Sarah's Chess Journal
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The History and The Culture of Chess
You play like an old lady!
February 04, 2004
One of the most successful coffee houses in the 20th century was The Gambit, owned and operated by Edith Price. It was located on Budge Row in London.
Miss Price, who was born in 1872, opened The Gambit in 1898. It shut it's doors in 1958. During that entire time, it was only ever closed for 2 days during September, 1940 when it was bombed during a nazi air raid.
Although Miss Price owned the coffee house, it was for men only. Go figure.
A notice on the entrance read:
The Gambit Chess Rooms are open to chess players for the enjoyment of social games. Visitors can usually obtain an opponent by applying at the counter for an introduction. Playing for money stakes is quite unnecessary and the management strongly discourage the principle. Should any visitor be pestered or annoyed by strangers asking them to do so, information to the management will be much appreciated.Edith Price was no stranger to chess. The first British Ladies' Championship was held in 1904 and won by Kate Finn. However, Miss Price won it in 1922, 1923 and 1924. She won it one more time - in 1948 when she was 76 years old!! Edith Price died in 1956.
The Gambit seemingly couldn't survive long without her.
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