A chess set

Lesson Plans

These lesson plans are being used in successful chess clubs throughout the country.

Our lesson plans are designed assuming that neither the teacher nor the students have substantial experience with chess. The lessons are updated occasionally and may be downloaded for free as PDF files.

Chess helps students improve their mental abilities, such as:

Chess teaches students that there are consequences for their actions and that making good decisions based on planning and reasoning has happier outcomes than being impulsive and making poor decisions.

You do not need to be a great chess player to teach chess. You need to be able to follow a lesson plan and you need to find time consistently to allow the students to learn.

Chess is not an academic subject, yet chess players become better students. Chess is an amazing tool in the hands of educators as it produces students more ready to pay attention and learn.

Some of our best chess teachers did not know even the rules of the game when they began teaching chess. They had open minds and the desire to learn along with their students. They now are convinced that chess is an extremely valuable tool to use in the classroom.

They followed our lesson plan; now they have great classes with happier, more productive students.


Rules of Etiquette


Did You Know?

Chess Benefits All

Chess Increases Test Scores

Chess Improves Social Skills

Chess Has A Fascinating History

Chess is a Bridge to Future Technological Innovation

It is the U.S. Chess Center’s mission is to bring these benefits to children, especially disadvantaged youth, in the Washington D.C. metro area. Since its founding in 1991, the U.S. Chess Center has taught more than 35,000 children the rules and etiquette of chess.

World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov planted the seed for the U.S. Chess Center when he came to Washington, D.C., to promote using chess to battle drug use by children. After two pilot programs for kids in public housing, community leaders decided to establish a permanent chess program.

Although many of the Chess Center's students have won state and national championships, our greatest successes involve students who used the skills they learned from chess to succeed in school and break the cycle of poverty in which they grew up.


Helpful Links


Tournament Primer for Parents

Our downloadable guide for parents