Each sport tends to have its own association or league. Such associations help promote the sport and attract audiences. Think of the Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States.
So too does chess. Often called chess clubs, these help attract chess players in a particular vicinity or locality. These chess clubs are the foundations to organizing chess tournaments such as the Euro Club Cup. Examples of these are the Le Cercle d’échecs de Monte-Carlo (CAMC) and the United States Chess Federation.
Such chess clubs are also the pivot around which sports betting can be organized. Betting agencies can get to know local stars and the next generation of potential grandmasters through chess clubs, and can put a stake on such players. The recent repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) ensures that betting agencies can play a more active role in promoting chess club members.
Typically, local chess clubs fulfil the following roles – New signups, sport promotion, organization of tournaments, game development and so on. They are integral cogs in the governments vision to promote chess, especially here in the United States where often we have attracted foreign stars to play on our behalf due to a lack of national talent.
Additionally, they help to educate the next generation of players on the various rules and regulations in chess, beyond the basic rulebook. While rules can be read online or though guidebooks, the pressure of the clock in chess often leads people to forget them. Time can often be a devil, as they say. Playing at local tournaments in chess clubs ensure that you get accustomed to such rules even when time is against you.
As a result, if you are an aspiring player, seek out chess clubs near your vicinity. Meet people who share similar interests, and practice on improving your game with them!