About Us

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Mission Statement

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


"CIS Values, Goals, and Commitments for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"

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

2023 Chess in the Park Rapid Open


The 2023 Chess in the Park Rapid Open will be held on Saturday, September 16th at Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain. Advanced registration will open the second week of July. If you would like to play…

Learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

Mark E. Maher


Senior Legal Counsel, Spotify

Daniel Ryan


Managing Partner, Sincerus Advisory

Cody Smith


Retired Partner of Goldman Sachs & Co.

Kwadwo Acheampong


Senior Vice President, Account Management & Business Development, PIMCO

Lawrence B. Benenson


Principal, Benenson Capital Partners, LCC

Praju Doshi


VP, Capital Markets, Mutual of Omaha

Oche Idoko


Director, Barclays

Jenny Ingber

President & CEO

Chess in the Schools

Andy Lerner


Managing Partner, IA Capital Group

Gary Li


Vice President, BlackRock

Chun Lin


Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Dr. Joel Marcus


Retired, Psychiatrist

Dhruv Sharma


Director, PwC LLP

Mike Walsh Peissis


President, Vetta Inc.

Vikram Sivakumar


Principal, Boston Consulting Group

Ben Statz


Director and Co-founder, Parhelion

Lewis B. Cullman

In Memoriam


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

Jenny Ingber

Jenny Ingber

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

Shaun M. Smith

Shaun M. Smith

Director, Programs

Will Staso

Will Staso

College Bound, Manager  

Tristan Stovall

Tristan Stovall

Digital Program Manager