Every Tuesday morning at the Bay City Mall food court, an unofficial club serves up rooks, pawns, bishops, queens and kings for anyone who’s hungry for a free, friendly challenge.
”A nice thing about the mall is people can see us here,” said Mike Snobeck, 45, of Bay City. ”We’re always willing to play chess with anybody, and teach.”
The core group is made up of men in their 60s and 70s, who like playing chess and love making new friends while playing chess at the mall.
”You see two people playing chess. You are free to walk up and talk to them,” said Jonah Lowery, 62, of Saginaw, who occasionally makes the trek up Interstate 75 for the love of the game. ”It’s a good way to meet people.”
”We have had cases where a mom brought her son here, during the summer, so he could play,” said Ralph Brown, 66, of Monitor Township. ”She’d shop and then come back and pick him up.”
The ragtag ”club” starts playing around 9 a.m., but end-time fluctuates. Brown said he has been involved in intense games that have lasted until 2 or 3 p.m. But, usually, the games wrap up around noon.
”We have people that just come by and sit down,” said Brown. ”We’ll play and we have an interesting game.”
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