Navigation

About Us

Image for About Us

Mission Statement

Chess in the Schools fosters the intellectual and social development of low-income youth through chess education.

Boy playing chess at school

Why Chess?

At Chess in the Schools, we believe in the power of chess to change lives. To date, we have taught more than 500,000 of New York City's most underserved children, inspiring them to greater achievement. Each day, we are proud to help kids grow, one move at a time. Our impact is demonstrated by classroom teachers responses to our annual survey:

    • More than 96% of teachers reported that CIS’s chess program were effective and that they would want it to return.
    • 97% of teachers reported that chess had a meaningful positive influence on their students.
    • 85% of teachers reported that their students applied the lessons of chess beyond the chess board.
    • 91% of teachers reported the growth of analytical and logical reasoning skills in their students.
    • 82% of teachers reported improved understanding of math concepts.
    • 91% of teachers reported improved ability to concentrate.
    • 94% of teachers reported improved cooperation skills in their students.
    • 86% of teachers reported improved social skills and behavior in their students.
        2020 Survey
        Photo Credit: Erik Bardin

Featured Event

2022 Chess in the Park Rapid Open

Sep.17.2022

The 2022 Chess in the Park Rapid Open will be held on Saturday, September 17th at Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain. Advanced registration will open the first week of August. If you would like to play…

Learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

Mark E. Maher

Chair

Senior Legal Counsel, Spotify

Daniel Ryan

Secretary


Managing Partner, Sincerus Advisory

Cody Smith

Treasurer

Retired Partner of Goldman Sachs & Co.

Kwadwo Acheampong

Director

Senior Vice President, Account Management & Business Development, PIMCO

Lawrence B. Benenson

Director

Principal, Benenson Capital Partners, LCC

Praju Doshi

Director

VP, Capital Markets, Mutual of Omaha

Debbie Eastburn

President & CEO


Chess in the Schools

Oche Idoko

Director

Director, Barclays

Andy Lerner

Director

Managing Partner, IA Capital Group

Chun Lin

Director

Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Dr. Joel Marcus

Director

Retired, Psychiatrist

Dhruv Sharma

Director

Director, PwC LLP

Richard B. Wagner

Director

Vice President,  ABILITY Network

Mike Walsh Peissis

Director

President, Vetta Inc.

Vikram Sivakumar

Director

Principal, Boston Consulting Group

Jonathan Zald

Director

Director, PJT Partners

Lewis B. Cullman

In Memoriam

Philanthropist

Lev Alburt

Maurice Ashley

Ipek Bakir

Erik Bardin

John Bartholomew

Pascal Charbonneau

Nikken Cullman

Ronald J. Daniels

David Danziger

Howard Dodson

Kimberley Doo

Jon Edwards

Ellen V. Futter

Anna Ginzburg

Eric Gioia

Betsy Gotbaum

Agnes Gund

Evan Hunter

David Joerg

Roman Kazan

Richard C. Levin

Gustave K. Lipman

David MacEnulty

Robert MacNeil

Beatriz Marinello

Przemyslaw Matecki

John Merrow

Bruce Pandolfini

Shivan Persad

Pamela Price

Darrian Robinson

Aia Sarycheva

Charles E. Schumer

Jennifer Shahade

Shahnawaz Sheikh

Michael Shuman

Andrew C. Smith

Jacob Spitzer

Dave Stein

Stanley Switalski

Zack Weiner

Alexandra Wiener

Debbie Eastburn

Debbie Eastburn

President & CEO

Nicole Alston

Nicole Alston

Office Coordinator

Ronald Boocock

Ronald Boocock

Director, School Program

Chano LaBoy

Chano LaBoy

College Bound Director

Carmen Morales

Carmen Morales

School Program Manager

Elena Ryabova

Elena Ryabova

Director of Development

Marissa Broomes

Marissa Broomes

Development Assistant

Shaun M. Smith

Shaun M. Smith

Director, Programs

Will Staso

Will Staso

College Bound, Manager