Sunil Weeramantry is a strong player, but more important, he’s a gifted chess teacher—one of the most successful the United States has ever had. Many students who began under his tutelage as rank beginners have won national titles. What is his secret? Sunil simply understands the didactic process and loves teaching.

Sunil has a sixth (and seventh) sense of what is truly relevant. He is a scientist who realizes that asking a good question practically gives the solution. He is a teacher who knows when to turn a student’s mistake into a learning experience.… In the world of chess, he is one of the few teachers whose acumen astonishes me.

Bruce Pandolfini
Award winning chess author, teacher and coach




I have served as a public educator for over 45 years; for the last 35 years I served as an elementary school principal. In my second year at the Lincoln Elementary School in Mount Vernon, NY, two of my staff members thought it was a good idea to introduce our students to the game of chess. As a result of the efforts of the National Scholastic Chess Foundation, a small group of students was able to compete in tri-state tournaments. After winning several, a benefactor donated a substantial amount of money to the NSCF so they could offer chess lessons to every child in the school. Although my school was a typical city school with statistics that some would attribute to failure, we became one of the top performing schools in New York State. As reported in The New York Times, we outperformed some of the elite schools in America.

As part of our commitment to educating the “whole child” academically, socially, culturally and morally, the instruction by NSCF staff was a key contributor to this success. I have now expanded the NSCF chess program to my new school in Tuckahoe, NY.

– George Albano, Principal
William E. Cottle School, Tuckahoe, NY


I constantly tell business executives and lawyers, “You need to learn to play chess.” The ability to plan what you are going to do and then implement your plan, combined with the ability to think four or six moves ahead, are important skills that every professional must learn to be successful. Starting your child at a young age is the best way to get there. The NSCF can help put him or her on the right road.

            – Jay Hack, former chairman, Business Law Section, NY State Bar Association
and parent of a former NSCF chess player


For over 25 years, the NSCF has been dedicated to helping kids learn chess. I received chess instruction at the Ridgeway Elementary School in White Plains and started my tournament career in NSCF tournaments. They were fun. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Hikaru Nakamura

Recommended books for beginning players.

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