Dozens Hold a "Chess-In" to Defy SF Crackdown

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Dozens of people backed by a brass band played chess in downtown San Francisco in defiance of a recent crackdown by police on the games, which have been a staple of the city for years.

Earlier this month, police confiscated chess gear, tables and chairs that the mostly homeless players. Police say the games had begun to attract illegal gambling and drug sales to an area adjacent to a cable car terminal, which is a popular tourist destination. Nearby merchants had also complained recently about an increase in illegal activity around the games.

On Sunday, homeless advocates and the chess players organized a "chess-in" and played for hours on the city's busy Market Street in balmy, sunny weather with no visible police presence.

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