Playing with giant chess pieces at Horton Plaza.

Chess and checkers games can include a small workout!
Chess and checkers games can include a small workout!

Here are three fun photos! I stood for a moment on an upper level at Horton Plaza, watching two guys play a game with giant chess pieces.

San Diego’s downtown Horton Plaza shopping mall is more than just typical retail stores and a food court. It’s a wonderland of colorful, whimsical, unexpected architecture, with cool discoveries around almost every corner, including this shady nook where you’ll find giant-sized chessboards and checker boards.

The Horton Plaza shopping mall contains fun surprises around almost every corner.
The Horton Plaza shopping mall contains fun surprises around almost every corner.
People enjoy a leisurely game of chess with gigantic chessboard and pieces at Horton Plaza.
People enjoy a leisurely game of chess with gigantic chessboard and pieces at Horton Plaza.

Here are a couple more photos I took during another visit…

Horton Plaza visitor watches two people playing chess on an ordinary-size chessboard.
Horton Plaza visitor watches two people playing chess on an ordinary-size chessboard.
People congregate in a Horton Plaza nook where giant chess pieces beckon.
People congregate in a Horton Plaza nook where giant chess pieces beckon.

Join me on Facebook or Twitter!

The mostly forgotten San Diego Chess Club.

nearly forgotten san diego chess club

In 1961, the Balboa Club moved into a building near the southwest corner of Balboa Park. The building today is faded, padlocked, and seldom used. Few people now visit this once popular meeting place. It is the location of the San Diego Chess Club.

Taking a picture through a side window of empty chess club on a weekend morning.
Taking a picture through side window of empty chess club on a weekend morning.

Through a dirty window on the north side, rows of empty tables are visible. The place seems dead.

Most chess players now test their skills on virtual chessboards. Two flesh and blood players squaring off in a lively, tension-filled room across a common table has been replaced by isolated taps and clicks on small screens.

Passing years and neglect at San Diego Chess Club building in Balboa Park.
Years of neglect show at San Diego Chess Club building in Balboa Park.
Chessboard and other old images on side facing Sixth Avenue are very faded.
Chessboard and other images on side facing Sixth Avenue are faded.

Adjoining the building are numerous lonely horseshoes pits. The Balboa Park Horseshoe Club seems just as forgotten.

Unused horseshoes pits near San Diego Chess Club.
Unused horseshoes pits near San Diego Chess Club.

Walked past on a spring day… The game of horseshoes isn’t dead yet!

One fine Saturday afternoon, I finally saw folks playing horseshoes on one court!
One fine Saturday afternoon, I finally saw a handful of folks playing horseshoes!