Metro Area Chess League 2022-23 Round 4 Results

The competition is tightening up halfway through the regular season in the Metro Area Chess League.  In a meeting between two of the frontrunners this past Tuesday, the team from Richard Montgomery edged a close contest with Churchill to move into sole first place as the only school to have won all four of their matches so far after the other co-leader, Montgomery Blair, drew their match with Langley.  We are still waiting for a handful of matches to be completed, and the overall standings will be updated once those results come in.

Round 4 Results

Richard Montgomery High School 2.5-1.5 Winston Churchill High School

Langley High School 2-2 Montgomery Blair High School

McLean High School 1-3 Arlington Career Center

West Springfield High School 4-0 DeMatha Catholic High School

BASIS DC 2-2 Sidwell Friends School

Rockville High School 2-2 Rochambeau French Intl. School

St. Anselm’s Abbey School 3-1 Eastern High School

 E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 0-4 St. John’s College High School

Washington Intl. School 4-0 McKinley Technology High School

Georgetown Preparatory School 0-4 Col. Zadok Magruder High School

Falls Church High School 0-4 Centreville High School

Seneca Valley High School 0-3 Don Bosco Cristo Rey

St. Albans School 0-4 Gonzaga College High School

Bishop McNamara High School 0-4 W.T. Woodson High School

Sandy Spring Friends School 4-0 IDEA Public Charter School



Standings After Round 4

PlaceSchoolTotal Match PointsTotal Board Points
1stRichard Montgomery High School 413
2ndMontgomery Blair High School3.513
3rdGonzaga College High School 312
4thLangley High School311.5
5th (Tie)Seneca Valley High School 311
5th (Tie)Winston Churchill High School311
5th (Tie)Col. Zadok Magruder High School311
5th (Tie)Falls Church High School 311
9th Arlington Career Center310
10th (Tie)Rockville High School2.510
10th (Tie)West Springfield High School 2.510
12th W.T. Woodson High School2.59
13th (Tie)McLean High School29
13th (Tie)Washington International School29
15thRochambeau, the French International School “28.5
16thSt. Anselm’s Abbey School28
17thCentreville High School27.5
18thSidwell Friends School1.58
19thSt. John’s College High School1.57.5
20thBASIS DC1.56.5
21stDon Bosco Cristo Rey1.56
22ndSt. Albans School1.55.5
23rd (Tie)DeMatha Catholic High School15
23rd (Tie)Georgetown Preparatory School15
23rd (Tie)Sandy Spring Friends School15
23rd (Tie)Eastern High School15
27thBishop McNamara High School14
28th E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 0.53
29thMcKinley Technology High School01
30thIDEA Public Charter School00

Round 5 Pairings

Montgomery Blair High School – Richard Montgomery High School

Arlington Career Center – Seneca Valley High School

Winston Churchill High School – Langley High School

Gonzaga College High School – Falls Church High School

Col. Zadok Magruder High School – West Springfield High School

W.T. Woodson High School – Rochambeau French Intl. School

St. John’s College High School – McLean High School

DeMatha Catholic High School – St. Anselm’s Abbey School

Sidwell Friends School – Rockville High School

Don Bosco Cristo Rey – Washington Intl. School

Centreville High School – St. Albans School

BASIS DC – Georgetown Preparatory School

Eastern High School – Bishop McNamara High School

E.L. Haynes Public Charter School – Sandy Spring Friends School

IDEA Public Charter School – McKinley Technology High School

Elementary Team League 2022-23 Matchday 4 Results 

Round 4 of the Elementary Team League was played earlier today.  Spring Hill Elementary moved into first place with a 30-point day, scoring six wins and two draws from their eight games, one of many shakeups in the standings as the season hit the halfway mark.

Round 7 Results

Westbriar 1-3 Spring Hill

Kent Gardens 1-3 Colvin Run

Churchill Road 4-0 Greenbriar West

Orange Hunt 0.5-3.5 White Oaks

Ravensworth 0-4 Lorton Station

Willow Springs 3-1 Poplar Tree

Round 8 Results

Colvin Run 3-1 Willow Springs

Greenbriar West 1-3 Kent Gardens

Spring Hill 4-0 Ravensworth

White Oaks 0.5-3.5 Westbriar

Poplar Tree 3.5-0.5 Orange Hunt

Lorton Station 3-1 Churchill Road


Team Standings After Matchday 4

Spring Hill 97

Churchill Road 95

Colvin Run 90

Kent Gardens 83

Willow Springs 82

White Oaks 78

Westbriar 75

Poplar Tree 73

Greenbriar West 72

Lorton Station 71

Orange Hunt 50

Ravensworth 35

The season continues on February 4, followed by three more matchdays in February and March.  Participation in the League is free of charge and open to anyone in an after-school chess club of ours.  

Metro Area Chess League 2022-23 Round 3 Results

The Metro Area Chess League reconvened on lichess yesterday night for its third match of the season, and its first of the calendar year.  This round was the most exciting of the season so far, with competitive games all throughout the field (a few of which we’ll post shortly).

With all the results in, Montgomery Blair, Richard Mongomery and Churchill are the only three schools to have won all of their matches thus far, with Blair ahead on the board points tiebreaker.  Round 4 will be two weeks from now, the evening of January 24.

Round 3 Results

Montgomery Blair High School 3-1 Gonzaga College High School

Rochambeau French Intl. School 1.5-2.5 Richard Montgomery High School

Winston Churchill High School 2.5-1.5 McLean High School

 St. Albans School 0.5-3.5 Langley High School

Arlington Career Center 3-1 West Springfield High School

Centreville High School 4-0 Bishop McNamara High School

Seneca Valley High School 3-1 Sidwell Friends School

Don Bosco Cristo Rey 3-1 BASIS DC

St. Anselm’s Abbey School 2-2 Rockville High School

DeMatha Catholic High School 2-2 E.L. Haynes Public Charter School

Col. Zadok Magruder High School 2-2 Washington Int. School

McKinley Technology High School 0-4 (forfeit) Georgetown Preparatory School

W.T. Woodson High School 2.5-1.5 St. John’s College High School

Sandy Spring Friends School 0-3 (forfeit) Eastern High School

IDEA Public Charter School 0-4 (forfeit) Falls Church High School

Standings After Round 3

PlaceSchoolTotal Match PointsTotal Board Points
1st Montgomery Blair High School311
2ndRichard Montgomery High School 310.5
3rdWinston Churchill High School39.5
4thLangley High School2.59.5
5th (Tie)Gonzaga College High School 28
5th (Tie)McLean High School 28
5th (Tie)Seneca Valley High School 28
5th (Tie)Rockville High School 28
9th Centreville High School27.5
10th (Tie)Col. Zadok Magruder High School27
10th (Tie)Arlington Career Center27
10th (Tie)Falls Church High School27
13thRochambeau, the French International School 1.56.5
14th (Tie)West Springfield High School 1.56
14th (Tie)W.T. Woodson High School1.56
14th (Tie)Don Bosco Cristo Rey 1.56
17thSt. Albans School1.55.5
18thDeMatha Catholic High School 1.55
19thSidwell Friends School16
20th (Tie)St. Anselm’s Abbey School15
20th (Tie)Georgetown Preparatory School 15
20th (Tie)Washington International School15
23rdBASIS DC14.5
24th (Tie)Bishop McNamara High School14
24th (Tie)Eastern High School14
26thSt. John’s College High School0.53.5
27thE.L. Haynes Public Charter School 0.53
28th (Tie)McKinley Technology High School01
28th (Tie)Sandy Spring Friends School01
30thIDEA Public Charter School00

Round 4 Pairings

Richard Montgomery High School – Winston Churchill High School

Langley High School – Montgomery Blair High School

McLean High School – Arlington Career Center

Falls Church High School – Centreville High School

Seneca Valley High School – Don Bosco Cristo Rey

St. Albans School – Gonzaga College High School

West Springfield High School – DeMatha Catholic High School

BASIS DC – Sidwell Friends School

Rockville High School – Rochambeau French Intl. School

St. Anselm’s Abbey School – Eastern High School

 E.L. Haynes Public Charter School – St. John’s College High School

Washington Intl. School – McKinley Technology High School

Georgetown Preparatory School – Col. Zadok Magruder High School

 Bishop McNamara High School – W.T. Woodson High School

Sandy Spring Friends School – IDEA Public Charter School

Elementary Team League 2022-23 Matchday 3 Results

Back from the winter break, the Elementary Team League returned to St. Luke’s Methodist Church for the third matchday of the 2022-23 season.  Among the more than 40 elementary-schoolers who turned up to play, we were happy to see many students who’d never taken part in competitions outside of their school clubs.   Representing their schools in the League is an excellent foundation for these students to build on for other tournaments in the future.

Round 5 Results

Willow Springs 3-1 Westbriar

Greenbriar West 1.5-2.5 Colvin Run

Churchill Road 3.5-0.5 Spring Hill

Lorton Station 2-2 White Oaks

Ravensworth 1-3 Orange Hunt

Poplar Tree 1-3 Kent Gardens

Round 6 Results

Kent Gardens 3-1 Willow Springs

Westbriar 2-2 Ravensworth

Spring Hill 2-2 Lorton Station 

Orange Hunt 1-3 Greenbriar West

White Oaks 2-2 Poplar Tree

Colvin Run 2-2 Churchill Road


Team Standings After Matchday 3

Churchill Road 73

Spring Hill 67

Greenbriar West 64

Kent Gardens 63

Westbriar 63

Willow Springs 62

Colvin Run 62

Poplar Tree 52

White Oaks 50

Lorton Station 41

Orange Hunt 40

Ravensworth 31

U.S. Chess Center Students and Alumni at the Eastern Open

The 47th Annual Eastern Open wrapped up Thursday evening with a record-breaking turn-out. More than 400 players came to this year’s iteration, held at the Hyatt Regency in Arlington, VA.  The competition included a number of innovative additions (Mixed Doubles and Senior prizes, in addition to a rated blitz tournament) to the traditional 8-round main event.

Among the competitors were dozens of students of the U.S. Chess Center, including players from the Theophilus Thompson Club, and Kent Gardens, Spring Hill, Colvin Run, and Churchill Road Elementary Schools.

It was also wonderful seeing graduates of our classes and camps, including students returning from college and post-college adults. We saw players as young as six years old and another (a grandpa of one of our summer campers) at age 82.

Photos from the Tournament at Burroughs Elementary

This week, the second and third grade students at Burroughs Educational Campus in Northeast DC had what has become an annual Pawn Game tournament.

The students played well, had a wonderful time, and demonstrated the spirit that will serve them well when they start to play full chess in 2023. We hope to have both classes playing chess at a level that we can take some of the students to the National Elementary School Championships in Baltimore in May.

Five students (three from second grade and two from third grade) won all of their games. Most important, they used excellent sportsmanship and worked hard throughout the hour we had the tournament.

A Productive First Year for Chess at Thomas Elementary

This school year we added a new program at Neval Thomas Elementary School in Ward 7 in Washington, D.C.  Thanks in part to the support of the D.C. Housing Finance Agency, we are able to provide this program at no cost to the school or students.

By teaching chess as an elective subject during the school day, we are able to reach those students who are unlikely to sign up for extracurricular activities.  Over 30 fourth-graders are participating in the program thus far this year.  Our goal is not simply to teach the rules, of chess, but to sharpen the students’ problem-solving skills that they can then apply to their other subjects.

One of our instructors, Robert Teachey, helps students develop their understanding of the basic strategy through the Pawn Game.  

In the U.S. Chess Center’s three decades of operation, we’ve successfully provided chess equipment and instruction to thousands of students in Title 1 schools thanks to the help of our contributors.  If you’re looking for a cause to support this year, consider making a charitable donation to our mission.  

Record Turnout at K-12 Championships at National Harbor

2,463 students turned up to this past weekend’s National K-12 Grade Championships, held at National Harbor, MD for the first time ever.  The field size shattered the previous record of approximately 1,700 students from five years ago.  Students showed up from all over the country to compete for the national championships in their respective grade levels.

We had hoped for strong local representation, and were not disappointed as large contingents of students turned up from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia.  Spring Hill Elementary (pictured below) took home the 5th place trophy in the 6th grade section, as well as the 8th place trophy in the 3rd grade section.  Students at our clubs at Spring Hill, White Oaks and the Theophilus Thompson Club also won individual medals.

Win or lose, it’s always an incredible experience for kids to play an event with thousands of other young people who possess the same love for chess.

A full list of results is available on the website of the U.S. Chess Federation, here.

Metro Area Chess League 2022-23 Round 2 Results 

The Metro Area Chess League reconvened on lichess last Tuesday night, December 5.  Last year’s top two finishers Montgomery Blair (Silver Spring, MD) and Richard Montgomery (Rockville, MD) have picked up right where they left off, recording 4-0 sweeps in both of their first two matches to lead the field early on.  Gonzaga College High School of northwest Washington, Winston Churchill High School of Potomac, MD and McLean High School of McLean, VA have also won both of their first two matches.   

Round 2 Results

Arlington Career Center 0-4 Montgomery Blair High School

Richard Montgomery High School 4-0 Georgetown Preparatory School

Gonzaga College High School 3-1 Washington Int. School

Rochambeau French Intl. School 2-2 Col. Zadok Magruder High School

Winston Churchill High School 3-1 Centreville High School

McLean High School 2.5 – 1.5 W.T. Woodson High School

Eastern High School School 1-3 St. Albans School

Bishop McNamara High School 1-3 DeMatha Catholic High School

West Springfield High School 3-1 Seneca Valley High School

Falls Church High School 3-1 Don Bosco Cristo Rey

Rockville High School 4-0 IDEA Public Charter School (forfeit)

St. John’s College High School 2-2 St. Anselm’s Abbey School

BASIS DC 3-1 E.L. Haynes Public Charter School

Sidwell Friends School 4-0 McKinley Technology High School

Standings After Round 2

PlaceSchoolTotal Match PointsTotal Board Points
1st (Tie)Montgomery Blair High School28
1st (Tie)Richard Montgomery High School 28
3rd (Tie)Gonzaga College High School 27
3rd (Tie)Winston Churchill High School27
5thMcLean High School 26.5
6th (Tie)Langley High School1.56
6th (Tie)Rockville High School 1.56
8th (Tie)Col. Zadok Magruder High School1.55
8th (Tie)Rochambeau, the French International School 1.55
8th (Tie)St. Albans School1.55
8th (Tie)West Springfield High School 1.55
12th (Tie)Seneca Valley High School 15
12th (Tie)Sidwell Friends School15
14th (Tie)Arlington Career Center14
14th (Tie)Bishop McNamara High School14
16th (Tie)BASIS DC13.5
16th (Tie)Centreville High School13.5
18th (Tie)DeMatha Catholic High School 13
18th (Tie)Falls Church High School13
20th (Tie)W.T. Woodson High School0.53.5
21st (Tie)Don Bosco Cristo Rey 0.53
21st (Tie)Washington International School0.53
21st (Tie)St. Anselm’s Abbey School0.53
24th (Tie)St. John’s College High School0.52
25th (Tie)Eastern High School01
25th (Tie)E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 01
25th (Tie)Georgetown Preparatory School 01
25th (Tie)McKinley Technology High School01
25th (Tie)Sandy Spring Friends School01
30thIDEA Public Charter School00

Round 3 Pairings

Montgomery Blair High School – Gonzaga College High School

Rochambeau French Intl. School – Richard Montgomery High School

Winston Churchill High School – McLean High School

 St. Albans School – Langley High School

Arlington Career Center – West Springfield High School

Centreville High School – Bishop McNamara High School

Seneca Valley High School – Sidwell Friends School

Don Bosco Cristo Rey – BASIS DC

St. Anselm’s Abbey School – Rockville High Schoo

DeMatha Catholic High School – E.L. Haynes Public Charter School

Col. Zadok Magruder High School – Washington Int. School

McKinley Technology High School – Georgetown Preparatory School

W.T. Woodson High School – St. John’s College High School

Sandy Spring Friends School – Eastern High School

IDEA Public Charter School – Falls Church High School



Elementary Team League 2022-23 Matchday 2 Results

Spring Hill Elementary played host to the second matchday of the Elementary Team League yesterday, December 3.  Over 40 students turned up to represent their schools.

Round 3 Results

Westbriar 3-1 Poplar Tree

White Oaks 0-4 Churchill Road

Kent Gardens 1-3 Spring Hill

Colvin Run 2-2 Willow Springs

Ravensworth 0-4 Greenbriar West

Orange Hunt 3-1 Lorton Station

Round 4 Results

Spring Hill 3-1 Orange Hunt

Poplar Tree 2-2 Colvin Run

Greenbriar West 3.5 – 0.5 White Oaks

Lorton Station 1.5-2.5 Westbriar

Churchill Road 4-0 Kent Gardens

Willow Springs 3-0 Ravensworth

Team Standings After Matchday 2

Churchill Road 58

Spring Hill 52

Westbriar 47

Greenbriar West 43

Willow Springs 42

Colvin Run 39

Poplar Tree 36

Kent Gardens 35

White Oaks 32

Lorton Station 21

Orange Hunt 20

Ravensworth 17

The League breaks for the holiday season and resumes on January 7, 2023.  Participation is free and open to all students enrolled in one of our after-school chess clubs.  Please reach out to your chess club instructor if you would like your child to participate in the League this season.

2022-23 Elementary Team League Season Kicks Off

Representatives from 11 school teams came together the Saturday before Thanksgiving for the first round of the new season of the Elementary Team League.  As with last year’s competition, St. Luke’s Methodist Church was the venue.

For many of these students, it was their first time representing their school in a competitive chess event.  With several major competitions on the horizon, such as the national K-12 grade level championship in a couple of weeks, our number one goal is to help the kids build experience and confidence they need to compete.

Round 1 Results

Westbriar 3-1 Greenbriar West

Poplar Tree 2-2 Churchill Road

Willow Springs 1-3 Spring Hill

Colvin Run 3.5-0.5 Ravensworth

Kent Gardens 2.5-1.5 Mixed Team

White Oaks 3.5-0.5 Mixed Team

Lorton Station 0-4 Mixed Team

Round 2 Results

White Oaks 3-1 Colvin Run

Greenbriar West 1-3 Willow Springs

Lorton Station 0-4 Kent Gardens

Churchill Road 4-0 Mixed Team

Westbriar 1-3 Mixed Team

Ravensworth 1-3 Mixed Team


Team Standings After Matchday 1

Kent Gardens: 27

White Oaks: 27

Churchill Road: 26

Spring Hill: 24

Poplar Tree: 20

Westbriar: 20

Willow Springs: 20

Colvin Run: 19

Greenbriar West: 12

Ravensworth: 11

Lorton Station: 8

Orange Hunt: 0

Our scoring system for the league is constructed to encourage participation.  Students who play a game earn 1 point for their school team, with an additional 2 points awarded for a win and 1 point for a draw.  Winning a match is worth 4 bonus points for the school, while drawing a match is worth 2 bonus points, so teams can earn a maximum of 16 points per match.  


New Metro Area Chess League Season Begins

Tuesday evening, November 15, was the start of the 2022-2023 season of the Metro Area Chess League.  Following the success of last year’s competition, the MACL has retained the same general format with the games taking place online on on Tuesday evenings.

30 schools have signed up to play in the MACL this year, the largest participation rate in more than 30 years.  Last year’s top two finishers Montgomery Blair High School (Silver Spring, MD) and Richard Montgomery High School (Rockville, MD) won their Round 1 matches with 4-0 sweeps, as did fourth place finisher Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.).  Also sweeping their matches were league newcomers Arlington Career Center (Arlington, VA), McLean High School (McLean, VA) and Seneca Valley High School (Germantown, MD), and the six schools share the early lead.  Round 2 will be on December 6.

Round 1 Results

Montgomery Blair High School 4-0 Falls Church High School

E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 0-4 Richard Montgomery High School

DeMatha Catholic High School 0-4 Gonzaga College High School

Col. Zadok Magruder High School 3-1 Sidwell Friends School

St. Anselm’s Abbey School 1-3 Winston Churchill High School

Arlington Career Center 4-0 St. John’s College High School

Sandy Spring Friends School 1-3 Rochambeau French Intl. School

St. Albans School 2-2 West Springfield High School

McKinley Technology High School 2-2 Bishop McNamara High School

Seneca Valley High School 4-0 Eastern High School

Centreville High School 3-5-0.5 BASIS DC

IDEA Public Charter School 0-4 McLean High School (forfeit)

Don Bosco Cristo Rey 2-2 Rockville High School

Washington Intl. School 2-1 Georgetown Preparatory School

Standings After Round 1

PlaceSchoolTotal Match PointsTotal Board Points
1st (Tie)Arlington Career Center14
1st (Tie)Gonzaga College High School 14
1st (Tie)McLean High School 14
1st (Tie)Montgomery Blair High School14
1st (Tie)Richard Montgomery High School 14
1st (Tie)Seneca Valley High School 14
7thCentreville High School13.5
8th (Tie)Winston Churchill High School13
8th (Tie)Rochambeau, the French International School 13
8th (Tie)Col. Zadok Magruder High School13
8th (Tie)Bishop McNamara High School13
12th (Tie)Don Bosco Cristo Rey 0.52
12th (Tie)Langley High School0.52
12th (Tie)Rockville High School 0.52
12th (Tie)St. Albans School0.52
12th (Tie)Washington International School0.52
12th (Tie)West Springfield High School 0.52
12th (Tie)W.T. Woodson High School0.52
20th (Tie)Georgetown Preparatory School 01
20th (Tie)McKinley Technology High School01
20th (Tie)St. Anselms School01
20th (Tie)Sandy Spring Friends School01
20th (Tie)Sidwell Friends School01
24thBASIS DC00.5
25th (Tie)DeMatha Catholic High School 00
25th (Tie)Eastern High School00
25th (Tie)E.L. Haynes Public Charter School 00
25th (Tie)Falls Church High School00
25th (Tie)IDEA Public Charter School00
25th (Tie)St. John’s College High School00

Round 2 Pairings

Georgetown Preparatory School – Montgomery Blair High School

Richard Montomery High School – Arlington Career Center

McLean High School – W.T. Woodson High School

Gonzaga College High School – Washington Intl. School

West Springfield High School – Seneca Valley High School

Rockville High School – IDEA Public Charter School

St. John’s College High School – St. Anselm’s Abbey School

Bishop McNamara High School – DeMatha Catholic High School 

Sidwell Friends School – McKinley Technology High School

Eastern High School – St. Albans School

Langley High School – Sandy Spring Friends School

Rochambeau French Intl. School – Col. Zadok Magruder High School

Winston Churchill High School – Centreville High School

BASIS DC – E.L. Haynes Public Charter School

Falls Church High School – Don Bosco Cristo Rey


Jennifer Yu Wins U.S. Women’s Chess Championship

The 2022 U.S. Chess Championships have concluded in St. Louis.  A day after Fabiano Caruana won the open section of the championship, U.S. Chess Center honorary co-chair Jennifer Yu won the women’s championship for the second time, following on from her win in 2019.   Congratulations to both the winners!

Jennifer Yu’s victory in particular is a testament to one of the most fundamental values we espouse at the U.S. Chess Center: the value of not giving up.  Going into the late stages of the tournament, Jennifer led her closest opponent, eight-time U.S. Women’s Champion Irina Krush, before losing their individual matchup in Round 12 to fall half a point behind her in the standings.  Undeterred by the loss of that game, Jennifer battled back to win in Round 13 whereas Irina could only draw.  This forged a tie for first place and ensured that the championship title would be settled the following day with tiebreak games at a faster time control.

Jennifer Yu, U.S. Women's Chess Champion, pictured in September 2018 giving a simul at the U.S. Chess Center.
Krush-Yu 2022 Black to move 9....

Diagrammed here is a position during the opening of the decisive game of that tiebreak match, with both competitors knowing that the winner of this game would be the new champion.  Jennifer, as Black, made an uncharacteristically big error with 9…Bg4, hanging the bishop, which Irina quickly took on the next move with 10. Qxg4.  In tournament games, it’s sadly common for players to resign after making a mistake like this. Facing the prospect of playing on down a piece against a player as strong as Irina Krush, perhaps to some players it would seem less unpleasant to just give up.  But Jennifer chose to play on and keep trying her hardest, and what happened later on is a testament to the merits of doing exactly that.

Krush-Yu 2022 Black to move 22...

The players eventually reached the position in the second diagram on the left.  Irina, still ahead by a piece, had just taken Black’s knight, 22. Nxd6.  But instead of recapturing right away, Jennifer combined an in-between move (zwischenzug) with a discovered attack: 22…Bxh2+ 23. Kxh2 Qxd6+ 24. Kh1 Rxe2 25. Rxe2.  After the tactics, Black ended up with a queen and pawn in exchange for White’s two bishops and rook – still a material advantage for White, but a position with the kings exposed like this tends to create tactical chances for the side with the queen, and Irina felt compelled to use a lot of time on the clock. 

White’s time ultimately ran out after the 47th move, giving Jennifer the win in the game and the championship.  The lesson to our students, as always – don’t quit, because until the two players shake hands to end the game, no outcome is guaranteed.

Chess Kids Returns on Saturday Mornings

We’re very happy to be back at the Elizabeth House in downtown Silver Spring for our Saturday morning Chess Kids class.  The first session started on September 24 and two dozen children in kindergarten through grade 6 are participating.  As always, the greatest priorities are encouraging the students to make new friends and improve their knowledge and skills together.

The Chess Kids program is stratified into six sessions of four weeks each. Registration for the second session, which starts on October 22, and the other subsequent sessions for the 2022-23 school year is still open.

Theophilus Thompson Chess Club Begins for the Year

The Theophilus Thompson Club, the U.S. Chess Center’s Sunday class for students in grades 7 – 12, just had its first meeting for the 2022-23 school year. The club is for students who know the rules of chess and want to improve their skills. We intend to prepare the students to compete successfully in the national chess championships that are coming to the DC area this year.

The club is named after noted African American chess champion Theophilus Thompson. As a teenager, Thompson saw his first chess game in April 1872, when he watched two players compete in his hometown of Frederick, Maryland.  Fascinated by the complexities of chess, he decided to learn the game.  This thirst for knowledge intrigued John Hanshew, the publisher of The Maryland Chess Review, who taught Thompson the fundamentals, lent him a chessboard and pieces, and gave him several chess problems to solve.  Within weeks, the 17-year-old Thompson was not only solving chess problems, he was also devising new ones and contributing his work to the Dubuque Chess Journal, a pioneer problem-solving magazine of the time.


In 1873, Thompson had a book published titled Chess Problems By Theophilus Thompson.  A review of the book in City of London Chess Magazine praised “the compositions in this book, and consider that they display real genius, both of a conceptive and constructive order. . . .  We consider Mr. Thompson a composer of great merit and of rare promise.”

Theophilus Thompson in 1873.

After competing in tournaments in Philadelphia and Chicago, Thompson returned to his native Frederick, where became a respected mathematician and schoolteacher.  We named our Sunday afternoon chess club for him in respect for his achievements and with the hope that local young people will follow his example and improve their academic skills as a result of mastering the game of chess.

Interested in joining us on Sundays?  Click here for more information and registration.

Some thoughts on the recent tragedy during the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis

If a chess player is caught cheating, every notable accomplishment that follows is viewed with suspicion. The recent controversy during Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis serves as a reminder to our students that nothing good comes from dishonesty. If Hans Niemann had never been caught cheating before, his win over Magnus Carlsen would have been seen as a magnificent performance, perhaps a once-in-a lifetime accomplishment. That he has admitted cheating repeatedly in his young life, however, has caused this result to be viewed more skeptically.

Many prominent figures in the chess world have weighed in on the likelihood or lack thereof that Niemann broke any rules during the game in question.  This much is certain: in the third round of the annual elite Sinquefield Cup round-robin event, Niemann, the lowest-rated player in the tournament, defeated Carlsen, the long-time World Champion and highest-rated player.  The day after the loss, Carlsen withdrew from the tournament, the first time in his career he has pulled out in the middle of an elite event.  Carlsen’s only public explanation for the withdrawal was an enigmatic Twitter post that was viewed by many as a possible allegation that Niemann had received some form of outside assistance in the game the day before.

At the present moment, any evidence of foul play during that game is subjective and inconclusive.  What has truly amplified the contention is Niemann’s self-confessed history of cheating in online games, some as recently as three years ago.

Our experience shows that most people enjoy playing with strong players but nobody likes playing without confidence that the game will be played fairly. If players don’t follow the same rules, the game is no fun. Trash-talking diminishes the competition, as distracting or annoying an opponent is not supposed to be part of chess. Trying to get away with a touch-move violation, taking a move back, moving an opponent’s piece, or using a computer during a game, all are things that might tempt a player, but players of character resist those thoughts.

There is no game, and there is no tournament, so important that it is worth damaging your reputation or honor. Once either is lost it can take a long and miserable time to get it back.

Chess Center Founder David Mehler Receives USCF’s Outstanding Career Achievement Award

Earlier this summer David Mehler, U.S. Chess Center Founder and President, was presented with the Outstanding Career Achievement Award from the national U.S. Chess Federation, in honor of his many decades spent teaching and promoting the game of chess in the greater Washington area and throughout the country.

Mr. David Mehler
Founder, U.S. Chess Center

• Arranged for the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame and Museum to move from upstate New York to a facility five blocks from The White House
• Organized student trip to meet chess players in Cuba
• Organized Internet chess matches with students from countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe
• Staged chess exhibitions in many places, including the National Mall, the Smithsonian, and the Charles Sumner Museum
• Taught tens of thousands of students and trained dozens of instructors

Chess Teacher, including teaching students who won:

• U.S. Junior Invitational
• Denker Tournament of National Champions
• U.S. Cadet Championship
• U.S. High School Championship
• U.S. Junior High School Championship
• U.S. Elementary School Blitz Championship

Organized and directed:

• U.S. Armed Forces Championships
• U.S. Cadet Championships
• U.S. Junior Invitational Championship
• International invitationals at which IM norms were earned

Maryland Chess Association: Vice President and President

D.C. Chess League: Executive Director, Scholastic Coordinator, and Newsletter Editor

Region III Vice President

Member, US Chess Bylaws Committee

Member, US Chess Scholastic Committee

Chair, US Chess Development Committee

Chess club president: University of Massachusetts/Amherst

Chess club president: University of Wisconsin at Madison

Sacramento Chess Club Director

Arlington (VA) Chess Club Director

The Lessons and Legacy from Bobby Fischer’s 1972 World Championship Win

Fifty years ago today, Boris Spassky resigned the 21st and final game of his match with Bobby Fischer, making Fischer the World Chess Champion.  Fischer’s rise to the top had long been a story that transcended the world of chess, and the Cold War undertones ensured that the 1972 championship match in Reykjavik would be the most followed chess competition in history.  His PBS coverage of the match made Shelby Lyman a household name in America, and the PBS coverage of the match had higher ratings than the commercial broadcasts competing against it.


The image of the self-taught Fischer, working alone against the Soviet Union’s combined force of world-class coaches and players who helped Spassky prepare, fueled the narrative of the triumph of individual brilliance over collectivism.  No player outside the USSR had even qualified for a championship match since the end of World War II, so his title win was an improbable underdog story as much as it was the tale of a generational talent realizing his potential. Although Fischer’s run to the World Championship included a string of twenty wins in a row against world-class players (even today the closest any player has come to that record is eight straight wins), Fischer had failed to win any of the five games he had previously played against Spassky so there were plenty of doubts about his ability to defeat him in a match.

Bobby Fischer in 1972. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


It also caused a surge of popularity for chess in the Western world, and in the United States in particular.  Sales of chess sets reportedly climbed more than 20 percent in the wake of the 1972 match, and tournament participation ticked up as more Americans were drawn to learn the game to better identify with Fischer’s genius. It was that year that David Mehler, the founder of the U.S. Chess Center, first taught chess to people who wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

Spassky took an early lead in the 1972 match, after an infamous blunder by Fischer in the first game and an even more infamous forfeit in the second game.  Fischer then won the third game, his first-ever win against Spassky, and after a draw in game 4 the two players reached the position on the left in game 5.  It was Fischer’s (Black’s) turn to move here.  What is the best move?

The answer is at the bottom of the page!


The events of 1972 secured Fischer an iconic legacy in the history of chess.  The events after 1972 ensured that that legacy would be a complicated one.  It is saddening to recount how Fischer tarnished his personal reputation with his abhorrent public statements. And the chess element of Fischer’s life story following his win in Iceland is also disheartening to retell, because the 50th anniversary of Fischer winning the title is also the 50th anniversary of his departure from competitive play.  After that 1972 match victory, Fischer became a recluse for 20 years.  He declined to compete in any tournaments, turning down what would have added up to millions of dollars in endorsements and appearance fees, and he refused terms for any future world championship matches and forfeited the title three years after winning it.  


For Fischer, giving up chess meant not only vanishing from the public’s eye, but also disappearing from the lives of nearly everyone he had met during his years as a chessplayer.  He resurfaced only briefly in 1992 for another, unofficial, match against Spassky, who at that point was no longer a contender for the world championship.  By playing that match in war-torn Yugoslavia in possible violation of international sanctions, Fischer became the subject of a U.S.-issued arrest warrant. Fischer never returned to the United States, nor did he ever play a public game of chess again after winning the second match against Spassky. He eventually received political asylum in Iceland, where he died in 2008.


As much as we may take inspiration from Bobby Fischer’s immense talent and try to follow the examples Fischer set with the strategies and tactics he used to win his games, we implore young people to not have the same approach to the game that Fischer had.  We want our students, whether or not they become top-class players, to be interested in playing chess and to sustain that interest for their entire lives, because that is more satisfying than becoming world champion and leaving the game before turning thirty. Don’t set out on a chessplaying journey with the sole goal of achieving a specific rating or attaining a specific title – even if it is the world championship title.  Instead, play to improve your skills, play to make new friends, and play for the fun of playing.

Solution to the above puzzle: Fischer won with 27…Bxa5.  If 28. Qxa4 Qxe4 quickly forces mate, due to the dual threats of Qxe1# and Qxg2#.  If White moves the queen to b1, c1 or d2, Fischer would have continued 28…Bxd1 29. Qxd1 Qxe4 30. Qd2 Nxg2 and he is three pawns ahead, so Spassky resigned.  After drawing level by winning game 5, Fischer then immediately won game 6 to take the lead of the match, a lead he would never relinquish.

Highlights From This Summer’s Nationals Prep

Over 20 students joined us on Wednesday evenings over the past two months to practice for the National Grade Level Championships coming to Baltimore in December.  We were impressed by how quickly the students improved during the eight weeks.  We are confident the effort they put into their practice games will serve them in good stead when they compete later this year.

Published below are a few of the game scores from the class.  The games we watched were nearly always full of hard deliberation and determination as the students battled for advantages no matter what kinds of positions they found themselves in.


Jerry – Zohran

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 e6 6.Bb5+ Nc6 7.O-O a6 8.Ba4 b5 9.Bc2 Be7 10.Bf4 O-O 11.Ne5 Bb7 12.f3 cxd4 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.cxd4 Rfd8 15.Be5 Nd7 16.Bb3 Nxe5 17.Bxd5 Rxd5 18.Nc3 Rd7 19.Re1 Bf6 20.Ne4 Bxe4 21.Rxe4 Nc6 22.Rc1 Nxd4 23.Rc3 Rad8 24.Qe1 Nxf3+ 25.Rxf3 Rd1 26.Qxd1 Rxd1+ 27.Kf2 Rd2+ 28.Re2 Rxe2+ 29.Kxe2 Bxb2 30.Rb3 Be5 31.Ra3 Kf8 32.Rxa6 b4 33.Ra4 Bd6 34.h3 Ke7 35.Kd3 f5 36.Ra7+ Kf6 37.Kc4 g5 38.Rxh7 Ke5 39.Rb7 Kf4 40.Rb6 Ke5 41.Rb7 Kf4 42.Rg7 Bf8 43.Rg8 Bd6 44.Rg6 Bf8 45.Rxe6 Kg3 46.Rf6 Be7 47.Rxf5 Kxg2 48.Rxg5+ Bxg5 49.Kxb4 Kxh3 50.a4 Be3 51.Kb5 Kg4 52.a5 Kf5 ½ – ½


Aaron – Ameya

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.Bxc6+ bxc6 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Bd7 7.O-O g6 8.Nc3 Bg7 9.Nf3 Nf6 10.Bg5 Rb8 11.Rb1 Qc7 12.Qd2 O-O 13.Rfd1 Rfd8 14.h3 Rb4 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.exd5 Re4 17.Re1 Rxe1+ 18.Rxe1 cxd5 19.Rxe7 Qc5 20.Qf4 Be8 21.Bh6 d4 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Nxd4 Kg8 24.Qf6 Rb8 25.Ne6 Qe5 26.Qxe5 dxe5 27.Ng5 h6 28.Nf3 f6 29.b3 a5 30.Nd2 Ra8 31.Nc4 a4 32.Nd6 Bc6 33.Re6 Kg7 34.Re7+ Kg8 35.Re6 Rf8 36.Kh2 Kh7 37.Re7+ Kg8 38.Re6 Kh7 39.Kg3 Kg8 40.Nf5 Be4 41.Nxh6+ Kg7 42.Ng4 Bxc2 43.Rb6 axb3 44.axb3 e4 45.Ne3 Bd3 46.b4 f5 47.Kf4 Kh6 48.g3 Kh5 49.Rb7 g5+ 50.Ke5 f4 51.g4+ Kg6 52.Rb6+ Kg7 53.Nf5+ Kg8 54.Rg6+ Kh7 55.Rxg5 e3 56.Rh5+ Kg8 57.fxe3 f3 58.Rg5+ Kh7 59.Rh5+ Kg8 60.Ne7+ Kf7 61.Nf5 f2 62.Rh7+ Ke8 63.Nd6+ Kd8 64.Nf7+ Kc8 65.Nd6+ Kb8 66.Rb7+ Ka8 0-1


Bryan – Zohran

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.Bc4 Bf5 5.d4 e6 6.Bd2 c6 7.Nf3 Nf6 8.Ne5 Nbd7 9.Ne4 Qc7 10.Nxf6+ Nxf6 11.g4 Be4 12.f3 Bd5 13.Qe2 O-O-O 14.O-O-O Bxc4 15.Qxc4 Bd6 16.Rhe1 Bxe5 17.dxe5 Nd5 18.f4 Rhe8 19.Qe4 h6 20.Be3 Nxe3 21.Qxe3 Rxd1+ 22.Rxd1 b6 23.Qd3 Rd8 24.Qxd8+ Qxd8 25.Rxd8+ Kxd8 26.Kd2 Ke7 27.Ke3 f5 28.h3 g5 29.a3 Kd7 30.b4 a6 31.fxg5 hxg5 32.Kf3 Ke7 33.Kg3 Kf7 34.h4 gxh4+ 35.Kxh4 f4 36.Kh3 Kg6 37.Kg2 Kg5 38.Kf3 a5 39.bxa5 bxa5 40.a4 c5 41.c4 Kg6 42.Kxf4 Kf7 43.Kg5 Kg7 44.Kh5 Kh7 45.g5 Kg7 46.g6 Kg8 47.Kh6 Kh8 48.Kh5 Kg7 49.Kg5 Kg8 50.Kf6 1-0


Zohran – Ameya

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Bg7 6.Be3 d6 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.Be2 O-O 9.O-O Bd7 10.f3 Rc8 11.Nd5 Ne5 12.Rc1 Nxd5 13.cxd5 Rxc1 14.Qxc1 Qa5 15.a3 Rc8 16.Qd1 Nc4 17.Bxc4 Rxc4 18.Qd3 Rxd4 19.Bxd4 Bb5 20.Qc3 Qxc3 21.Bxc3 Bxf1 22.Kxf1 Bxc3 23.bxc3 Kg7 24.Ke2 Kf6 25.Ke3 e6 26.c4 exd5 27.cxd5 Ke5 28.f4+ Kf6 29.Kd4 Ke7 30.e5 Kd7 31.g4 Ke7 32.f5 dxe5+ 33.Kxe5 f6+ 34.Kd4 gxf5 35.gxf5 Kd6 36.a4 Kd7 37.Kc5 Kc7 38.d6+ Kd7 39.Kd5 b6 40.Kc4 Kxd6 41.Kb5 Kc7 42.Ka6 Kb8 43.h4 h5 44.Kb5 Kb7 45.a5 bxa5 46.Kxa5 Kc6 47.Ka6 Kd5 48.Kxa7 Ke5 49.Kb6 Kxf5 50.Kc5 Kg4 51.Kd4 Kxh4 52.Ke3 Kg3 53.Ke2 Kg2 54.Ke3 h4 55.Ke4 h3 56.Kf5 h2 57.Kxf6 h1=Q 58.Kf5 Qh4 59.Kg6 Kf3 60.Kf5 Qe4+ 61.Kf6 Kf4 62.Kf7 Kg5 63.Kg7 Qf5 64.Kg8 Qd7 65.Kf8 Kf6 66.Kg8 Qg7#


Jerry – Ameya

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nc6 3.Nf3 d6 4.d4 cxd4 5.cxd4 Bg4 6.Nc3 Bxf3 7.Qxf3 Nxd4 8.Qd1 Nc6 9.Bb5 g6 10.O-O Bg7 11.f4 Qb6+ 12.Kh1 Bxc3 13.Bxc6+ Qxc6 14.bxc3 Qxc3 15.Rb1 Qc7 16.Bb2 e5 17.fxe5 dxe5 18.Rc1 Qe7 19.Qa4+ Qd7 20.Qxd7+ Kxd7 21.Rxf7+ Ke6 22.Rxb7 Rd8 23.Ba3 Kf6 24.Rxa7 Kg5 25.Ra5 Kf4 26.Rf1+ Ke3 27.Rxe5 Nh6 28.Be7 Nf7 29.Bxd8 Nxe5 30.Bb6+ Kxe4 31.Ra1 Ra8 32.h3 Nc4 33.Bf2 Kf5 34.a4 Nd2 35.a5 Nb3 36.Ra3 Nd2 37.a6 Ne4 38.Bd4 Ke6 39.a7 Kd5 40.Be3 Nc5 41.Bxc5 Kxc5 42.Kh2 Kb4 43.Ra6 Kb5 44.Ra1 and White went on to win.

Connor – Jin

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Nc3 b6 5.O-O Bb7 6.d3 Nf6 7.Be3 Qe7 8.d4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Nxe4 11.Bxc5 Qxc5 12.b3 Nxc3 13.Re1+ Kd8 14.Qd3 Qg5 15.g3 Qh6 16.h4 Qc6 17.f3 Qxf3 18.Qxf3 Bxf3 19.Re3 Bd5 20.Rxc3 Bxc4 21.Rxc4 b5 22.Rb4 a6 23.Rf1 f6 24.Rg4 Rg8 25.Rf5 Ke7 26.Re4+ Kf7 27.Rc5 c6 28.Rd4 Ke6 29.g4 Rae8 30.Rc3 g5 31.h5 Ke5 32.Rxd7 Kf4 33.Rd4+ Ke5 34.Rcd3 Re7 35.Rd6 Rc7 36.h6 Rg6 37.Rd7 Rxd7 38.Rxd7 Rxh6 39.Rc7 Kf4 40.Rxc6 Rg6 41.Rxa6 Kxg4 42.Rb6 h5 43.Rxb5 h4 44.Kh2 Kf3 45.c4 g4 46.Rh5 g3+ 47.Kg1 Rg4 48.c5 Rd4 49.Rf5+ Rf4 50.Rxf4+ Kxf4 51.c6 h3 52.c7 h2+ 53.Kh1 Kf3 54.c8=Q g2+ 55.Kxh2 Kf2 56.Qc2+ 1-0


Aaron – William L

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Bg5 Bg7 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.Nf3 Bg4 9.h3 Bd7 10.O-O O-O 11.Qd2 Rc8 12.Rad1 Re8 13.Rfe1 Nh5 14.Bh6 Nb4 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.a3 Nxd3 17.Qxd3 Nf4 18.Qe3 Ne6 19.Qxa7 Nc5 20.Nd5 e6 21.Nb6 Rc6 22.b4 Nxe4 23.Nxd7 Qxd7 24.Rxe4 f5 25.Qd4+ Kg8 26.Ree1 Rd8 27.Re2 Qg7 28.Red2 b5 29.Rc1 Rc4 30.Qd3 Qf6 31.Nd4 Rb8 32.Nxb5 d5 33.Nd4 Rd8 34.Nb3 e5 35.Qf3 e4 36.Qe3 Rc3 37.Qd4 Qc6 38.Kf1 Rxb3 39.Qa1 Rc3 40.a4 Ra8 41.a5 Qb5+ 42.Ke1 Qxb4 43.Rxd5 Rc5+ 44.Rd2 Rcxa5 45.Qf6 Rd5 46.Qe6+ Kg7 47.Qxd5 Qa3 48.Qd7+ Kh6 49.Rcd1 e3 50.fxe3 and White went on to win.


Bryan – Vanya

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.c3 d6 6.cxd4 Bb6 7.h3 Nf6 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.e5 dxe5 11.dxe5 Qe7 12.O-O O-O 13.Qe2 Re8 14.Re1 Be6 15.Bxe6 Qxe6 16.Nc3 Rad8 17.Rad1 Nd4 18.Qe4 Nxf3+ 19.Qxf3 c6 20.b3 Bc7 21.Rxd8 Rxd8 22.Qe3 Bb6 23.Qe4 Rd2 24.Rd1 Rxd1+ 25.Nxd1 Bc7 26.Qd4 Qd5 27.Qxd5 cxd5 28.f4 g5 29.g3 h5 30.fxg5 Bxe5 31.Kf2 Kg7 32.h4 f6 33.gxf6+ Bxf6 34.Kf3 Kg6 35.Kf4 b5 36.Nf2 a5 37.a4 b4 38.Nd3 Bg7 39.Kf3 Bh6 40.Ne5+ Kf5 41.Nc6 Bg7 42.Nxa5 Bd4 43.Nc6 Bc5 44.a5 d4 45.a6 d3 46.Nxb4 d2 47.Ke2 Ke4 48.Nc6 Kd5 49.a7 Kxc6 50.a8=Q+ Kb5 51.Kxd2 Bd6 52.Qd5+ Kb4 53.Qxd6+ Kxb3 54.Qc5 Kb2 55.Qc3+ Ka2 56.Qb4 Ka1 57.Kc2 Ka2 58.Qa4#



Chess Summer Camps Wrap Up in Oakton

The chess camp season ended with a terrific camp in conjunction with AlphaSTEM in Oakton. Many of the students were new to us and the geographic diversity was great, with kids coming from Washington, DC, two communities in Maryland, various parts of Fairfax County, and Loudoun County.

Everyone who came was engaged and enthusiastic about learning the strategy of chess and all left with the skills to be able to compete effectively in the national scholastic championships that will be in the National Capital region this year.

We appreciate the help we got this summer from various volunteers, especially Zach (who helped for two full weeks).
We’ll see most of our campers in after-school clubs this fall, and others in the Theophilus Thompson Club on Sundays.

Chess Camp Comes to Northwest DC

Our staff was excited to return to the headquarters of the DC Housing Finance Agency in the Cardozo-Shaw neighborhood of Washington for our latest week of camp.  We had a range of ability levels represented among the dozen students who showed up, and everyone, regardless of playing strength, worked hard and learned something new this week.

We now move to Oakton, Virginia for the final week of our summer camp season, at Alpha STEM for the Gifted, and there is still time to register to join us.

Scenes From the Second Week of Colvin Run Camp

August 1 to 5 was the second week we spent at Colvin Run, traditionally one of our strongest camps.  The students were subjected to some rigorous tactical and endgame exercises over the course of the five days and they rose to the challenge.  As usual, we were impressed with the level of skill on display, especially in the Friday tournament that concluded the week. 

Chess Summer Camp Season Continues at Colvin Run

Approximately 20 students joined us this past week at Colvin Run Elementary to improve their chess skills, play outside, and make new friends.
The first week of camp at Colvin Run is typically designed for children at the beginner to intermediate level.  Throughout the five days we rehearsed the opening principles, practiced finding tactics, and studied up on fundamental endgames.  The students learned a lot throughout the week and, come the Friday tournament, they put that knowledge to good use.
We’ll stay at Colvin Run next week with the camp for intermediate to advanced students.

Bishops & Beers Is Now Every Tuesday

Even with the inclement weather in Silver Spring, Bishops & Beers still brought out chess enthusiasts on Tuesday night.  Players turned up to Silver Branch Brewery for some good drinks, good food and good games of chess.

Moving forward, our meetings at the brewery will be a weekly occasion, beginning at 6 p.m. every Tuesday.  The next event will be the evening of June 19.  Whether you’re a seasoned tournament player or still learning the ropes, we hope you’ll come join us (as long as you’re over 21).  Our Meetup group has more information about Bishops & Beers and our other regular activities open to the public. 

Planning Ahead for the Nationals

Playing in big competitions is a rewarding experience for students no matter what the result.  Over the course of the next year, the greater Washington area will play host to three major national youth tournaments; this December the 2022 National K-12 Grade Championships will be held at National Harbor, followed in the spring by the National High School Championships in downtown Washington and the National Elementary (K-6) Championship at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The best way to prepare for a big tournament is to practice under the same conditions that the tournament games will follow, and this past Wednesday, over 20 of our students got together to do exactly that.  Based on the diligent efforts of theirs that we’ve observed so far, we are confident when the Nationals come to town that the local area will be represented well.

Photos From Our Friday Tournament at Churchill Road

We concluded our first week of summer camps with a tournament, during which the students had the opportunity to show off the skills they learned this week.

A champion is crowned.

We have no doubt that the students will put their knowledge to good use in other tournaments and in their school clubs when they resume in the fall.

This was our first in-person chess camp since 2019 and the students and teachers were very happy to get back into our summer routine.  There’s still time to sign up to join us at one of our later camps at the end of July or in August.

Chess Camp Returns at Churchill Road

The Chess Center is excited to be able to resume our in-person summer camps.   Our camp season began this past Monday at Churchill Road Elementary School in McLean.  Nearly 30 students are joining us this week to hone their chess skills and make new friends.

Our day camps combine high quality chess instruction and practice with outdoor recreational activities.  The chess lessons are structured so that all the students are challenged and no one is bored.

Our camps typically run from from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. on Monday through Friday with aftercare available until 5.  Registration is still open for several weeks later in the summer, including camps in Vienna, Oakton and northwest Washington, DC.  

Chess Class at the Seafarers Foundation’s Summer Youth Program in Annapolis

The US Chess Center was pleased to resume our summer chess classes in partnership with Seafarers Foundation’s Summer Youth Program in Annapolis, MD.  Led by Greg Acholonu, the chess class has approximately 90 minutes of instruction and play each day over the two week camp, culminating in a camp tournament on the final Friday. 
Thank you to our board member, Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn, and the Seafarers Foundation for allowing us to share chess with their campers.

U.S. Chess Center Celebrates A Successful First Year at Sousa Middle School

The U.S. Chess Center was pleased to run a during-school chess class this past year for students in grades 6th through 8th at John Philip Sousa Middle School in Washington D.C.’s Ward 7.  More than a dozen students participated in chess class each week as part of the school’s Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) elective program and became enthusiastic players.  So much so that when a school closure was announced for the same day as our weekly chess class, Ms. Edmonds (who hosted chess in her classroom for us each week) reported that the students were disappointed to miss chess class, adding, “That is the first time I have EVER seen students unhappy about school being closed. Your chess class has surely made a positive impact on them!” 

A special thank you to Ms. Chiba Edmonds for allowing us to host chess in her classroom each week, and thank you again to the DC Housing Finance Agency, Share Fund, and all our donors for their financial support which enabled us to supply the equipment and offer chess class at Sousa at no cost to the students or school.

Pictures from Bishops & Beers on Tuesday Night

Bishops and Beers kicked off Tuesday, June 7 at Silver Branch Brewery in Silver Spring. A wide range of players, from novices to experts, showed up to socialize and play. 

Silver Branch provided a great atmosphere to meet up with old friends and make new ones over the board, and we’re already looking forward to the next event.  To stay abreast of future meetings and see more of the photos from Tuesday night, you can join our Meetup group.