Welcome to the official Website of the CERN Games Club.
We are Students, Fellows and Staff Members from CERN and a bunch of external people from Geneva who enjoy coming together to play Board Games ...
Every Sunday we meet in Restaurant 1 at CERN from 2pm to late to play Board Games. You can pass by at any time to join us. If you are not working for CERN, please contact us beforehand, so we can get you on-side. Also have a look on the map to find us.
Additionally to our main event on Sundays, there are group meetings during the week to play cards, Board Games, RPGs, Chess or Go in multiple locations. Contact us to find out more or to search for players for your specific gaming interests.
There have been many photos taken over the years. Here are some of them...
Below you find the current Committee Members of the CERN Games Club, our Statutes and the Annual Report.
Most likely a traitor in every game, but a great guy. He wouldn't be our President otherwise.
Tactician and Euro-Game Master. Can be found nearly every Sunday playing games and also sometimes during the week playing DSA (look it up).
Our President for a long time. Now he is all about the money apparently ;) Also a great character whom we are happy to have, when he got time!
The guy that kinda did all this here. Also happy to explain every game in existence. Tries to avoid Euro-Games.
Left Picture: T. Lindelöf winning Geneva Chess Championship in 1966
Right Picture: Team CERN1 winning "Championnat Interfirmes de Geneve" in 1986. From the left: M. Dittmar, Peschardt, T. Lindelöf
Barely 10 years after the founding of CERN itself, in 1965, the Games Club was formed out of Chess, Go and Bridge players. For the first 22 years it was presided over by Torbjörn Lindelöf, a very experienced Chess player. He had this to say about those formative years:
By Torbjörn Lindelöf
President of the CERN Games Club from 1965 until 1986
December 3, 2000
With great pleasure I have noticed that the CERN Chess Club has revived. It is a very special pleasure to me that my son David has been instrumental in the revivification process. I have volunteered to write a few words about the early history of the Chess Club. I believe I'm in a particularly good position to do this. I was the chairman of the club almost from the time I arrived at CERN in 1965 until I left in 1986. Admitting that the lapse of fourteen years may have caused some important events to have disappeared from my memory, I here present a very personal recollection of the club history.
Prior to 1965 there already existed a Chess Club at CERN, skilfully administered by Mr André de Dumont, himself a good player. I wanted to introduce clubs at CERN also for the games of Bridge and GO, but the Staff Association management at the time didn't support the idea of such proliferation of clubs. Instead I therefore formed, with the support of a large number of interested parties, a Games Club, with sections for Chess, Bridge, GO (and later also Poker). I was elected chairman of this Games Club, possibly because I was the only person to actively participate in all these games.The Chess section soon had a substantial membership, gathering interested players with varying motives for wanting to participate. For several years we regularly played in the cafeteria section of the administrative building, carrying chess sets and clocks in a large box. Somewhere around the year 1970 the Games Club was offered permanent accomodation in the current back stage room in the "Tortella restaurant", as it was called in those days.
I believe many CERN players were steeped in the old "romantic" idea that chess is a beautiful game, enjoyable for its own sake, winning or losing a matter of only secondary importance, while others worked hard to improve their results. Since neither the weekly quick chess tournament, nor an annual CERN Chess Championship could meet the needs expressed by such varied attitudes to the game, we sought contact with other Geneva organizations to see if new friendships could be built across a chess board. As a result we were warmly received by several other chess clubs like ours, in particular by the WHO Chess club, where Ms Daphne A Fresle was the "leading lady". Friendly matches over anything from 6 to 10 tables were arranged, alternatively at CERN and at the WHO. The relative strengths of the individual participants was so balanced that the result of such matches could never be anticipated.From the early 1980'ies CERN also took part in the "Championnat Interfirmes de Geneve", with 4-person teams. CERN personnel, one of the largest in Geneva, had at that time no problem gathering 4 players strong enough to assert themselves in these competitions, and in fact even winning a couple of times.
Special moments provide me with cherished memories. One event, never to be repeated, stands out as particularly amusing, now that it must have been forgotten by everybody present at the time. Before we were able to purchase chess clocks we experimented with a "poor man's" method of playing lightning chess in the CERN cafeteria. The method consisted in etting up a tape recorder which issued a loud enough beep every 15 seconds, at which beep the person on turn was supposed to make the next move. The players themselves were not unduly disturbed by this beep, having other more urgent things to think of, but the cafeteria personnel and its patronage complained bitterly to the Staff Association. :-)
You will hopefully forgive me for mentioning that CERN became known in chess circles all over Switzerland thanks to my own successful appearance in tournaments such as the Geneva Open in 1965 and 1966 (which I won), and in various nationwide club championships over the years. I can only repeat my excitement at the news of a reopening of the club, and expect it to create again friendly relationships just as it did in "my" days.
"In closing I can only say that the CERN Games Club provided me, and I hope many others, with enjoyable personal relationships during the 22 years I functioned as its president."
Torbjörn Lindelöf Linköping, Sweden
Towards the end of the Millenium the Bridge Club as part of the CERN Games Club attracted high-calibre players, filling 10 tables of bridge players every week. During this period the number of Chess players dwindled, but being replaces by a large influx of Go players.
Unfortunately due to CERN's high staff-turnover rate and an ageing club population, the Chess and Bridge Club faded away. The venerable CERN Games Club was relegated to a state of limbo, but still breathing. It still existed thanks to a handful of stalwart Go players, valiantly holding down the fort.
Towards the end of the decade a haphazard new generation of Gamers, dominated by Students and Visitors from the US began to congregate in R1 every Sunday to play a variety of different games. This time mainly concentrating on modern board games. Gradually conglomerating up to 20 members by 2010 and tentatively affilliated to the lost CERN Games Club a concordat was reached that the society should reform properly.
In March/April 2010, 45 years after the original formation of the Club, a sequence of meetings were held, culminating in the triumphant return of the CERN Games Club in a new spotlight. Fanfares blaring and flags waving, preparing to conquer the world or the galaxy or perhaps the multiverse....