Our Programs

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Teaching Kids To Think. Learning A Skill For Life.

For Placement Only

The U.S. Chess Center teaches chess to children and adolescents as a means of improving their academic and social skills. We teach more than 2,000 kids each week during the school year in our classes and expose thousands of others to chess through our tournaments and chess curriculum. We offer free services to schools serving poor children and host activities that bring together students from throughout the Washington metropolitan area and beyond.

Our program produces students who can achieve academic success, who can distinguish good choices from bad, and who enter higher education or the work force with the critical thinking and social skills they need to succeed.

Our successes have been notable. Nearly all of the high school students who learn chess from us graduate on time. Some have stopped dealing drugs and carrying guns. Two of our long-time students received Rhodes Scholarships in 2014.

Your donations help us generate interest for chess in at-risk communities.

We have introduced local students to International Grandmasters, including World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov and Maurice Ashley, the first African-American to earn the GM title. We have organized special events at the Smithsonian Institution, the Charles Sumner Museum, the grounds of The Washington Monument, THEARC in Anacostia, and in several Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCAs in Washington.

The teaching program developed by the U.S. Chess Center and available for free on this website is in use in chess programs throughout the nation, and Center staff has testified about the value of chess for children before the District of Columbia Council and the School Board.