Players gather Fridays at Rockville United Church
by Alison Bryant
Friday evenings, the Rockville Go and Chess Group gathers to roll the dice, move the pieces and deal the cards.
People ages 8 to 80 gather at the Rockville United Church in the Twinbrook neighborhood of Rockville to play, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company.
“We seem to attract the loud and boisterous,” said John Goon, who founded the group 10 years ago.
Games played range from classics such as chess and hearts to the obscure like Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne.
“We never know for sure what kind of games will be the games of the evening,” Goon said.
But the group doesn’t just play games; it gives back to the community.
For five years, members have hosted monthly game nights at the Bethany House, a retirement home, and The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health. And members demonstrate games at events.
In 2010, the group hosted two fundraiser tournaments to promote public awareness of Rockville’s sister city, Jiaxing, China.
Game nights began 10 years ago, initially fueled by a $600 seed grant from the Rockville Rotary Foundation. Now, the group sustains itself through member donations to help pay the City of Rockville’s $24 per night rental fee. These donations also pay for new games.
The Rockville Go and Chess Group meets at 7 p.m. Fridays, at 355 Linthicum St., Rockville. It is free to join, and open to the public.