Kolty Chess Club has two primary goals:


Those who are new to playing chess are welcome to join and participate as we have players ranging from beginners to Expert Level (~2100-2200 USCF rating). The club is open to all, regardless of skill level. While the club is mostly attended by adults, scholastic players are welcome. Parents are responsible for their children while the club meets. All we require is for members and attendees to be sociable and respectful to one another while working to improve their chess skill.

There is a charge to play in club tournaments. However, all proceeds are used to run the club, paying for expenses such as facility rental, supplies, insurance, and the like, and paying tournament prizes. Membership in the United States Chess Federation, the governing body for chess in America, is also required for tournament play.

There is a small area outside the tournament hall where you can play casual, non-rated (skittles) games at no charge, review and analyze tournament games, and discuss chess with fellow enthusiasts. Skittles games are not organized by the club and depend on others with the same intention showing up on a given night.

A typical tournament night at Kolty

George Koltanowski


Our chess club has gone by various names and met at different spots in the South Bay since an organized club began in the early 1900’s. The current club name is in honor of George Koltanowski, “The Dean of American Chess”. Mr. Koltanowski was the San Francisco Chess Columnist for 52 years from 1947 through his death in 2000, publishing an estimated 19,000 daily columns! He is also known for incredible feats of memory and blindfold chess.  


Some members have gone on to the highest levels of chess including Grandmasters Vinay Bhat and Steven Zierk (who is also a World Youth U18 Champion), among others. Usually once a year we have a simultaneous exhibit by a Grandmaster which has included at least one US Champion. This gives members an opportunity to experience playing a very strong player.

Our current tournament director is Wolfgang Behm