A Chess Hustler's Life

 What is a Chess Hustler?

Hello Chess for Children Kids! This is National Master Steve Colding and today we are going to talk about the definition of a chess hustler.


chess hustler is a person who plays chess in a public location for small amounts of money. Most often the player is a simply highly skilled chess-player and takes on all comers in blitz matches – games in which both players have five minutes or less- for a few dollars at a time.

Mr. C Learns a Lesson

I was first introduced to a my first street player at a chess club named the Flea House on 42nd Street in Times Square Area of New York. You could go inside and play chess for .50/hr which in those days was a pretty good deal. Unfortunately,  a great chess hustler proceeded to womp me mercillessly at .25 a game.

I had  learned a great deal that day. The first and foremost lesson was not to judge a book by its cover.  Mistakely, I thought being a seasoned tournament player, that it was impossible to get stomped by a non-tournament player. Boy, was I wrong.

Over the years, I became friends with many guys in the profession. They had colorful names such as Sweet Pea, Little Daddy, Big Ralphie and so on. I found each to a man to be interesting, smart and  generous human beings.

So, if you see a chess hustler you might consider playing him a game or two not for the money but for the experience. You might just make a friend

If you would like to read another article on these fellows you can look at this one from the NY Post

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 Chess Hustler Video

Hustler and GM Ashley Playing
Hustler and GM Ashley Playing