chess is a worldwide invisible web of like-thinking and silky strategic action. Chess. Is. Fun.


The study of chess develops strategic thinking skills and provides a non-violent outlet for ambition and aggression. Chess fosters a community of like-minded thinkers that prize individuality, but understand the need for communal respect and effort.


In the gently structured atmosphere of a chess club, education proceeds at the pace of the student, there is no judgment, no stress, as each chess-student discovers his or her own relationship to strategic thinking and applies the lesson to their own life situation. 


Chess unites mind and body by creating a necessary sense of physical calm so that the mind can proceed to strategize efficiently.


The pride of accomplishment, of realizing that one’s brain is fine just as it is, fosters a profound sense of self-respect and communal spirit.





Peter Webster




Neighborhoods and Grand Masters responding as of 5/16/14”


Dixwell: Ed Trimble, Sean Reeves

The Hill: Omar Ryan

Wooster Square/Downtown: Michael Rose

Brookside: “Boodie” Watts

Dwight: Stacy Spell

Newhallville: Lt. Herb Sharp, NHPD


Still to come:

West Hills

West River

Fair Haven

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