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Gold Coast Chess History

The story of chess on the Gold Coast likely begins with visiting players from the Brisbane Chess Club travelling down to enjoy a day by the sea around the turn of the 20th century and bringing along a board to play some games while watching the waves roll in. 

Chess was a popular cultured pass time and early clubs thrived in Australia's major city centres. Games were likely played in the parlour rooms of Southport, Tweed Heads and Nerang.
The early 1970's Chess Association of Queensland records show a Nerang Chess Club as well as a Southport Chess Club but little is currently known of these clubs.  It was big news on the coast in 1972 when Miami SHS won the QLD schools team title coached by Dave "Woody" Woodward. 

In 1981 Chess was played in Cavil Mall and a group began playing regularly at the Macintosh Island Band Shell with Leo Kaspar as their President.  

The 90's saw the formation of the first Gold Coast Chess Club in 1991 when Graeme Gardnier invited a group of local enthusiastic chess players to form our first committee led by our inaugural President, David Esmonde. 

Chess began to thrive soon after with the establishment of interscholastic chess and regular weekend tournaments, such as the Gold Coast Open.  Australia's charismatic Grandmaster, Ian Rogers, was a regular at the club's events as the Gold Coast experienced its first chess boom.  

After 20 years of excellence the Gold Coast Chess Club was wound down in 2010 as there were new clubs and businesses meeting the needs of chess lovers on the coast. 

In 2016 FM Dusan Stojic, WIM Alexandra Jule, Shaun Curtis and Courtney Steward reformed the Gold Coast Chess Club after having been juniors in the club years earlier.

In 2021 we moved to our current beautiful venue Fragdley Hall in Burleigh Heads.  We are currently in the process of rebuilding our wonderful Chess community here on the beautiful Gold Coast. We also started a second night of chess at Upper Coomera along with junior clubs too.


Bruce Harris
Life Member

Bruce was president of the GCCC from 1994 - 2000. Read his memories of the early days of the club.

Honour Roll

Club Champions and various title holders throughout the years. Many of whom went on to great chess careers and some that still play today.

History Wiki

A growing wiki of GCCC History and chess on the Gold Coast. Still many areas to research and discover - if that's your jam. Know something we don't? Reach out.

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