Armand Gnanduillet converted a penalty and crossed for substitute Jay O'Shea to equalise after Luke O'Neill and Ryan Jarvis had scored for the Minstermen.
The Spireites went close in the 25th minute when Gnanduillet headed Jamie Devitt's cross over the crossbar and Sam Morsy fired over from 15 yards as Paul Cook's team, who began the night as league leaders, dominated.
But York almost went ahead in the 29th minute when a 20-yard shot from Ryan Brobbel was tipped over by Tommy Lee, although the highly-rated goalkeeper could do nothing in the 34th minute when O'Neill's shot from 25 yards zipped inside his right-hand post.
The visitors scored again when Jarvis flicked in a 61st-minute corner but Chesterfield hit back three minutes later when Gary Roberts was tripped by Danny Parslow and Gnanduillet fired the penalty into the bottom left corner of the net.
The striker then crossed for O'Shea to equalise in the 76th minute before Ian Evatt headed against the York woodwork but the visitors held on, although the point was not enough to keep Cook's men top of the pile.