Have you seen The Queen’s Gambit? It’s the latest Netflix craze—set in the 1960s, it follows the life of an orphaned chess prodigy and her rise to the top. If you’re feeling inspired & want to learn more about the game, check out these local resources here in the Magic City!
Getting Started: 3 Spots to Pick Up a Chess Set
Before you can declare your first checkmate, you’ll need to pick up a chess set. Whether you’re looking for a basic wood set or a unique & collectible glass set, you can find just about anything in Birmingham.
1. 2nd & Charles
With the popularity of The Queen’s Gambit, it’s no surprise that chess sets are very popular this year. And at 2nd & Charles, you can find just about anything—seriously. It’s packed with books, vinyl records, used video games and consoles, movies, LEGO and of course, board games like chess.
- Contact: 205.444.0509 | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
- Address: 1705 Montgomery Highway, Hoover, Alabama, 35244
2. Homewood Toy & Hobby
Just like 2nd & Charles, Homewood Toy & Hobby has noticed an uptick in popularity with chess sets this holiday season. In fact, they sold out last week—but don’t worry, they’ll be getting a new shipment this week, so be sure to stop by and check it out.
- Contact: 205.879.3986 | Website | Facebook | Instagram
- Address: 2830 18th St South Birmingham, AL 35209
3. Learning Express Toys
If you have a young’un looking to get into chess, Learning Express Toys has got you covered. Pick up the “No Stress Chess” kit to help your child learn the basics of the game!
- Contact: 205.970.9710 | Website | Facebook | Instagram
- Address: 3132 Heights Village, Birmingham, AL, 35243
Practice Your Moves
Kids of all ages in Birmingham can hone their chess-playing skills at The Knight School (get it??). The Knight School offers high-energy chess lessons to kids ages 3+ from Dr. David Brooks, an experienced chess teacher here in Birmingham.
For all you chess masters out there looking to play with locals, check out the Birmingham Chess Club. Currently, the club is not meeting in person due to COVID-19. However, there is an active Alabama team on lichess.org that host online events until it’s safe to meet in person again.