Cllr Jack Haines with Graham Chesters of Hull and East Riding Chess Association at the Pearson Park table.

New attraction in two Hull parks as chess tables installed

Visitors to two of Hull’s most popular parks can now enjoy a game of chess after seating and tables were installed.

The facilities were installed at East Park, near to the lake, and Pearson Park, close to the pond and café, yesterday, Tuesday 19 March.

Hull City Council was the recipient of £5,000 from the Levelling Up Parks Fund, following an expression of interest, which it used towards the project.

In autumn 2023, the council undertook public engagement on through a series of in-person sessions in the community, as well as with the Hull and East Riding Chess Association (HERCA) to determine a preferred style and location.

Cllr Jack Haines keeps an eye on Graham Chesters’ latest move.

The chess tables will provide free, inclusive and accessible activities to all ages and backgrounds, as well as promoting socialising, increasing hand-eye co-ordination, problem solving and focus.

It will also increase Hull’s visibility as a national centre for chess and elite participation, as well as supporting socio-emotional health and wellbeing.

Cllr Jack Haines, portfolio holder for communities at the council, said: “Chess is game which anyone from any background can play and it can provide hours of entertainment and competition.

“It is yet another fantastic attraction for our already popular parks in Hull.

“I am delighted that the council was able to accept LUF Parks Fund support to deliver this.”

Preparing to set up a game.

HERCA is keen to establish chess events later in the year and information will be available on its website, as well as through Area Teams, park notice boards and social media.

Graham Chesters, HERCA president, added: “Taking chess into parks is a great idea. We expect it to generate a lot of interest and we’d be delighted if it set a model for community chess in other spaces.”

Initially, players must provide their own pieces, but it is intended that public sets will be made available at both locations.

An image of two people shaking hands. Adobe Stock image.
Stubbed out cigarettes.