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London Chess Centre (1992-2010)

London Chess Centre relocates after 18 years

The Euston Road Chess and Bridge Shop

The Euston Road Chess and Bridge Shop | http://chess.co.uk

The London Chess Centre in Euston Road is to close after 18 years due to the termination of the lease.

The new main London Shop will now be in Baker Street.

The final day of shopping will be on Friday 12th February 2010.

Mail order will not be affected and the contact telephone numbers should not change.

Four World Chess Champions have taken part in events in the shop on Euston Road.

Detailed story >>>

Garry Kasparov with Malcolm Pein and staff outside the London Chess Centre

The London Chess Centre in Euston Road will close its doors for the final time on the 12th of February 2010 after 18 years due to the termination of the lease on the property. However chess shoppers in London will still be able to find the full range of books, sets and software at the Baker Street Branch located at 44 Baker Street, London W1U 7RT.

The new main shop in Baker Street

About the BCM Shop: http://www.bcmchess.co.uk/shop.html and also: Here .

Mail order contact numbers will not change and the new postal address is 44 Baker Street, London W1U 7RT although a new mail order centre is planned.

The shop first opened in July of 1992 after a group led by Malcolm Pein acquired some of the assets of Robert Maxwell whose death and fall from grace led to his empire, which included some chess assets being broken up. Whilst Pergamon Press became Cadogan Books, his Chess Magazine, founded by BH Wood in 1935 was bought by Malcolm Pein who had become the UK ChessBase distributor and advertised regularly in it.

Appalled by the poor shopping experience in Foyles, the iconic bookshop in London's Charing Cross Rd where there was a huge range of books but noone on hand to give advice, Pein thought that a shop in Central London might work where players could gather, lectures held and customers served by knowledgeable staff. The idea was widely ridiculed at the time, few thought that a chess shop was viable but Pein thought that a mail order, shop and magazine would form a virtuous circle with each supporting the other. Initially the business was a disaster. While Pein was away at the Olympiad in Manila the shop was broken into three times and all the computers stolen. The administrators of the Maxwell Empire sealed the old prefab offices of Maxwell McMillan Chess and prevented the phone calls being transferred. The magazine subscriptions computer had to be smuggled out of Maxwell's former estate in Headington and Jimmy Adams the editor managed to keep publication continuous.

Garry Kasparov's match against Nigel Short in 1993 played an important part in helping the London Chess Centre establish itself.

The staging of the world chess championship between Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short in 1993 was a stroke of luck that carried the shop through the initial difficulties and since then the business has gone from strength to strength and includes both the former BCM shop, Countrywide Computers in Cambridgeshire and two US businesses both based in Florida, Chess4Less.com and ChessBase USA. The rise of the internet has ensured continuous growth in the mail order side of the business.

Inside the London Chess Centre

The Chess Centre has hosted many events over the years, some connected with the various London tournaments and World Championships and some to promote books or indeed just chess itself. There are too many names to mention but four world champions have come to sign books or give lectures: Current World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand gave a computer exhibition in 1995, Garry Kasparov has appeared there many times, Anatoly Karpov and Vladimir Kramnik have also appeared while Viktor Korchnoi has been twice.

Victor Korchnoi lecture at the London Chess Centre

Many celebrities have shopped there and a small selection of names includes: Leonardo DiCaprio, Orlando Bloom, Griff Rhys Jones, Hugh Laurie, Clive Andersson, Dave Lee Travis, Steve Davis, Guy Ritchie and Edgar Davids.

Victor Korchnoi lecture at the London Chess Centre

Victor Korchnoi signing at the London Chess Centre

Mark Dvoretsky signing at the London Chess Centre

Jacob Aagaard lecture at the London Chess Centre

Jacob Aagaard signing at the London Chess Centre

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