Master level chess player operates Charlotte’s first center dedicated to the game at age 26
By Randy Wheeless - December 19, 2017
Since middle school, chess has been an integral part of Peter Giannatos’ life. He’s participated in more than 200 tournaments, and is recognized as a master level player. In fact, he’s a top-10 player in the state.
After graduating from UNC Charlotte in 2014, Giannatos, 26, figured he would concentrate on joining the working world. He had dreams of making chess his career, but knew that could be a longshot.
A longshot he has spent the last three years making a reality. Over that time, Giannatos became the owner and operator of the Charlotte Chess Center and Scholastic Academy. Located on Camden Road, near the LYNX East/West stop in South End, the center has more than 150 members – making it Charlotte’s first full-time center devoted solely to chess.
“There are others around the country,” Giannatos said – noting cities like Dallas, St. Louis and New York. “Not many, but I was able to pattern this from what I saw and liked.”
Giannatos’ center has become a hot spot for players of all skill levels. In addition to the diverse mix of boys, girls, young and old, there is a healthy representation of players from all ethnic backgrounds. It’s all there – classes, camps and tournaments, and even tournaments for the nation’s elite players.