Monday, March 30, 2009 7:27 PM

Brotherhood of chess players holds curbside court
Mon, 03/30/2009 1:00 PM Bali

The term “brotherhood” is used almost exclusively here for the biker community, but is also familiar for the dozens of individuals who happen to love playing chess day and night on the sidewalk of Jl. Kaliasem, Denpasar.

Since 2000, these chess lovers have played the game of kings in the simplest of ways – some sitting on modest wooden chairs, while others humbly squat on the concrete pedestrian lane. Back then, it was just an informal, loose community.

Last year, they decided to make it more official, spawning the name Sidewalk Chess Pawn Club (BTC). The club is headed by Wayan Suanda and owns a small, modest office, built by its members, located at the end of the sidewalk.

Suanda says the club is a local and simple sports organization, aimed at strengthening the brotherhood among its members and also at preserving the playing of chess in the area.

“This is an open club. We never urge anyone to officially join in. They can play here and don’t have to be a member,” Suanda told The Jakarta Post on Friday, adding more and more chess players came to play on the sidewalk.

“We’re treating the club as a brotherhood community. We’re more than willing to give a warm welcome to anyone interested in coming by, playing or even joining the club. I believe everyone, including a newcomer like yourself, or younger people will feel familiar with us,” he said.

Suanda said his club applied a no-strings-attached policy.

“Loving the game of chess is what matters,” he stressed.

Chess lover Fandy Pratama said he was not a member of the club.

“However, I really enjoy watching them play. I come after work hours. Despite my not being a member, these players are really nice and friendly to me,” he said.

Here is the full article.

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