SFPD had received several complaints from citizens about players' conduct -- fighting, drinking, and some outstanding warrants, according to Lt. Lyn Tomioka, a police department spokeswoman.
The warrants and also the stay-away orders -- apparently some chess players had been warned to keep away from area businesses and area merchants, including the artists who peddle their wares on Market Street near the chess games -- were the biggest problems.
The organizers of the chess matches were asked to move their act a block down the way to the 1000 block of Market Street, Tomioka said, but sometime between then and now the games fell apart and are today gone.
It appears the police action was a step in a confluence of factors leading to the games' demise. Soon after the chess players were told to move, organizer Hector Torres landed in the hospital, according to Bob Offer-Westort, the Coalition on Homelessness's Civil Rights Organizer. Without Torres, nobody bothered to set up the tables from their storage home at 66 Turk Street, and the games died out.
Torres, who has no fixed address or phone number, could not be contacted by SF Weekly. But if The Snitch were to interject our opinion, we would say we're sad to see the chess games go. They were entertaining to watch, if nothing else, and breathed a spark of culture into a strip of the city devoid of little else aside from commercial ventures.