Sunday, March 12, 2023

Parker takes gambit on Different World of Chess

Brandon Parker and chess grandmaster Barry Davis face off in a chess match.

 By Justin Siejak

Brandon Parker has loved chess ever since he was a child, so he decided to open up his own shop to share his passion with others.

A Different World of Chess, 661 Main St., is a brand-new chess shop for fans of chess to come together and celebrate the game that they love.  Owner opened the shop in November 2022.  Parker said it means a lot to him to be able to open his own shop.

            “I’ve been around the game for a while.  It’s my favorite pastime.  To be able to serve as a spot to continue to build the chess community means a lot to me,” Parker said.

            Being one of the few chess shops in Western New York, Parker said his shop has played host to people of all different types of backgrounds.  


Parker, on the process of opening his shop:


            “We get a wide variety of people who come into the shop.  Older people and younger people.  Just the other day I had a pair of brothers come to the shop who were straight from Germany.  I played against them, and they were strategizing against me in German,” Parker said. 

            The shop serves as a place where chess fans can purchase all the chess necessities such as boards, accessories, chess pieces, and books.  On top of this, the shop is also home to open-play, as well as several chess tournaments hosted by Parker himself.

            “Fridays we have Blitz tournaments that are pretty fast paced.  Those tournaments start at 6 p.m.  Then on the weekends we have tournaments with 30-minute timers on the game,” Parker said.

  Experienced chess players come to the shop to play against each other, however, Parker says the store is also a great place for people who are new to the game and want to learn more.

“Seeing new players learn more about the game is always cool.  To help them out, we have all sorts of minigames and exercises to help newer players understand the game more,” Parker said.

Parker has been close to the game his entire life.  He said that chess is comparable to certain aspects of life.
            “There’s a lot of similarities between the game and life.  There’s always holes in the path that could derail your plan.  Especially coming from the inner-city, that’s how it was for me.  You’re always thinking about your next move,” Parker said.

Barry Davis, who is a chess grandmaster and chess teacher, is a regular at the shop.  He said that the shop has been a great spot for him and his friends to come play the game. 

“This is a great spot.  I always look forward to chatting and teaching about the game.  It’s always a great time when the fellas can meet up here,” Davis said.

            Parker worked diligently to ensure that his new shop was a vibrant, lively spot for all chess fans to enjoy.

            “I didn’t want it just to be plain-Jane. I painted the walls.  I got pictures.  I really wanted to make it look like an art gallery,” Parker said.

            The shop is still in its early stages but has already proved to be a popular spot for chess fans all over Western New York.