Chess Center News

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

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#

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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.

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. 

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.

Chess in the Park Comes to Eastern Market Metro

40 students showed up to Eastern Market Metro Park last Saturday, June 4 for the latest event in our series of casual drop-in tournaments.  We had a wide range of experience levels represented – some of the students were already seasoned tournament players while others were taking part in their first chess competition.

As always, it was nice to see new friendships being formed over games of chess.  We hope participating in events like these helps provide the experience and confidence the students can carry with them into other competitions.

Congratulations to Our National Elementary School Championship Participants

More often than not, when students travel to compete in strong tournaments like the state and national championships, it makes for a fantastic experience.  It’s exciting when the kids bring home trophies, and it’s also exciting when they bring back things they’ve learned from competing that they can then share with the other students in their school clubs.

At the recent National Elementary School Championships, held May 13-15 in Columbus, our students at Spring Hill got to do both.  In all, ten Spring Hill students traveled to Ohio to play, and the school finished 6th in the K-5 Championship section, while also winning trophies in the K-3 U-900 section (17th place overall), and the K-3 U-700 section (9th place overall). 

Below, Principal Eck accepts the three trophies the school brought back from Ohio after last week’s tournament.  

When the Elementary School Nationals come to Baltimore in 2023, we hope to see even more of our students come out to represent the local region.

A full list of results from the 2022 tournament is available at USCF’s website at  http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?202205151282.

Chess in the Park at Eastern Market Metro on June 4

Chess In The Park continues the first Saturday in June with a free outdoor tournament at Eastern Market Metro Park, staged in partnership with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation.  Any student in grades 2 through 8 may register to participate.

The tournament will follow a similar format to the event we recently held at Fairview Road Urban Park in Silver Spring.  The first round of games will begin at 10 a.m. and the tournament will finish up around 1.  Students who play need to be familiar with all of the rules of chess, including castling, stalemate and the touch-move rule.  No membership in any organization is required to take part.

There will be areas where family members and non-participants to wait during the games, but owing to space constraints, we will be unable to accommodate more than 40 students at the tournament tables at any one time, so early registration is encouraged.   Online sign-up is available here: https://register.chessctr.org/a/easternmarketmetro
 

Three Sunday Chess Students Competed in National High School Championships

Three students from Sunday Chess attended the 2022 National High School Championships in Memphis over the weekend. The tournament had been cancelled for the previous two years because of the pandemic, so there was a lot of pent-up enthusiasm for this year’s event.

 

This was the third Nationals Anish attended, but the first major national for Zach and Ret. All three had wonderful experiences and are more prepared for the series of national championships coming up in the DC area over the next few years.

The tournament was run exceptionally well, with professional staff handling every detail efficiently. The rounds started on time, the side events were fun for the students, and the conditions of play were the best ever for a scholastic tournament. We look forward to spectacular events at National Harbor in December and in downtown DC next March.

Posted below is a win of Zach’s from the first half of the competition.  Zach, playing the black pieces, managed to hold on against an intimidating attack during the first 25 moves.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 b5 6. Bb3 d6 7. c3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Nbd2 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. Re1 Re8 12. Nf1 h6 13. Ng3 Bf8 14. a4 Bb7 15. axb5 axb5 16. Nf5 c4 17. d4 exd4 18. N3xd4 Bxe4 19. Bxe4 Nxe4 20. Nxh6+ gxh6 21. Qg4+ Ng5 22. Rxe8 Qxe8 23. Bxg5 hxg5 24. Qxg5+ Bg7 25. Nf5 Qe5

White is down a piece, but looks as though he will regain it after 26. Ne7+ Kf8 27. Qxe5 Bxe5 28. Nc6 .  However, Zach’s 28….Ra6 kept him in the driver’s seat, since after 29. Nxa5 b4 30. cxb4 Bxb2, the pin on the a5-knight means that White can’t stop Black’s dangerous c-pawn without losing material.

Instead, White played 29. f4, and the game concluded: 29…Rxc6 30. fxe5 Nb7 31. Ra7 Rb6 32. exd6 Nxd6 33. h4 Ne4 34. g4 Nc5 35. Kg2 Na4 36. Kf3 Nxb2 37. Ke4 Nd3 38. Kd5 Kg7 39. g5 Re6 40. Rb7 Re5+ 41. Kd4 Rf5 42. Rb6 Nc5 43. Ke3 Na4 and White resigned.  0-1

The full set of results from the 2022 tournament is available here

Photos from the final class of Chess Kids 2021-22

This past Saturday, March 26, 2022 was the final class of our Chess Kids program for 2021-2022.  Stay tuned this fall when we open registration again for the 2022-2023 sessions.  In the meantime, here are some photos from Chess Kids this spring.

Join us on April 30 for Chess in the Park

The U.S. Chess Center and Montgomery Parks are inviting students to join us on the last day of April at Fairview Road Urban Park in Silver Spring for an outdoor chess tournament.
 
Any student in grade 2 through 8 may register to take part.  This tournament is not nationally rated, and students do not need to have any tournament experience in order to participate.  We do require students who play to be familiar with all of the rules of chess, including castling, stalemate and the touch-move rule.  Students who are not familiar with the rules are welcome to come spectate, as are other family members and friends.  The first round of the tournament starts at 10 a.m. and the last of the games will finish around 1 p.m.
 
We will organize the tournament based loosely on the Swiss pairing system, which means that players who win in the first round will be matched against other winners for their next games, and players who lose will be matched against others with similar results.  Nobody is eliminated early.  
 
Registration on the morning of the tournament is permitted, but we recommend planning ahead and signing up ahead of time to beat the line. 
 
Online registration is available here: 
 
More details about the playing site are available here: https://montgomeryparks.org/events/chess-in-the-parks/

Thank you to Eugene Meyer for 29 years of service to the Chess Center

Eugene Meyer accepted an award for his 29 years of service on the Center’s Board of Directors.

One of the co-founders of the U.S. Chess Center in 1991, International Chess Master Eugene Meyer was instrumental in the success of the Center in establishing chess classes in hundreds of local schools.

IM Meyer was among the twenty highest-rated players in the country for a couple of decades and was an active participant in local and national tournaments and leagues, winning many championships. For many years, until he emigrated to Virginia, he was the District of Columbia’s highest-rated player.

In honor of his 29 years of service and generosity to the U.S. Chess Center, Executive Director Christopher McCleary presented IM Meyer with an award last week.  Thank you, IM Meyer!

Photos from Saturday Chess Kids on October 23, 2021

Our Saturday Chess Kids program resumed again this past Saturday, October 23, 2021 at the DC Housing Finance Agency auditorium in the Shaw / U Street neighborhood of Washington, DC. 

Chess Kids, which has been operating since the U.S. Chess Center’s founding, is an individualized, highly structured program for students in Grades K – 6 that meets on Saturdays from 10:00 am – 11:30 am.  Chess Kids students are placed in groups based on their ability and everyone plays games each week and receives lessons. Through Chess Kids, we make learning chess fun!

To register your student for Chess Kids, click here.  Chess Kids operates in four-week sessions, and students are welcome to register for multiple sessions.  Session 2 begins November 20th.

Thank you to DC HFA for providing a great venue and support for this program.

Photos from “Bishops & BBQ” on October 14, 2021

Thank you to Money Muscle BBQ and everyone who came out on Thursday, October 14, 2021, to spend the evening with us playing chess, eating barbecue, making new friends, and enjoying beautiful fall weather under Piggy Smalls’ tent. 

Want to play more chess? Our offices are finally re-opening for limited hours and open play starting this Saturday, October 16th from 1:00-5:00pm.

WHERE
U.S. Chess Center
8560 Second Avenue, Suite 118
Silver Spring, Maryland  20910

WHEN (New Hours)
Saturdays 1:00pm – 5:00pm

For the rest of October, play chess for free.  Starting in November table fees are $5/day, but Chess Center Members always play for free, so Become a Chess Center Member!

Bishops & BBQ: Thursday, October 14th 5:30-7:30pm at Money Muscle BBQ in Silver Spring, MD

Please join the U.S. Chess Center team and our friends at Money Muscle BBQ for an evening of “Bishops & BBQ.”  Come play chess and enjoy delicious barbecue at this family-friendly event while helping support the U.S. Chess Center.

WHAT: Bishops & BBQ
WHEN: Thursday, October 14, 2021 from 5:30 – 7:30pm ET
WHERE: Money Muscle BBQ Tent: 8620 Fenton Street, Silver Spring, MD 20910
                (If raining, find us at All Set Restaurant)

Door prizes for lucky guests and Money Muscle BBQ will donate a percentage of event sales to the U.S. Chess Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  Chess play and conversation is free! 

To make a donation in support of our mission to promote self-confidence, social skills, and academic success for all, click here.

Bishops & BBQ

Fall Chess Clubs & Classes – Registration Now Open!

After-School Chess Clubs
Start Next Week!

FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES 2-6.  Since 1993, the U.S. Chess Center has been running after-school chess clubs in elementary schools in partnership with PTOs/PTAs throughout the national capital region. We are pleased to resume in-person clubs at many of our locations this autumn.  Registration for the following school clubs is now open:


Colvin Run ES Chess Club (Vienna, VA)
Greenbriar West ES Chess Club (Fairfax, VA)

Poplar Tree ES Chess Club (Chantilly, VA)

Ravensworth ES Chess Club (Springfield, VA)

Spring Hill ES Chess Club (McLean, VA)

Stratford Landing ES Chess Club (Alexandria, VA)

Westbriar ES Chess Club (Vienna, VA)

White Oaks ES Chess Club (Burke, VA)

Willow Springs ES Chess Club (Fairfax, VA)


Our in-person clubs welcome students of all ability levels, from complete beginners to accomplished tournament players.  We teach the rules of chess to students who do not know them and the strategy of the game to everyone.   For both lessons and gameplay, students are grouped by playing strength to ensure that each child is appropriately challenged.  
The fall session of our clubs commences the final week of September, and runs all the way to the end of the first half of the school year, in late January or early February.  The spring sessions begin shortly after.

Some of our clubs have decided to be virtual-only this school year.  For these clubs, classes will be online with students also grouped by skill; however, our online clubs are designed for students that already know the rules, basic vocabulary, and basic strategy of chess.  If your student is completely new to chess then they are not eligible to participate in an online club but we are creating classes for them

Churchill Road ES Chess Club (McLean, VA) – ONLINE ONLY
McNair ES Chess Club (Herndon, VA) – ONLINE ONLY  

In addition to one after-school meeting each week at the school with instruction and supervised play, membership in our clubs (in-person or online) includes the opportunity to participate in the Elementary Team League, a fun competition that takes place from 1:30-3:00 PM on various Saturdays throughout the school year. This local team event has been a tradition for over 20 years, bringing together students from all over the greater Washington area to represent their chess clubs in friendly matches against other elementary schools.  Students of all levels of tournament experience are welcome.

After-school fun
Online Chess Classes

FOR STUDENTS IN GRADES 2-6 who know the rules of chess but are unable to participate in one of our in-person after-school programs, the U.S. Chess Center offers classes online.

Our online classes are live and interactive with a nationally certified chess coach; we do not use videos.  We stratify the lesson groups by ability so that everyone is challenged but nobody is overwhelmed.   Lessons are designed to help students develop confidence without boring them, and students are encouraged to share their ideas and questions with the class.  Our teachers listen to each student to ensure that nobody is left behind, and we observe the games the students play with one another to determine points to emphasize in future lessons.

Online classes are 60 minutes, once each week from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm ET (UTC -5).  Each class has 20-30 minutes of instruction and 30-40 minutes of supervised play.  Space is limited.

The fall semester of online chess classes starts next week and runs through January 2022.  The spring semester of online classes runs from February 2022 through early June 2022.

If you wish to register your child but have questions about which class level to enroll in, you can read the descriptions of each level on the registration page.

 

Meet the Chess Center Team: Georgina Chin, Teacher

Bam! Bam bam!

As a teenager, the sound of palms slapping analog clocks would reverberate throughout our house for hours at a time. In the living room, a row of chess trophies sat on a shelf, witnessing my two younger brothers battling over a well-worn chessboard for hours at a time. Yet, despite the number of hours devoted to chess in my household, I was relatively removed from this activity — chess was something that girls didn’t really do.

Many years later, my interaction with chess was reignited by a challenge I faced as a teacher at McNair Elementary school in Herndon, Virginia: coming up with creative challenging ways to engage my students. At the time, McNair was a Title I school with many students receiving free and reduced lunches, so I was especially interested in a low-cost mentally engaging activity that might not otherwise have been available to them. Although I had not played for many years, I knew chess was definitely the avenue to pursue.

Luckily, thanks to my brothers’ ongoing interest in chess (both were holding outside jobs as chess coaches), I was able to consult them on how I might get started. With the support of my principal and the PTA I purchased some chess sets, a few books, and a teaching board. McNair’s first chess club was on its way! Much to my surprise and delight, initial interest greatly exceeded my expectations.

Fast forward ten years and the chess club remained hugely popular. With the club being consistently offered throughout the years, many McNair students had become skilled players, and several of them could now play beyond my abilities. Meanwhile, McNair had also changed and was now an Advanced Academics school.

Perhaps inspired by memories of the chess trophies sitting on the living room shelf, I thought it might be time to push the chess club in a more competitive direction. The parents supported this idea, and in 2011 we ventured off to the Virginia Scholastic Chess Championships where we placed ninth and fourteenth in the K-3 and K-5 divisions. The kids, their parents, and the rest of the school were thrilled!

At the urging of some of the parents as well as the PTA, I began organizing monthly USCF (US Chess Federation) rated tournaments at McNair. The only catch for me was that, to become a local Tournament Director, I had to start competing myself — a true eye-opener! My first tournament convinced me that I still had much to learn about the game.

Last year I retired from Fairfax County. During my 20 years at McNair I had the pleasure of working with hundreds of students and organizing more than 80 tournaments. I am happy and proud of all my students accomplished as well as how many of them were introduced to an experience they might never have encountered. My hope is that all of my students will continue to play and enjoy all that chess has to offer. As for myself, I am still learning and competing!

Meet the Chess Center Team: Robert Teachey, Teacher

After observing me tutor students in mathematics at a library, a librarian asked me to start a chess club.  Initially, I believed that it would be easy for me to meet this obligation.  My first step was to read the official rules of chess.  I was surprised to learn that even though I had played chess irregularly since elementary school, I had not been playing by the rules.

Daaim Shabazz, founder of The Chess Drum online magazine

During the first chess club meeting I noticed that the chess club members’ enthusiasm for the game was markedly different from the typical student’s enthusiasm for mathematics.  After the first few chess club meetings, I was surprised to discover that teaching chess is more challenging than teaching mathematics.  Fortuitously, renowned chess educator Fernando Moreno, author of the book Teaching Life Skills Through Chess: A Guide for Educators and Counselors, facilitated a chess club at a community center that was next door to the library.  When he heard about the new library chess club, he kindly introduced himself to me and donated sorely needed resources, including a demonstration board.  After visiting Mr. Moreno’s chess club and losing game after game to his students, I realized that I had much to learn.

GM Timur Gareyev after he defeated me in a blindfold simul

Step by step I became engrossed in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area chess scene by visiting different chess clubs including the U.S. Chess Center.  I played casually for approximately 9 years before entering my first chess tournament.  I should have followed the advice of others who told me “You love the game, go ahead and play in a rated tournament”, however I believed that I was not ready to deal with the chess clock and the process of recording the moves.  After playing in my first tournament, I understood that 10 additional years would not have made any difference because playing tournament chess is like swimming, one must simply dive in.

Used Chess Books For Sale

The U.S. Chess Center has over a thousand used chess books for sale, starting at $1.00 and up.  We have been working to inventory our collection and enable online perusal.  Check out the list of books we’ve cataloged for sale so far in this Google Sheet or on our Libib Bookshelf2021-07-16 UPDATE: Peruse and purchase books here: https://chessctr.org/usedbooks/

Email admin@chessctr.org with inquiries or to purchase any books.  Buyer pays shipping or local pick-up is available.  Your purchase helps support the charitable mission of the Chess Center.  Thank you!

Meet the Chess Center Team: Norman Constantine, Teacher

I started to play chess over 60 years ago. I will continue to play as long as I can set up the pieces. I am not a super player for sure, but I can play a solid game. Chess has made a significant difference in my life. I am a better teacher because I play chess.

I started to play when I was about 8 years old. The older kids on my block taught me how to play so that they had someone to beat. They defeated me for quite awhile but I got better each time I played a game. I still remember like it was yesterday the first time I won a game. I ran off Hankey Pauley’s front porch all the way down the street shouting and yelling to tell my mother!! I was so happy!

It made me want to read books about chess. There were a few books in the local library and all the kids on the street fought over them. We all got chess sets to play with, most of them cheap plastic designs with hollow pieces and masonite boards. I filled my pieces with plaster of paris so that they were heavy enough to stay on the boards outside in the wind. I used to read Treasury of Chess Lore under the covers with a flashlight after lights out.

Next my friends and I wanted to learn more so we all signed up at the Buffalo Museum of Science for chess lessons. We all gathered together every Saturday morning and rode the city bus across the city to the museum. In the winter we brought out snow saucers with us and rode them down the  large hill that was being built for the new City Expressway. It was wonderful. Everything was about chess and no one was telling us what to do. We learned to take care of ourselves.

I will always remember my chess teacher from the Museum. He only had three fingers on his move hand (no thumb) and used to throw the pieces – it seemed – across the board but they all landed where they were supposed to be. We played every Friday night at each other’s houses and every Saturday Morning at the museum. We took turns.

After the museum we all wanted to go to the Queen City Chess Club in downtown Buffalo, NY. I didn’t go. My parents didn’t want me to go down there on Friday night so they offered me a new catcher’s glove in lieu of the dues to the club. Baseball was my other love (girls were coming) and I sort of deserted chess for it. I ignored chess for a few years but I never forgot it.

I rediscovered chess in high school and made the school team in senior year. I watched Johnny Bench play his first game in Buffalo and knew I was never going to be a major leaguer. I joined the USCF at 19 and finally became a member of the Queen City Chess Club. I still watch baseball but I play chess!