Chess has a long history in Tennessee, with the first known chess club in the state being founded in Nashville in 1858. Other early chess clubs in Tennessee include the Memphis Chess Club, founded in 1866, and the Knoxville Chess Club, founded in 1875.
Tennessee has produced several notable chess champions over the years, including John W. Schulte, who won the Tennessee State Chess Championship multiple times in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Another notable Tennessee chess champion is Thomas W. Fogg, who held the title of Tennessee State Chess Champion in the 1940s and 1950s.
In recent years, Tennessee has been home to several successful chess programs and clubs, including the Nashville Chess Center, the Memphis Chess Club, and the Tennessee Chess Association, which continue to promote the game and support local chess players. Additionally, chess has become increasingly popular in Tennessee schools, with many programs promoting chess education for children and youth.