St Albans Chess Club [1, 2] was established on Thursday 28th March 1878 when twenty-six players, who had responded to an advertisement placed in the Herts Advertiser, met in the Council Chamber of St Albans Town Hall.
By the Autumn, the club was meeting regularly on Thursday evenings at the Albion Hotel, Victoria Road. Friendly matches were soon arranged against other clubs.
The first such match was against Luton, held on 14th November 1878 at the Queens Hotel  in Chequer Street. The visitors won with the score 9 - 6, and the following month St Albans won the return match 9-11.
A list of principal officers who have served the club is given below. Prior to the appointment of a Treasurer in 1977, club finances were managed by the Secretary.
|H.F. Lindley||1878 - 1907||Sir E.T.A. Wigram Bt||1922 - 1930||J. Simmons||2005 - 2011|
|E. Townson||1907 - 1909||E.J. Fairchild||1930 - 1954||Dr J.N. Fraser-Mitchell||2011-|
|E. A. Cumming||1909 - 1914||W.H.M. Phillips||1954 - 1955|
|E.T.A. Wigram||1914 - 1916||H. Green||1955 - 1974|
|E.J. Fairchild||1916 - 1918||A.W. Torry||1974 - 1982|
|E.R. Mitchell||1918 - 1922||J.A. Leake||1982 - 2005|
|Hon. Secretary||Year||Hon. Secretary||Year||Hon. Secretary||Year|
|G.F. Gibbs||1878 - 1885||A.W. Torry||1946 - 1974||P. Hayward||2010 - 2011|
|J. Rogers||1885 - 1893||E.S. Judge||1974 - 1977||I.K. Cross||2011 - 2016|
|F.B. Gibson||1893 - 1897||J.A. Leake||1977 - 1981||A.B. Ellis||2016 - 2019|
|E.R. Mitchell||1897 - 1912||R.R. Claret||1981 - 1984||R. Collopy||2019 - 2021|
|E.C. Harris||1912 - 1919||C.A. Turner||1984 - 1985||C. Pines||2021-|
|W.A. Conway||1919 - 1920||P.V. Lattimore||1985 - 1986|
|L.F. Allengame||1920 - 1929||C.A. Turner||1986 - 2000|
|G.F. Ramsay||1929 - 1932||Dr J.N. Fraser-Mitchell||2000 - 2005|
|F.W. Daniel||1933 - 1943||Dr I. Gooding||2005 - 2007|
|E.J. Palfrey||1943 - 1945||Dr M.J. Lexton||2007 - 2010|
|C.A. Andrews||1977- 1987|
|A. McMahon||1987 - 2012|
|S. Narbeth||2012 - 2021|
|P.V. Lattimore||1983 - 1984|
1. The Herts Advertiser local newspaper, available at Hertfordshire Archive and Local Studies, published an account of the chess club's inaugural meeting (1878) and regularly reported on its activities.
2. The oldest minute book still in the club's possession covers 1931-1986. It includes a very brief summary of the club events from 1897.
3. The Queens Hotel, 8-10 Chequer Street, closed down in the 1980s during the Chequer Street Development when Maltings shopping centre was created. The building dates from the 1820's when it opened as the Turf Hotel, see: Talking Buildings - Hidden Histories of St Albans