“The size and range of a club’s membership is perhaps the best guide to its social value.” Ken Valentine – A Quarter of a Century of Willesden 1946-71

Willesden and Brent Chess Club was established in 1966 after the formation of the London Borough of Brent in 1965. Previously it was known as Willesden Chess Club, it was formed in 1946 after Mrs. Lotte Dixon enquired of Willesden Chronicle’s sports columnist “Crusader” whether there was a local chess club. There wasn’t so she and S.J. Turner, who had responded to her query, took steps to institute one and the club was born on 5th February 1946. Although other clubs have existed in the area such as GEC, Smiths of England Athletic Club (formerly S. Smiths and Sons) and Wembley, Willesden has been the sole club in Brent since its’ formation hence adoption of the borough’s name. (See History Tab for more details. See also forthcoming article Chess in Brent (Brent Museum and Archives) for comprehensive account of chess in Brent)


Local historian and former Club Chairman Ken Valentine states the ethos of our club succinctly, a successful club is a diverse one. Thus, our mission quite simply is to co-ordinate the playing of chess at all levels for all individuals based in Brent be they resident, employee, or employer or any variation thereof; we aim to be the hub of chess in Brent.

Apart from focusing on the playing of chess, we recognise we have a commitment to the community; thus, we will strive to provide volunteer opportunities to those who are either seeking to give something back to the community or trying to get into work.


We aim to do this by:

  • Encouraging chess playing in various settings, e.g., online, homes, educational settings, recreation centres, etc.
  • Encourage the beginner to join our club so that they can develop their game
  • Encourage the improving player to join our club so they have opportunity to:
  • play social chess
  • play competitively e.g., club championship, league matches
  • be recommended to play county chess
  • Run or co-ordinate Brent-wide chess events to encourage mass participation e.g., Brent Schools Chess League, UK Chess Challenge for Brent Schools, Brent Junior Chess Congress, Brent Chess Congress
  • Act as a conduit between grass roots chess and chess pyramid, i.e., County (Middlesex County Chess Association), Region (Southern Counties Chess Union) and Nation (English Chess Federation).
  • Reach out to various organisations who offer careers advice and training and those who focus on personal development to inform of volunteer roles their clients can consider doing within the club.


Get involved by:

Learning and playing chess

Joining our club

Volunteering at our club

Donating to our club