Chess in Education – US

News about our Organization

Link: Find General News on Chess in Education topics on our CIE Coalition blog.

Chess in Schools Name Change

Chess in Schools Name Change

Chess in Schools is now Chess in Education – US.

Same Dream, Same team, Bigger theme!


Our name change better reflects its mission of connecting chess to education in all its forms. Not all education takes place within the traditional K-12 school setting. Chess in Education – US continues its mission of helping school systems develop programming that allows teachers to use the game as an educational tool – introducing academic and 21st century skills. But chess can also serve as the vehicle to deliver skills for those in the juvenile system or in prison.

Chess in Education – US provides the expertise needed to develop scalable programs that help students of any age be successful in the classroom and in life. With the experience of two state-wide projects in partnership with state departments of education, we look forward to the next opportunity to make a difference.

Our new domain name is For now you will still see the name in your browser. You can continue to use that name as we complete some behind-the-scenes technical changes.

Note: is the commercial site for our nonprofit organization: Chess in Education – US. We also operate the educational and non-commercial site, which we operate as part of the Chess in Education Initiative.


Jerry Nash Named Chair of FIDE Chess in Education Commission

Jerry Nash Named Chair of FIDE Chess in Education Commission

We are delighted to announce that the International Chess Federation’s (FIDE) has appointed Jerry Nash to be Chair of its Chess in Education (EDU) Commission. The Commission, comprised of representatives from around the globe, works to advance chess as an educational tool.

Jerry Nash’s Background

Jerry is a co-founder, chief trainer, and curriculum architect of Chess in Schools, which became Chess in Education – US in 2023 and continues in that capacity. He has been involved with chess for several decades. In 2005 he joined the United States Chess Federation as Scholastic Director. Among his duties was organizing scholastic teams for participation in international tournaments. In the process he built connections with the international chess community, including Chess in Education (CIE) practitioners. His CIE involvement increased, and he moved to full-time work at Chess in Schools.

Nash became the EDU Senior Adviser for FIDE Chess in Education in 2021. That same year he led the commission’s Strategy and Certification and Endorsement workgroups. Both are integral to FIDE’s efforts to develop goals and strategies to develop Chess in Education over the next four years. He joined the commission’s High Quality Standards Workgroup in 2019.

Jerry Nash receives Goodwill Ambassador Award

Jerry Nash receiving Goodwill Ambassador Award from Judit Polgar.


His work has drawn notice from both the international and U.S. chess communities. The Judit Polgar Chess Foundation in Hungary awarded Nash the title of Goodwill Ambassador for Chess in Education in 2021. The University of Texas at Dallas named Nash the National Chess Educator of the Year in 2015.

Looking Ahead

As a former high school and university instructor, and the husband of an elementary school teacher, he finds satisfaction in helping educators to discover new ways to engage students in the classroom. His experience as a trainer of teachers provides ample evidence that when teachers introduce chess to students, they create the opportunity for students to develop the skills they need to be successful in and beyond the classroom.

Taking on the political and logistical challenges of leading FIDE EDU is a daunting undertaking. However, having worked with Jerry as a friend and business partner for a decade, I cannot think of anyone better suited to the task.

Reference:  FIDE Commissions for 2022-2026 Announced

Granite Gambit Teachers Use Chess to Connect with Students

Granite Gambit Teachers Use Chess to Connect with Students

A Report on Chess in Schools‘ Summer Granite Gambit Program for Teachers

From the Concord Monitor By EILEEN O’GRADY Monitor staff Published: 7/17/2022

Last year, Barbara Cook told her fourth-grade students that once they finished their class assignments they could either read, do homework, play an online math game or learn how to play chess. She never expected all 19 of them to choose chess. For the rest of the year, chess consumed the Deerfield Community School students, who would take their boards outside during recess, and arrive each morning eager to sit down and finish a game that had started the afternoon before. “I was amazed that, given the choice, every child in my class decided to take that on and help each other,” Cook said. “The kids felt proud of themselves that they learned chess. Some were even teaching their parents.” …

<Read the entire Concord Monitor article: Teachers pass on a love of chess.>

The New Hampshire Department of Education and Chess in Schools Announce “Granite Gambit,” a Statewide Chess in Education Initiative

NH Department of Education Logo

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Education announced an innovative partnership today with Chess in Schools (CIS) to establish a statewide chess in schools initiative. The program is funded using federal Title funds.

Impact of a Chess in Schools donationThis statewide program supports training for teacher-driven chess initiatives that connect chess with core academic content, helping to build student engagement. Beyond the academic content, the game of chess builds skills in critical thinking, logic, strategy, and creativity. The program will run for 2-years and allow interested schools to build the capacity for sustainable programming.

Granite Gambit Rationale

“The game of chess has become incredibly popular with students as a result of the hit Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit,” stated Frank Edelblut, commissioner of education. “The research is clear that when we engage students with their areas of interest, the learning is deeper and richer. We called the program Granite Gambit. A gambit is defined as a device or action as a calculated risk to gain an advantage. Granite Gambit will give both our educators and students an advantage.”

“The program is modeled after a program Chess in Schools began in 2015 in Alabama,” stated Jerry Nash of Chess in Schools. “Students see the program as a fun to learn exercise. As a result, teachers embrace the program for the impact it has on making students more focused and engaged in traditional curriculum topics. We are excited to be partnering with the New Hampshire Department of Education.”

Chess in Schools logoChess in Schools is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization founded in 2015 in conjunction with its launch of the Alabama Chess in Schools program, the first statewide US Chess in Education (CIE) program in the United States. CIS specializes in preparing educators to play chess and use the game as an educational tool to teach academic and 21st century skills. The CIS team brings a wealth of experience in Chess in Education instruction. CIS’s certified CIE training includes proven methodologies developed by the European Chess Union.

For additional information about Chess in Education concepts, pedagogy and best practices, click on

Link to the blog

The European Chess Union and US-based Chess in Schools Announce a Cooperative Agreement to Develop Chess in Education in the United States

The European Chess Union and US-based Chess in Schools Announce a Cooperative Agreement to Develop Chess in Education in the United States

Chess in Schools (CIS) is pleased to announce a cooperative agreement with the European Chess Union (ECU) supporting Chess in Education (CIE) in the United States.

Under the agreement, the ECU, a world leader in CIE development, authorizes CIS as the exclusive provider in the United States for its CIE-certification program. Chess in Schools will offer training programs to teachers and education-savvy chess instructors. They will work to adapt and expand CIE adoption within the US through cooperative agreements with third parties interested in establishing a local or regional presence to do their own CIE training and certification based on ECU methodologies.

ECU joins the Chess in Education Coalition, an advisory group of commercial and non-profit organizations that support CIS’s Chess in Education Initiative through commitments of their time, resources, and endorsements.

ECU and Chess in Schools pledge to cooperate on selected future international CIE projects and explore new areas of cooperation regarding the development of Chess in Education. CIS will endeavor to assist ECU in finding US parties interested in other CIE-related efforts, such as organizing CIE conferences and looking for university scholarship opportunities.

Chess in Schools believes this collaboration will build broader awareness of the educational benefits of chess when taught, not simply as a competitive activity, but as an effective and proven educational tool for teachers.

National Chess Education Consultant Jerry Nash describes the benefits this way. “The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted classrooms around the world in 2020 and 2021. While educators have scrambled to make the best of a difficult situation, there is general recognition that confronting student learning loss and addressing student engagement are critical issues for the days ahead. This past year has also revealed the attraction chess has for students of all ages. Students are engaged by the game, and students who are engaged are more likely to be self-motivated learners. This ground-breaking partnership offers Chess in Schools and the European Chess Union a new framework to expand awareness of the power of chess as an educational tool and to increase the number of educators who are trained to help students build the academic and 21st century skills inherent in the game.”

Chess in Schools is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization founded in 2015 in conjunction with its launch of the Alabama Chess in Schools program, the first statewide US CIE program in the United States. Website:

Additional information about CIE concepts and pedagogy is available at

Details about the Chess in Education Initiative and the CIE Coalition may be found at

The Education Commission of the European Chess Union seeks to promote chess for educational purposes in schools. We work with all federations in Europe sharing ideas and best practice. The Commission is composed of leading chess teaching experts from several European countries. Together they devise and implement plans to bring chess to schools and to ensure that it is taught according to modern standards. Recently the Commission extended its outreach to other continents, notably Africa and South America.

Mathematics of Chess Offered at University

Mathematics of Chess Offered at University

By GM Bartek Macieja

Popularity of Scholastic and University Chess

Scholastic and collegiate chess in Brownsville, Texas, is huge. Almost every primary, elementary, middle, and high school has a chess program. Simple scholastic tournaments gather a few hundred participants (on average), local scholastic championships over a thousand. The 2017 South Texas Scholastic Championship, organized by the University of Texas – Rio Grand Valley (UTRGV) Chess Program on the UTRGV Campus in Edinburg, attracted 1426 participants.

Chess is also truly appreciated at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. The collegiate team ( is strongly supported by the leadership of the university. The team won the national collegiate championships in 2018 and 2019 and was named “The Chess College of the Year” both years. In recognition of our success, the team was invited to the Capitol in Austin, and honored by the State Governor, Senate, and the House of Representatives (

The Mathematics of Chess

Using this momentum, the Chess Program and the Math Department designed a new academic course – “Mathematics of Chess.” The official code was: Special Topics in Math (MATH 3399). For the first time, the 3-credit-hour upper level course was offered to UTRGV students in the Spring 2020 semester. The main goal was to expand educational benefits offered to students at UTRGV. The topics included (but were not limited to): Combinatorics, Independence and Domination Problems, Graph Theory, Game Theory, Rating Systems.

It is widely believed that chess can serve as an excellent tool to improve students’ understanding of practical mathematical and logical problems. The course confirmed it.

Course Feedback

The official feedback submitted by the students included comments such as:

“Endowed me with new intuition and approaches to problem solving in mathematics and in the real world.”, or

“This was an interesting class that made me consider math in a new light.”

The response was inspiring, so we plan to continue the course in the future and to further develop it.

14 students registered for the course and 1 audited it. Most of them were from the UTRGV Math and Science Academy, the remaining were regular UTRGV students. There was no requirement as to major.

More information about the UTRGV Math and Science Academy (and the Chess Program there) can be found on:,, and

The course was conducted by:

Dr. Alexey Glazyrin (who won a gold medal at the International Mathematical Olympiad in 2001, and

GM Bartek Macieja (who won the European Individual Chess Championship in 2002,

Therapy or Chess? Why Not Both?

Teach parents to play chess.

Fernando Moreno teaches parents how to play chess. Chess then becomes an at-home family activity.

Maria fits the profile of an at-risk student. Her parents are divorced. She speaks limited English. She struggles with depression and a lack of motivation at school. Would a game of chess help? Chess as a tool for therapy opens new doors for counselors.

Fernando Moreno currently serves as a school counselor for the Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland. He started using chess as a tool for therapy thirty years ago. While working with immigrant students in Washington DC public schools, he realized chess could help develop social-emotional skills.

Why chess? “Students have a less negative view of chess than they do of therapy,” Moreno observes. “So I could start playing and then focus on counseling and therapy goals.”

Students respond positively to the chess activities. In addition, student-teacher relationships change. Moreno noticed that, “Teachers see them in a different way because they know how to play chess.”

Watch “Developing Social Emotional Skills – Using Chess as a Metaphor for Life,” Moreno’s presentation at the 6th Global Chess Festival organized by Judit Polgar in October of 2020.

Read research related to this topic, “The Benefits of Chess for the Intellectual and Social-Emotional Enrichment in Schoolchildren,” in the The Spanish Journal of Psychology.

Discover how your school can develop its own chess program.

Chess and Technology Online Conference

Chess and Technology Online Conference

From our CIE Coalition Partners at ChessPlus and their First Rank Newsletter:

The annual London Chess Conference is the most important chess gathering in the world as far as chess education is concerned. It usually run in conjunction with the London Chess Classic, held each December by CSC (Chess in Schools and Communities) which was not possible this year due to Covid. Nevertheless, with some support from the European Chess Union and FIDE,  the conference continues and international experts from the world of chess, technology and education will again meet for a weekend to discuss the latest software, systems, research, projects and the most interesting practical experiences in classroom teaching. There is a focus on playing chess online, teaching chess online and using sophisticated digital self-learning systems. We bring together the world’s leading experts in chess and technology.

When we chose the theme of chess and technology last December we could not have predicted how relevant it would be within just a few months. The organisers are inviting industry leaders, pioneers and start-ups alike. They are expecting over 400 attendees, mostly chess decision-makers, technologists and influencers. The weekend coincides with the FIDE Congress at which representatives from each of the world’s federations will be online focused on the key strategies and policies determining the future of chess.  The conference could not be more relevant. Both events will be carried on the FIDE YouTube channel.

ChessTech2020 strives to replicate the experience of the real event in London. We will have different formats – presentations, interviews, workshops, round tables and demonstrations. There will be many important speakers at the event. Arkady Dvorkovic – President of FIDE – heads the list of speakers.  He will talk about how chess has always been a driver of technology especially in computer science and artificial intelligence. There will be speakers from the main playing platforms including, Lichess and Tornelo. There are at least three sessions on various aspects of cheating and anti-cheating. The popularity of streaming will be featured. There will also be some training sessions on how to teach chess online to schools or provide coaching to more advanced students.  Some of these sessions will be reserved to those who purchase the Professional ticket.

The event comprises several parallel streams in Zoom. There will always be something interesting to watch at any point during the weekend.  Topics to be covered:

Playing Platforms
Chess Streaming
Chess Databases
Tournament Trackers
Tournament Administration

Classroom Software
Online Training Academies
Training Utilities
Study Systems
Chess Engines
User Experience

The conference is organised by ChessPlus in conjunction with ChessTech.

The Importance of Strategy Games Like Chess

The Importance of Strategy Games Like Chess

By Cristin Howard

Play is one of the most important ways that our children learn. It’s the way that we’re programmed to learn. So, harnessing the power of play is a great way to help your kid learn all sorts of life skills without them even realizing it.

Having a range of reading options or maths practice tools for your child is brilliant. But kids thrive on variety. And that’s why it can be a great idea to incorporate strategy games like chess into your routine. There are also loads of fantastic strategy games to try beyond chess. Some of our family favorites include Onitama, Santorini, and Blokus.

Here are a few of the things that playing strategy games, like chess, can do for your child.

Improve Memory

Learning and playing chess is one big opportunity to exercise your working memory. When you’re starting, you need to hold all of the rules in your mind. As you get better, you begin to build a library of your past games.

Your child will need to think about their previous games to learn what does and doesn’t work in a game. To improve their strategy, they need to keep reviewing what they’re experienced already. This is an effective tool to strengthen their memory skills.

Encourage Creativity and Problem Solving

The key to winning in strategy games is to try different approaches. Your child will soon realize that if they keep doing the same thing over and over, they’ll not get anywhere. This will give them the push to start trying more creative approaches to problem-solving.

Teach Concentration

There’s no denying that modern technology pushes our children, and us, towards having shorter attention spans. Games of strategy require you to focus on the game for an extended period. Playing these sorts of games with your child is a great way to help them stretch their ability to focus and concentrate.

Compound Skills Practice

Plenty of teachers will tell you that kids can learn a skill in one class and, somehow, appear to completely forget that skill in the next class. Schools can unintentionally teach children to separate the things they learn. They might be great at math but then not apply it in another situation.

Strategy games require your kids to use many different skills. They can involve memory, math, and literacy. Combining all of these skills into a single game teaches your child that they can take what they learn and use it in various scenarios.


Life is full of knocks. We have a duty as parents to teach our children how to deal with them. This means giving them opportunities to fail in a safe space. This teaches them how to brush themselves off and try again.

Strategy games can take a little while to master. This means your child is going to experience failure and frustration. You can help them through this experience and give them confidence to have another go—perfect practice for life.


Being patient is hard. Any parent who has had to sit on their hands while their toddler does something themselves is intimately aware of this fact. As hard as it is for you, kids find waiting even harder.

Waiting for your turn is an integral part of strategy games. So it’s an excellent setting for your child to practice waiting and learn patience.

Big Picture Thinking

To become a master of strategy games, your child needs to learn how to focus on more than one thing at once. They need to think about each move and how it affects the overall strategy. This helps your child to learn to think in a longer-term way.

Children who can weigh their actions against long term goals are set up to succeed. This sort of thinking helps children grow into adults who can make good decisions with money and career choices.

Hopefully, you’ll find the inspiration to add some strategy games into the enrichment activities you share with your child. Just like reading together, playing together has a wide range of benefits for your child.

Author Bio: Cristin Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase.

Discover how your school can develop a chess program.


Jerry Nash

All rights reserved. Chess in Education - US LLC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, EIN 90-1141646.