The accidental chess rebels of Inwood Hill Park now have a legal place to play â€” as long as they bring their own boards.
In the wake of the uproar over a police crackdown on men playing chess at tables within the gates of a playground, where adults unaccompanied by children are banned, the parks department installed two long picnic tables at the park on Saturday.
The tables, separated from the playground by two tennis courts, are intended to give the players an alternative site, a parks spokesman said. â€œThey’re not in the playground, but they’re close enough to where these guys like to hang out,â€ he said.
The installation was reported Sunday by the Manhattan news Web site DNAInfo, which also reported that about 20 people attended a rally for the chess players on Saturday.
The parks department has not yet decided whether to install standard chess tables with the boards stenciled onto them, the spokesman said Monday. â€œThis is something that we did right away to appeal to the community,â€ he said. â€œDown the road, I’m not sure.