Chess has a relatively short history in South Dakota, but it has a dedicated community of players. The first known chess club in the state was the Sioux Falls Chess Club, which was founded in the late 1950s. Another early chess club in the state was the Rapid City Chess Club, which was founded in the early 1960s.
South Dakota has produced several notable chess champions over the years, including Charles E. Powell, who won the South Dakota State Chess Championship in the 1970s. Another notable South Dakota chess champion is Ryan Sowa, who won the South Dakota State Chess Championship multiple times in the 2000s.
In recent years, South Dakota has been home to several successful chess programs and clubs, including the Sioux Falls Chess Club, the Rapid City Chess Club and the South Dakota Chess Association, which continues to promote the game and support local chess players. Additionally, chess has become increasingly popular in South Dakota schools, with many programs promoting chess education for children and youth.