India’s oldest chess club is the Calcutta Chess Club. The club was established by John Cochrane in 1850. The club launched stalwarts such as Mohischunder Banerjee and Petumber Mukherjee. Calcutta, being the British capital, fostered a lot of chess clubs. Namely the Staunton Chess Club, City United Chess Club and many more. On the 16th of April, 1947, the Madras Chess Club came into existence. This was later renamed the Tamil Nadu State Chess Association.
The first chess club to hold big matches was the Tal Chess Club. The club was set up in 1972 with Soviet money. The Russians provided immense support by giving the club wooden chess sets, books, magazines and clocks. It was established by India’s first international grandmaster Manuel Aaron. The club was named after Manuel Aaron’s chess hero Mikhail Tal. It is remembered for being the place from which Vishwanathan Anand was launched into the world of chess by being the club’s first Youth Champion. The club had been a meeting point for all chess lovers for years. In 1991, after the dissolution of the USSR, the club stopped receiving funds and had to close down.