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Our Mission

The U.S. Chess Center teaches chess to children and teens as a means of improving their academic and social skills.

Since 1992 we have taught more than 35,000 children the rules, strategy, discipline and etiquette of the game. Students from throughout the Washington metropolitan area meet as friends and equals over the chessboard at our weekend classes, tournaments, and special events. We have hosted World Champion Garry Kasparov, the national champions of Nigeria and Montenegro, and International Grandmasters including Maurice Ashley, the first African-American Grandmaster. Our students have played Internet matches with students from the Czech Republic, China, Norway, and Montenegro.

Notable accomplishments:

  • Two students who had been with us from elementary school through middle school and high school received Rhodes Scholarships.
  • A student of ours from Ballou High School received a Trachtenberg full scholarship to The George Washington University, worth $200,000 or more.
  • The U.S. Chess Federation awarded the U.S. Chess Center the 2012 Scholastic Service Award.
  • The District of Columbia City Council unanimously passed a ceremonial resolution in 2013 affirming the goals of the U.S. Chess Center and praising us for teaching students the game of chess.
  • Congress recognized the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Chess Center in 2017. Former World Champion Garry Kasparov was present in Congressman Jamie Raskin's office when the Center received the proclamation.

Where we've been teaching chess:

  • District of Columbia Public Schools in every neighborhood of the city
  • Suburban and private schools
  • Public Housing Developments
  • Boys and Girls Clubs
  • The YMCA

In addition, many dozens of schools and youth centers around the country use our lesson plan.

Where we've held special exhibitions:

  • The Smithsonian Institution
  • The Charles Sumner Museum
  • On the National Mall with the Boy Scouts of America
  • Legal:

    • The U.S. Chess Center is an educational charity organized under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). Donations to the Center are deductible to the greatest extent authorized by law. Our tax form may be seen here.