Touching Film About the Last Surviving Chess Shop in NYC That Always Invites Everyone to Come In and Play

“King of the Night” is a beautiful short film by Lonelyleap LTD about the last surviving chess shop in New York City and its paternally amicable owner Imad Khachan. Khachan, a son of Palestinian refugees, came to America as an immigrant from Lebanon in pursuit of his PhD.

During his down time, he worked at a chess store. Khachan found that he loved the game so much that he quit his studies and opened his own shop, The Chess Forum. Khachan’s place is a warm, welcoming and relaxing respite open to anyone who wants to play a game or to enjoy a cup of tea or to come in when they have no place else to go or are in need of some human interaction, those he calls his children.

My father always said the most difficult thing for a child is to go home and find the door closed. I hope that we have provided a place where when no other place will welcome you, you have a seat. …Maybe the lack of not having got married and having children, you become the father of everybody.

Khachan also believes that the game transcends any language barriers allowing people from all walks of life share in a game.

Anybody who doesn’t speak any language… they can sit here and play chess. You can still hold a meaningful conversation without saying a word

The Chess Forum is in heart of Greenwich Village, Manhattan and the hours are very flexible.

219 Thompson Street
New York, NY 10012

Chess Forum opens seven days a week from 11 AM until midnight and if there are enough players to stay open after midnight the place stays open sometimes until dawn. Tables and chess equipment are provided to players and for the shopper there is a large variety to choose from in all sizes, colors, materials and prices ranges.

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A game of blindfold chess.

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via The Atlantic