Knights of the McRound Table

Want fries with that McCheck-mate?

McDonald's is best known for their burgers and fries and is a popular after school gathering space for teens.

But a McDonald's in Leimert Park has become as well known for something that is not on the menu for guys well beyond their teens. -- chess.

The daily chess tournament takes place under the golden arches where guys from the neighborhood gather to outsmart and outwit each other. They spend their afternoons… capturing knights.

"Chess is very addiction," says one McDonald's player. "Some guys come in saying they're going to play a game or two and it's night before they leave. That happens a lot."

The cheering section-- which is more quiet observation than actual cheering-- is made up of guys in line for the next game.

The tournament started out in a nearby park. Then one rainy winter, they moved into McDonalds, trash talk and all. And they never left.

"He's a nice guy," one player says of his opponent. "He just can't play."

As for the restaurant, the workers have come to enjoy that the players have setup their war room in the dining room. The elders don't put up with any trouble from rowdy teens and they usually know someone looking for a job when there's an opening.

Owners have embraced the chess club as well. They are planning to incorporate a chess theme in an upcoming renovation later this year.

In the end, it's a win-win. Well…most of the time.

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