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Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How can my school join the Chess in the Schools program?
Q2. How do I register for a Chess in the Schools Tournament?
Q3. Is there a cost to play in a Chess in the Schools Tournaments?
Q4. If I am not in a Chess in the Schools school, how can my school start a chess program?
Q5. What do I need to know to start a chess club in my school?
Q6. Who does Chess in the Schools serve?
Q7. How does one become a member of the United States Chess Federation?
Q8. What can I do to help Chess in the Schools succeed in its mission?
Q9. What studies have been done about chess and its relationship to education?
A1. Thank you for expressing an interest in the highly regarded Chess in the Schools School Program. Right now there are no available slots in this program. However, we encourage you to apply. Please note that your school must be a Title 1 New York City Public School.
You and your students can participate in other programs now.
1. Tournaments – for students
Check out the tournament section of our website. Many of these weekend events are open to all students, not just those in the Chess in the Schools School Program. Click here to learn more.
2. Project Chess – for teachers
Check out the Project Chess section of our website. Project Chess aims to increase the number of public school educators that can effectively teach chess to students during the school day as part of a standards based curriculum and in after-school chess clubs as part of a safe, structured enrichment program. Click here to learn more.
A2. Click here for information on our Weekend and Weekday chess tournaments.Click here to register.
A3. No, Chess in the Schools' tournaments are free to all participants.
A4. Through Project Chess also known as our Teacher Training Institute your school can learn both how to teach chess to its students and to run a successful chess club. Click here to find out more.
A5. First, your school will need a dedicated teacher to both organize and teach the after school club. Secondly, your school will need chess sets. Our Teacher Training Institute is designed specifically to help schools start successful chess programs in K-12 Schools.
A6. All schools served by Chess in the Schools are New York City Public Schools classified as Title I. In these schools, more than 60% of the students are eligible for free or reduced cost lunch (an indicator of socio-economic disadvantage.) The majority of our students live in poor neighborhoods and attend schools that rarely offer extra academic assistance or extra curricular activities. We begin teaching chess to students in third grade and have programs that work with students through junior high and high school.
44% - African American
30% - Latino / Hispanic
13% - Caucasian
5% - Asian
4% - Native American
4% - Other
A7. Visit www.uschess.org and follow the link to Join the USCF.
A8. Since Chess in the Schools relies on individual donations to support all of its programs, your tax-deductible donation can help each child in our program.
A9. In 1991 and 1996, Stuart M. Margulies, Ph.D., a noted educational psychologist, conducted two studies examining the effects of chess on children’s reading scores. The studies demonstrated that students who participated in the chess program showed improved scores on standardized reading tests. The gains were even greater among children with low or average initial scores. Children who were in the non-chess playing control group showed no gains.
Another study in 1999 measured the impact of chess on the emotional intelligence of fifth graders. The results of the study were striking. The overall success rate in handling real life situations with emotional intelligence was 91.4% for the children who participated in the Chess in the Schools program. In contrast, those who were not involved with the chess program had an average overall success rate of only 64.4%.