San Diego Chess Resources

This website is intended to gather information for chess players in the San Diego area. Please Note: this page is updated very infrequently and some info may not be current, so please contact any locations mentioned to confirm information.

There are a number of libraries in both the County of San Diego library system and the City of San Diego library system which host regular chess clubs. Some of them are intended for children (often held only during the school year), and many are all ages. Details of these clubs can be found by searching for “chess” in the event sections of the library websites.

For USCF rated games, the San Diego Chess Club, on the west side of Balboa Park on Sixth Avenue, has games on Wednesday nights and Saturdays. The North County Chess Club plays on Thursday nights in Oceanside.  the Temecula Chess Club has tournaments Tuesday evenings and some Saturdays, as well as casual play at other times.

There are also many cafes all around San Diego county where players gather to play casual games. We’ve tried to gather the ones we could find in the post about local hangouts.

Additionally, a very unofficial schedule of regular local games, including the library clubs, can be found on our calendar page.

Take Lessons

If you are looking to improve your chess game, one option is to hire a coach to guide your studies.

International Master Cyrus Lakdawala is another local chess teacher who can be contacted through the San Diego Chess Club. He is also a teacher on the Internet Chess Club where he goes by the username “Kawas”. An article from the San Diego Reader from 2007 featured him as well as his student, now a FIDE master, Elliot Liu.

USCF Candidate Master Mario Amodeo offers chess coaching and instruction in San Diego County. More details are available on his website,

Local Hangouts

There are a number of cafes and other spots around San Diego where chess players regularly congregate for some casual play. This is a list of the ones we’ve found so far. Please add a comment if you know of others.

Twiggs Coffeehouse in University Heights
4590 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 296-0616

Kadan Club in University Heights
4696 30th Street
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 640-2500

Lestat’s in University Heights
3343 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 282-0437

Pannikan Coffee and Tea in La Jolla
7467 Girard Ave.
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-5453

Starbucks Mira Mesa
8439 Mira Mesa Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92126
(858) 831-0313

Vinaka Cafe in Carlsbad
300 Carlsbad Village Dr Ste 211
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 720-7890

Rebecca’s Coffee House in South Park
3015 Juniper Street
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 284-3663

The Churchill Cigar Lounge in Old Town
2415 San Diego Avenue Suite 102
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 546-7758

Chess Supplies

There are a few options for purchasing chess supplies around San Diego. Game Empire in Clairemont Mesa carries a fairly wide selection of gear, including clocks and sets. At Ease Games on Miramar Rd. has a selection of boards and clocks. Those in North County can find  a decent selection of items at Pair A Dice Games in Vista, CA, including digital clocks and tournament standard sets. To acquire used equipment, one option is to keep an eye on San Diego Craigslist by searching for the keyword chess in the for sale listings on CraigsList.

The San Diego Chess Club, the San Diego Chess Academy, and the Mountain Lake Chess Camp all have options for purchasing supplies through them, and should be contacted for additional details on purchases.

If you are willing to wait for delivery, ordering gear online is a great option, and the prices are often better than what you can find in person. Wholesale chess carries a very wide selection of chess pieces, boards, clocks, bags and more, and they guarantee their prices. Another option for online chess supply shopping is ChessHouse, which also has a very large catalog to choose from that includes a wide range of chess books and chess software. has pretty much any chess supply you can think of.