A student plays against GM Maurice Ashley in a simultaneous exhibition at the U.S. Chess Center.

Upcoming Events

Play at our new office in Silver Spring. Evening games start at 7:00 pm at 8560 Second Avenue, across the street from the Cameron Street Municipal Parking lot and two blocks from the Silver Spring Metro Station.

New: Saturday drop-in play from 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm; Tuesday and Friday daytime drop-in play from 11:00 am - 1:30 pm.

Monday Ladder: Play a rated game each Monday evening at G/90 +10 (each player has 90 minutes at the start of the game and adds 10 seconds with each move.) Players must be members of the US Chess Federation. Free for Center members, $5 for the public.

Silver Spring Tuesday Action: Play three rated games each Tuesday evening at G/25; d5 (each player has 25 minutes for the game, and has 5 free seconds before the clock starts counting down the time.) Players must be members of the US Chess Federation. $5 for Center members, $10 for the public. On the first Tuesday of each month, play is restricted to adults (21+) only.

Thursday Blitz: Play blitz every Thursday! Five-minute games with no delay or increment.

  • First Thursdays of the month: $20 entry fee with 80% returned in prizes
  • Other Thursdays: Center Members $5, Public $10
  • Third Thursdays: Adults (21+) only

    Membership dues for the US Chess Center are $60 annually and may be purchased at any time.

    Check DC Scholastic Chess page for upcoming youth events in DC.

    Chess Kids

    Chess Kids starts in 2019 on September 28, and runs every Saturday morning from 10:00 am-11:30 am through the end of April at the Elizabeth House:

    1400 Fenwick Lane
    Silver Spring, Maryland
    Three blocks from Silver Spring Metro (red line)
    Free parking at the Cameron Street Municipal Lot

    Chess Kids is a structured program to learn and play chess for children in kindergarten through 6th grade. All children from absolute beginners to advanced players are welcome! Click here for the schedule.

    The Center invites children K-6 to the Center for fun-filled mornings of chess. Our program divides the children by age and ability to keep the children engaged and so that none are intimidated. Our teacher to student ratio is typically about 1:10. Those who know the rules play games and receive lessons about the strategy of chess. Those who are learning the rules receive even more attention. Unlike our school-based programs, children have the opportunity to play with others from all the schools in the region, not just their own, gaining a wider pool of competitors and friends.

    Students register for 4-week sessions. The fees for each four-week session are $30 for members of the U.S. Chess Center, $50 for non-members. Center membership dues are $60 per year. Scholarships are available for all who need them.

    Players may register on the first Saturday of each four-week session.

    Sunday Chess

    Lots of fun for all levels of players in grades 7 - 12! Every Sunday from 1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. at:

    1340 Old Chain Bridge Road
    McLean, Virginia

    8560 Second Avenue
    Suite 118
    Silver Spring, Maryland

    Register for Sunday Chess

    Players may register any time.

    Classes for 2019 - 2020 have started. The McLean group is led by David Mehler, one of the first certified Professional Chess Coaches in the United States, with visits from his master and Grandmaster friends. Both Sunday Chess programs welcomes all levels of players for afternoons of practice, lessons, and competition.

    Our teachers provide instruction to beginners and help improve the strategy of local experts. Sometimes we play with students from other places! We have had Internet matches with students from China, Czech Republic, Iceland, Montenegro and Norway and have hosted teams visiting Washington from a variety of states. Groups of our students have played in the World Amateur Team Championship (winning prizes for each of the past three years, and we took several young people on a great chess trip to Cuba.

    Lessons will be challenging for all players. Students receive instruction in the large group, small groups and individually.

    Adult Lessons

    Wednesday evenings from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm at our Silver Spring office.

    Next class starts Wednesday, October 23.

    Our experienced chess teachers help adults in the beginner ranges advance to play a confident game of chess.

    We accept up to eight students per class. Adults who do not know the rules of the game, as well as adults who know the basics but want to improve their understanding of the strategy of the game, are welcome to join the classes.

    Four week sessions are $110. Sign up with a partner and receive half off the second registration fee. All students must pre-register to ensure enrollment.

    Register for adult lessons.

    Chess Day Camps

    The U.S. Chess Center has been running summer day camps for children since 1992. Organized by David Mehler, the camps provide high-level chess instruction in a fun environment. Our instructors are adults and nationally certified chess coaches.

    In addition to teaching chess, we engage in a variety of recreational activities in each camp. We supply snacks each day and organize games like Capture the Flag. Some full-day camps have the availability of an after-care problem-solving enrichment program until 5:00 p.m. for an additional fee. Partial scholarships usually are available for those who need them. Summer campers receive a T-shirt.

    We take about 30 students in each camp, sometimes more in the full-day camps, always on a first-come basis. Many camps fill, so we recommend registering on-line or by mail as soon as the camp locations have been confirmed.

    Camps are tentative until on-line registration is available. When camps fill we will note that on this page. Camps in red are full. Camps in McLean and Vienna usually fill first.

    For more information, please contact us.

    The 2019 spring break camp will be held at Churchill Road Elementary School in McLean Monday - Thursday, April 15 - 18.

    The spring break camp is open to students in grades 2 - 8 who are comfortable with all of the rules of chess. This is not a camp for those who need to learn the rules.

    Camp runs from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. with aftercare available until 5:00 p.m.

    Students are divided by chess ability for lessons, and generally by age for other camp activities.

    Camp fees: $210 per week for the camp, an extra $50 for aftercare.


    On-line registration

    Summer 2019 Schedule

    Tuesday evenings, June 25 - August 13

    6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in downtown McLean, Virginia. For inexperienced chess players who know the rules of the game. A fun club. Registration is limited to 16 kids rising into grades 3 - 7.  


    This club has filled.

    Thursday evenings, June 27 - August 15

    6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in downtown McLean, Virginia. For players with experience playing in tournaments outside of school. Registration is limited to 16 kids rising into grades 3 - 7.  


    On-line registration

    June Chess Camps

    June 17 - 21

    9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Orange Hunt Elementary School in Springfield, Virginia, for players rising into grades 2 - 7. $200 per week. Aftercare available until 5:00 p.m. for an additional $60.  

    On-line registration

    June 24 - 28

    Half-day camps at Willow Springs Elementary
    9:00 a.m. - noon for beginners and near-beginners rising into grades 2 - 6. $110 per week.
    On-line registration

    1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. for intermediate and advanced students rising into grades 3 - 8. $110 per week.
    On-line registration

    July Chess Camps

    July 1 - 5

    9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at United Therapeutics Education Center, 1040 Spring St., Silver Spring, Maryland, for all levels of students rising into grades 2 - 8. $200 per week.

    On-line registration

    July 8 - 12

    9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Churchill Road Elementary School in McLean, Virginia, for beginner and intermediate students entering grades 2 - 7. $200 per week. Aftercare available until 5:00 p.m. for an additional $60.

    On-line registration

    July 15 - 19

    Location to be determined, probably in Alexandria, Virginia.

    July 22 - 26

    9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Colvin Run Elementary School in Vienna, Virginia, for players rising into grades 2 - 7. $200 per week.  

    On-line registration

    July 29 - August 2

    9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Colvin Run Elementary School in Vienna, Virginia, for players comfortable with tournament rules rising into grades 3 - 9. $200 per week. Aftercare available until 5:00 p.m. for an additional $60.  

    On-line registration

    August Chess Camps

    August 5 - 9

    9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Churchill Road Elementary School in McLean, Virginia, for intermediate-to-advanced students entering grades 2 - 9. $200 per week. Aftercare available until 5:00 p.m. for an additional $60. (Rising second and third graders must have prior permission before registering for this camp.)

    On-line registration

    August 12 - 16

    9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Alpha STEM, 14088 Sullyfield Circle, Suite P, Chantilly, Virginia. for intermediate students entering grades 2 - 8. $210 per week.  


    On-line registration

    Cancellation policy:
    Camp registration fees are refundable until one week before the start of camp with a $10 administrative fee. Between one week and the start of camp, 50% of camp fees will be refunded. After the start of the camp there will be no refund.

    2019 Summer Champions

    Grayson Adams
    Orange Hunt
    Elsie Park
    Willow Springs Morning
    Shirel Harrus
    Willow Springs Afternoon
    Teo Patterson-Castelli
    Silver Spring
    Mateo Rosser-Castro
    Churchill Road
    Ben Doan
    Colvin Run
    James Wright
    Colvin Run
    Justin Yuan
    Churchill Road
    Oliver Yu


    Where We Are

    Teaching Kids To Think. Having Them Learn A Skill For Life.

    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 been responsible for special events at the Smithsonian Institution, the Charles Sumner Museum, THEARC in Anacostia, on the grounds of The Washington Monument, and in several Boys and Girls Clubs and YMCAs in Washington Our student programs 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.

    We teach more than 1,000 kids each week during the school year in our classes and expose thousands of others to chess through our tournaments and chess curriculum. We have created chess programs in hundreds of locations. Those in Washington, D.C., are listed through this link. 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 and many others have received scholarships that allowed them to attend college.

    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.