East Village Coffee House
1065 14th Street, East Village
There are a lot of places you can play chess, but at East Village they supply the chessmen, the coffee's good, they're right at the bottom of City College's hill (making it easy to find opponents), and they're used to poor students. They don't care if you nurse one cup of coffee all day figuring out that opening four-move mate that never works. And it's adjacent to the Honey Bee Hive Grill and Bar, so you can drown your sorrows when you lose, or re-energize your brain with their pretty good meatloaf or eggplant pesto sandwiches. Mind you, this is a student dive, so noise levels rise as the hour advances. Best quiet time: sunset, while most are still in the library.