Join Our Chess Club

What We Do

Learn, Improve, Have Fun!


Our Club has roughly twenty or so members give or take a few and on any given Club night, turnout can vary depending on the weather or other commitments. Some people use the sessions to play friendly games, others play games that they consider serious. There are currently 5 club competitions (see the  Competitions page) and from time to time we have special blitz events – all moves to be played in 10 minutes or some other frenzy-inducing time limit. This is both exhausting and entertaining, though can produce some remarkable games (occasionally even for the right reasons). We currently have 4 competitions – Club Championship (long play), Club Knock-out (long play), Ladder (30 minute rapid play), Quick Ladder (15 minute rapid play) and a Blitz Championship. All competition results will be sent to the ECF for rating (both players must be ECF members). The rules for each competition will be posted on the Competitions page. The Ladder competitions will allow members to play more competitive games whereas, in previous competitions, they were limited to playing each competitor only once. Now they can play as many games against the same opponent as they wish.

Cumbria League & Tournaments

Penrith Club currently enters 3 teams in the Cumbria Open League and 2 in the Whitaker Handicap team knockout competition. We also play an annual match against Carlisle Chess Club in the Eden trophy. League and Whitaker matches usually consist of 4 players per team (3 players are now the norm since Covid).

The Whitaker Handicap Trophy is a knock-out competition with a handicap based on ratings. After the team sheet has been filled out, the team with the higher total rating suffers a points penalty determined by a carefully thought out table.

The Eden trophy consists of as many players as we can muster.

The time control for all matches is usually 2 hours for all the moves, for afternoon matches and 90 minutes for evening matches.

Matches are usually played on Saturday afternoon but can be played any day of the week.

Penrith club

Our club was founded in the early 60’s (no one knows exactly when). Since then we’ve had many members come and go. Membership can vary from year to year as people move to the area or move away. We currently have 16 full members but have had over 20 in the past.

Subscription Fees

For adults ‘Basic Club Membership’ costs £10.00 per year (the chess year runs from September 1st to August 31st). This allows you to be a Club member, play casual games on Club nights and take part in the affairs of the Club. It does not however entitle you to participate in any Penrith team or Club based ECF rated competitions (though this may be possible on a discretionary basis). If you also wish to be a member of the Cumbria Chess Association this will cost an additional £8.00 (Total £18.00).

If you want to be a ‘Full Club Member’, take part in ECF graded Club competitions and play for one of Penrith Chess Club’s teams then you have to pay a Full Club Membership fee and become at least a ‘bronze’ member of the English Chess Federation. The costs of this are as follows:

Penrith Chess Club ‘Full Club Membership’ fee £20.00 per year which includes Cumbria Chess Association Membership of £8.00 per year.
English Chess Federation Bronze Membership is currently £18.00 per year for adults.

You must organise your own ECF Membership by following this link:, which should take you to the English Chess Federation’s registration page where you have a choice either to join or to renew membership. If you have ever been a member of the ECF (or BCF), please DO NOT join as a new member. If you don’t remember your login details, please e-mail:

Club membership fees should be paid either to the Club Treasurer (Lewis McAtear) or to the Club Chair (Andy McAtear).

Penrith Chess Club also seeks to encourage juniors to play chess. Juniors who just want a casual game are welcome to attend club nights for free providing they are accompanied by a responsible adult.

If, as a junior, you want to play in club competitions and for a Penrith team, then you have to pay the ‘Full Junior Membership’ fee as well as becoming at least a bronze member of the English Chess Federation, all of which costs as follows:
Penrith Chess Club ‘Full Junior Membership’ fee £5.00 per year which includes Cumbria Chess Association Junior Membership.
English Chess Federation Bronze Junior membership fee £6.00 per year. The ECF is currently giving away free Silver Membership for a year to new junior members.

Joining the English Chess Federation may make your life complete in ways you’ve never dreamed of. In fact, it will be worth it if you want to play in county competitions and weekend chess congresses. You’ll get an official ECF rating and ECF membership can also be a passport to other offers, including money off the cost of entering tournaments and price reductions on books and equipment with certain chess suppliers.

Please note that it is necessary, in order to facilitate the smooth running of the club, to collect some personal information. This information will not be shared with third parties other than the ECF and Cumbria Chess Association for the purposes of rating and registration. If you wish, take a moment to view our privacy policy.

If you wish to try before you buy, just pop in to the Crown at Eamont Bridge on a Wednesday evening around 7:30 pm and ask Mike, the landlord, for the chess club.

Press the button below to download an application form.