The U.S. Chess Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of teaching students, especially at-risk youth, to play chess in order to improve their academic and social skills.
The U.S. Chess Center’s teaching methods are fun and effective. Our nationally certified chess teachers help students become creative, enjoy learning, and pursue their passions. We emphasize problem-solving over memorization; as our students learn to think independently, they achieve success and develop well-earned senses of accomplishment. We provide students from throughout the Washington metropolitan area opportunities to meet as friends and equals over the chessboard at our classes, tournaments, and special events.
Not only have our students become champions in chess (winning more than 50 state and national championship titles), they also have used chess to accomplish their academic and life goals. Two of our students earned Rhodes Scholarships and hundreds earned academic scholarships. See where our students have gone to college.
Since 1992, we have taught chess to nearly 40,000 students and at over 150 schools across the National Capital Region. View a map of the schools and places where we have taught chess or held events over the past 30 years.
Our goals include:
- Improving academic skills.
- Increasing children’s attention spans.
- Teaching young people that they have control over much of their environment, so that the decisions that they make will have consequences in the future, even if not all of those consequences are immediately apparent.
- Bringing together students from a wide range of backgrounds in a safe, fun setting.
- Increasing students’ self-confidence.
- Awakening an interest in learning and achievement in students of all ages.
- Improving the resiliency of youths so that they avoid negative temptations.