Overzealous police officers wearing bulletproof vests were enforcing the letter of the law swarmed an upper Manhattan park and busted seven men — for playing chess.

A group of men playing chess on a designated chess table inside of Emerson playground did not heed a sign stating that “adults allowed in playground areas only when accompanied by a child under the age of 12.”

All seven men were given desk-appearance tickets for their “failure to comply with signs.”

As if it was a sting operation, the officers gave out tickets to other adults earlier in the day for the same offense. “They handled us like we were drug dealers,” said chess player Yacahuda Harrison, 49.

According to the Parks Department First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh the rule is in place to protect the children and deter “inappropriate adult use” of the park.