Queen’s Gambit inspires the renovation of a giant chess board in a BC park


A once old, forgotten giant concrete chess board in Grand Boulevard Park was brought back to life just in time for summer.

For fans of The Queen’s Gambit, a Netflix miniseries, Grand Boulevard Park might be a new favorite hangout.

A once-old, forgotten giant concrete chessboard in the park between 13th and 15th streets, which the city of North Vancouver estimates was installed 30 years ago, has been given new life just in time for summer.

“The concrete block with the checkerboard markings has been in place for many years, but there were no pawns and the markings have long since faded,” said Pardeep Purewal, the city’s communications and engagement manager.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Purewal said the city had noticed more people were spending more time exploring the city’s diverse parking system, and city staff were always looking for new (or, in this case, old) ways to do this Activating spaces for everyone’s pleasure.

“Chess is experiencing a bit of a resurgence in popularity and the staff thought it would be fun to repaint the old chessboard and provide some pieces to make it work,” she said.

The chess comeback was triggered by the Netflix show The Queen’s Gambit, which was already published in October 2020. The bingeworthy miniseries takes place during the Cold War era and follows the life of an orphaned chess prodigy named Beth Harmon. Although it is about chess, this miniseries is far from boring and has kept viewers in fascination as it delves into the intricacies of the game and follows Harmon as she struggles with the addiction to become the greatest chess player in the world.

We can’t all be chess wonders, but the now shiny and new chessboard with a size of about three square meters is ready in Grand Boulevard Park for anyone who is inspired by the fictional character Harmon to improve their skills or just have them some fun with friends. The chess pieces are in a storage box next to the board, which is locked from dusk until dawn.

“We ask users to make sure they put the pieces back in the box when they’re finished so that others can enjoy them,” said Purewal.

With pandemic restrictions easing, Mayor Linda Buchanan said it was clear that people are dying to get outside and reconnect with their friends, family, and the community, and the city is committed to ensuring that parks have a wide range offer interesting activities.

“I know we all hope for a fun and relaxing summer,” she said. “This pandemic has reaffirmed the value of bringing vitality to our common public spaces such as our parks. We aim to provide a range of programs and infrastructures, such as the oversized chess board in Grand Boulevard Park, to make room for all people. “

She is also a little chess fan herself.

“I know I’ll be out there to play a game or two, inspired by The Queen’s Gambit“Said Buchanan. “Let the summer fun begin!”

For those who aren’t that into chess, there are a number of other parks across the city with fun features. See the list below for ideas.

Other fun park features that you can try out with your friends

Putting green

Calling all golf fans. There is a putting green at Sam Walker Park, sometimes referred to as the Walker Triangle (because the park is shaped like a small triangle) on East Eighth and East Ninth on St. Andrews Avenue.

The municipality asked the city for this fun edition in 2013. The park was completed in summer 2016 and now has an artificial turf multi-purpose room that can be used as a putting green, yoga or training area or simply as a green space to enjoy.


Those who like a puzzle are welcome to try to find their way through the mazes cut in the grass at Waterfront Park and Mahon Park.

As early as 2019, the city installed its first maze in Mahon Park near the Fen Burdett Stadium and has since mowed a new one in the lawn of the Waterfront Park. The city says the Cascadia Society used the Mahon Park maze as a therapy tool, but it’s open to everyone.

Foosball table

Visitors can find an outdoor foosball table in Moodyville Park, located on Spirit Trail north of East Second Street and east of Moody Avenue.

In addition to a foosball table, the park offers a range of facilities including a bicycle pump track, sports field, ping pong table, picnic areas, walking paths, a large playground, public art, and nature areas.

Table tennis (table tennis)

If you fancy a game of outdoor table tennis (table tennis) there are a number of parks with tables. You can find them at Rogers Plaza (mid 100 blocks on West 1st Street), Moodyville Park, and The Shipyards.

Disc golf

There is a disc golf course among the trees at Eastview Park, on the eastern edge of the city in the Cedar Village neighborhood on Rufus Drive and Cedar Village Close.

The disc golf course is short, but the obstacles make up for the lack of length, according to the Professional Disc Golf Association.

You will find the first tee at the entrance to Cedar Village Close (the hole number is on the transom). There are route maps with length information in two places, but most of the baskets are easy to find along the way.

Fitness equipment

With this good weather, spending time in the gym seems like a waste – Fen Burdett Stadium Field in Mahon Park on Jones Avenue between West 16th and West 17th Streets has the best of both worlds with a range of outdoor Exercise equipment.

The city has completed a series of renovations to the stadium, which first opened in 1914. The park now offers an artificial turf sports field, a rubberized community track, a recreational running track and capsules with fitness equipment for adults.

It’s the perfect place to soak up the sun and burn some calories at the same time (for those who consider exercise “fun”).

Additional park features can be found on the city’s interactive page Parking card.


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