Street Names with Chess Connections

Edward Winter


From the South African Chessplayer, January 1982, page 16:

‘Did you know that at least two streets in the Witwatersrand bear the names of ex-world champions? First there is the short Euwe Street in Birchleigh, Kempton Park, which is dwarfed by the rambling Alekhine Street in Protea (west of Soweto).’


George Jelliss (Rugby, England) suspects that a chess man has been named after a street:

‘Just south of St Paul’s Cathedral in London is a private gated road called Nightrider Street which, I believe, belongs to the Post Office and presumably derives its name from the night mail coaches of earlier days. It is only a short walk from the St Bride’s Institute, where the British Chess Problem Society has held its meetings since its foundation in 1918. Among the founder members was T.R. Dawson, who published his first Nightrider problem in 1925.’


Jimmy Adams (London) writes:

‘Firstly, the street is actually called Knightrider Street and, secondly, this name is derived not from bygone night mail coaches but from the knights of old who passed this way on their journey to the jousting tournaments at Smithfield. This is all documented in John Stow’s Survay of London, published in 1598, long before the introduction of the mail service.’


Bob Meadley (Narromine, NSW, Australia) writes:

‘I quote from Purdy’s Chess World April 1952, page 91:

“The two of Zuilen in Holland has a new suburb; its two main streets have been called after Staunton and Max Euwe, and its side streets after the chessmen: Koningstraat, Damestraat, Torenstraat (Rook Street), Loperstraat (Bishop Street), Paardenstraat and Pionnenstraat. Dr T.D. Delprat of Mendoran (NSW) sends us a newspaper photo of Euwe unveiling Koningstraat. A large stone Staunton king, in relief, is part of the street sign.”

The same correspondent tells us that Tallinn has a Paul Keres Street.


Henk Smout (Leiden, the Netherlands) points out that Chess World was misinformed about the names of the side-streets, i.e. Pionstraat, Paardensprongstraat, Schaakstraat, Simultaanstraat, Rokadestraat, and Grootmeesterplein.

Through a search for any of the streets on Google maps the locality is readily found:


Our correspondent adds:

‘Max Euweplein in Amsterdam, Max Euwelaan in Rotterdam, Max Euweweg and Jan-Hein Donnerstraat in The Hague are all named after the masters.

Reestraat, Koningstraat, Koninginnestraat, Paardenstraat, Torenstraat, Kasteelstraat, Kastelenstraat, Loperstraat, Raadsherenstraat, Bisschopsplein in Zuilen and Bisschopsstraat in a number of Dutch and Belgian places have nothing to do with chess.’


Concerning C.N. 725 (Tallinn), Harrie Grondijs (Rijswijk, the Netherlands) reports that it is a wide lane. He was there recently:

keres street grondijs


From B.H. Wood (Sutton Coldfield, England):

‘When Sutton Coldfield’s centre was redesigned with a new Gracechurch Shopping Centre, areas entitled Bishop’s Court and Queen’s Court appeared with little chess piece erections. The planning of the complex was delegated to a London firm of architects who, seeking for a general motif connected with Sutton Coldfield, could think of nothing better than chess.’


A number of magazines (e.g. CHESS, December 1988, page 5, and Europe Echecs, December 1988, page 27) have reported that on 4 October 1988 a street in Rotterdam was named after Euwe, the opening being attended by the world champion’s widow.


As mentioned on page 262 of Chess Explorations, a feature by Steven W. Gordon on pages 43-52 of the April 1995 Chess Life presented photographs of a number of chess-related street names in Anchorage, Alaska.

In C.N. 4597 Calle Erlandsson (Lund, Sweden) drew attention to a Chessbase report on a street/square in Szeged, Hungary named after Géza Maróczy.

Wijnand Engelkes (Zeist, the Netherlands) reports that he has visited the Rua Alexander Alekhine in Estoril, Portugal:

alekhine street

alekhine street

Our correspondent comments:

‘The Rua Alexander Alekhine is beyond the tourist area of Estoril (city of Cascais) and a half-hour walk from the São João railway station. The street-sign is on the stone object on the left of the second picture. The Rua Alexander Alekhine is a small road on a slope, located at a high point in Estoril. There are no houses. On one side are the backs of the houses of an adjacent road, whereas the other side is empty land. There is really nothing there apart from a lonely tree at the top of the hill.’


James Bell Cooper (Vienna) sends a photograph of Rudolf-Spielmann-Platz which he took in the Austrian capital on 15 December 2018:




Mr Cooper has provided two further photographs, also taken recently in Vienna:


steinitz bridge

The second photograph shows the Steinitzsteg, a bridge across the Danube for pedestrians and cyclists.

Jerry Spinrad (Nashville, TN, USA) sends a lengthy report on page 5 of Lloyd’s Weekly London Newspaper, 21 December 1856 which suggested, ten lines from the bottom of the second column, that a London street be named after Howard Staunton.

London does indeed have a Staunton Street, but since when?


Latest update: 28 October 2021.

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