Little India shophouses straddle heritage and progress

Gentrification transforms area but some note need to balance preservation and renewal

With practised ease, chess enthusiast Jimmy Tan, 48, demonstrated a classic set of opening moves, dubbed the "Italian opening", on an elegant wooden chessboard.

He made a bigger gambit last year when he founded the private members' chess club Singapore Chess Social in a rented second-floor unit in a Rowell Road shophouse - an area that just a few years ago was more closely associated with illegal, tightly packed dormitories.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2021, with the headline 'Little India shophouses straddle heritage and progress'. Subscribe