Salford chess expert launches club in bid to make game more accessible for students

After struggling for over a year to find a place to play, a former Salford student has set up his own chess club to help fellow fans find their community.

Learning on the streets of India at the age of 17, Adnan Sabir set up his first chess club in his native country called ‘Indian Street Chess’.

Today he is ranked 2100, an impressive score, on the ELO rating scale and has nearly reached the level of FIDE Candidate Master (CM).

When he moved to Salford in 2022 he looked for opportunities to continue his passion. However, the university did not have a chess club of its own, and playing outside the university proved difficult to balance with his degree.

Adnan said: “Looking for a place to play I joined the University of Manchester’s chess club. I even played a tournament in Bolton and won it.”

“That got me thinking of setting up my own chess club here at Salford, just like I had done back home. It took me a year to set up everything and find enough people who were interested in meeting weekly. Now we have about 10-15 members and I even give tutorials for those interested in learning.”

Chess can be an expensive sport on a student’s budget, with good quality international boards being priced at around £39.83 pounds, funds are a major block in the club’s path. 

The club initially started with a 20-pound membership fee, out of which they got to keep only 5 pounds, the remaining 15 pounds going towards insurance.

“Its very difficult to manage without sufficient funds as international chess boards cost a lot,” he added. “So we increased membership to 45 pounds a year. Which is still not expensive compared to private clubs, but we do understand it can be a struggle on a student’s budget.”

“What I realised is that people in Salford weren’t that active when it came to competing. For them, chess was just a hobby to pass time. What I am trying to boost is to compete more. Chess is like a gym for the brain, the harder you exercise the better,” he said.

The University of Salford chess club is currently in the process of organising tournaments with the Manchester Metropolitan University. The club meets every Tuesday evening from five to seven.

One thought on “Salford chess expert launches club in bid to make game more accessible for students”

  1. I heard a lot about chess, and I have never played it. It is a game for everyone. I am really interested in being a member. Chess increase the IQ.

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