Clubs are usually attached to regional chess associations, which in turn are members of their national federation which are associated with FIDE, the world governing body of chess. The United States has many chess clubs affiliated with the United States Chess Federation (USCF). A club's affiliation with its national chess federation helps to standardize chess tournament rules. A comprehensive list of current USCF affiliated chess clubs is viewable here.
Chess clubs typically provide at least some of the following:
- Informal, 'friendly', games
- Club and inter-club competitions
- Opportunities to play in one or more leagues organized on a geographical basis
- A rating system where the results of inter-club games are rated to enable players to judge their standing and progress. Many clubs use the rating system provided by FIDE or their national chess organization.
- Coaching by a more knowledgeable chess player and lectures/tuition evenings
- A library of chess books