The following are some of the ways we are making a difference by promoting chess:
Chess Program at the Solon Public Library
During the summer of 2014 and the summer of 2015, we hosted a weekly chess program for one month at the Solon Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. The kids who were just beginning to learn chess were taught about many facets of chess, ranging from how the pieces move and taking chess notation to chess openings and tactics. The more experienced players were able to train against one another and refine their skills through post-game analyses. Read the summary of our second annual program here!
Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s 8th Annual Youth Summit
The purpose of this event was to help families in Cleveland prepare for the upcoming school year and to display many tools that help foster a love of learning. We were able to promote chess at our booth by interacting with students and adults from all around Northeast Ohio. Those who came to our booth were able to play a game against us and ask us any questions they had about the moves they made. Anyone who played exceptionally was awarded free entry into the 2014 Cleveland Scholastic Chess Open.
Cleveland Scholastic Open
The 2014 Cleveland Scholastic Open was held in association with Invest in Chess! As co-organizers of this tournament, we directed communications by writing articles and publicizing the event through numerous social media outlets. The press release and summary article we wrote for the event on Chess Life Online can be found on the United States Chess Federation (USCF) website, and our interview of James Black and Joshua Colas prior to the tournament can be read on our blog. We also wrote a press release as well as a summary article on Chess Life Online for the 2013 Cleveland Scholastic Open—be sure to take a look! We are really excited to say that we have engaged over 200 children through our two-year involvement with the Cleveland Scholastic Open and that the tournament has holistically engaged over 300 children.
We also made a website for the tournament; find it here.
The Ratner School (Cleveland, Ohio)
Invest in Chess served as a consultant for this school which reached out to us for help in starting a chess club for their primary and middle school students. After assessing the exact needs of their chess club, we advised them on various routes they could take to start their club and provided them with resources and the information of organizations who could lead this initiative. As a result of our assistance, the Ratner School has a chess club today!
Andrew Carnegie Elementary School (Chicago, Illinois)
We began our outreach to the community in Chicago by going to Andrew Carnegie Elementary School, a Chicago Public School. We started off facilitating in the classrooms, helping teach the preexisting interdisciplinary chess curriculum; at the request of the Principal, we have pivoted and are currently leading the school’s chess club (comprised of third and fourth graders). We have taught the children chess openings, middlegame strategy, endgame techniques, tactical patters, and how to take chess notation. At the moment, we are preparing the children to attend their first rated chess tournament!
Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative – Rebuild Foundation (Chicago, Illinois)
We worked with individuals from SGA Youth & Family Services, Chess Wizards, and the City Club of Chicago to create the “Rebuild Knights” Youth Chess Club at the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative (a subsidiary of the Rebuild Foundation) for kids on the South Side of Chicago. The purpose of this club is not only to teach the children chess and instill in them a love for the game, but also to convey a multitude of practical skills and lessons that will assist them in life. The club hosted its first meeting on Friday, April 22, 2016, and uses a structured curriculum for its weekly meetings; check out our blog post for more information!
Chicago Public Schools Chess Tournament (Chicago, Illinois)
We organized a chess tournament between two Chicago Public Schools (Andrew Carnegie Elementary and John J. Pershing Magnet School); the event was held on Thursday, June 2, 2016 on the 9th floor of the Logan Center for the Arts. Check out the pictures from the event here and view our interview on FOX 32 Chicago (that was conducted prior to the tournament) here!
Collaboration with SocialWorks, Inc. (Chicago, Illinois)
We are working with SocialWorks, a nonprofit organization founded by Chance the Rapper to empower Chicago’s youth through arts, education, and civic engagement. Most recently, we partnered with SocialWorks during Chance the Rapper’s Magnificent Coloring Day festival to host an interactive booth. Check out some pictures from the event here!
After seeing how we were able to make an impact at Andrew Carnegie Elementary School, the Ambassador Program is our attempt to mobilize qualified and passionate high school and college students to use their knowledge to make a difference in the schools/community around them.
Currently, we are in the process of piloting the High School Ambassador Program in the Chicago Public Schools, wherein we will be matching high school chess teams with elementary chess clubs in proximity. Stay tuned!
As a part of our ongoing interview series, we release interviews on our blog that we’ve conducted with individuals from the chess world who are doing their part to make a positive difference in the world through chess! We ask questions about how they got started with chess, what their thoughts are on the benefits of chess, and much more. People we’ve interviewed include:
- Grandmaster Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster and Founder of the Millionaire Chess Open)
- International Master John Donaldson (Captain of US National Chess Team/former US Chess Championship contender)
- International Master Cyrus Lakdawala (one of the top 100 chess players in the USA).
Know someone who we should interview? Send us an email with the person’s contact information and tell us why you nominated him/her!