I have just visited an old blog (which I no longer maintain) for the first time in many months and found a few comments of interest there. Rather than linking to it, I'll give the items here (in no particular order)...
1. [comment on thread about chess venues in London...] Here are the answers gentlemen: The Wargrave Arms [40-42 Brendon Street, W1] has a resident chess team and there are competitions every Tuesday, Bread & Roses [68 Clapham Manor Street, SW4] carries a whiff of old-school Socialism along with their chess boards and The Museum Tavern [49 Great Russell Street, WC1] has held boards behind the bar since Marx was a regular. Haven't visited this page before, but send me an email anyone who knows of any other good chess-playing pubs or cafes. firstname.lastname@example.org
2. On a related theme (chessplaying venues in major cities), a 'Barcelona citizen' sent me the sad news that, as of 2003, Barcelona's 'Oro Negro' ceased to be a games-playing bar and is now a restaurant. A pity: I remember playing endless games of blitz chess there in about 1976/77. Some very strong players used to put in an appearance (e.g. Antonio Medina). But my thanks to the 'Barcelona citizen' for letting me know.
3. Posted under the title 'GOOD NEWS' on 21 April 2008 (and it does seem to be very good news)... Since 12 months ago, I have been setting up a number of UK venues where the public can walk in and play chess free of charge, the sets being supplied by the management. Mainly South Midlands, but we are looking further afield. Some venues are already set up, we are aiming for a dozen by end-2008. For details, please contact me, Tony Robson, via email: email@example.com.
My thanks to those posters.