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Community chess instruction program

Phiona Mutesi, the Queen of Kate, chess enrichment

The National Scholastic Chess Foundation is committed to expanding chess in the broader community. While formal instruction has an emphasis on academics, our community chess programs show people that playing chess is an activity that is fun for the entire family. Across cultures, across generations, chess brings communities together.


If you are interested in bringing high-quality chess instruction and recreational activities to your community, please contact us by or telephone: (914) 683-5322.


In the 1990s, the NSCF program implemented at Jr. High School 45 in the Bronx ran for seven years and is still regarded as a shining example of total community involvement. With curricular chess classes and after-school, parent engagement, local business support, early morning games with police, and visits to homes for the elderly, the program not only helped develop chess skills, it shaped character. The team not only won awards but also sent most of its members to college.


chess instruction

Since 2014, the NSCF has produced an annual Columbus Day simultaneous exhibition and open play time in partnership with the New Rochelle Public Library. The event is attended each year by the Mayor of New Rochelle, as well as other city and Westchester County leaders. The NSCF has also produced free community chess events in partnership with the City of White Plains Library and with the City’s Parks & Recreation Department.

In addition, the NSCF facilitated a nationwide tour of schools for Phiona Mutesi, the inspirational Ugandan chess player featured in “The Queen of Katwe” book and film. She visited several of our schools in Westchester and in Greenwich, CT. And we produced “The Queen’s Journey,” a celebration of chess through music and dance at the Westchester Arts Center. These programs help us expand the reach for chess in our communities. 


chess instruction

Since 2014, NSCF’s community-driven approach has seen substantial growth through a partnership with the City of Sunrise, Florida.

With early funding from the Sunrise Police Department and a partnership with the Broward Education Foundation, the NSCF began by offering our Demystifying Chess Workshops. Over five years, we trained over 500 educators, law enforcement officers, and child-focused professionals, resulting in the establishment of 150+ school and community chess clubs countywide. The City then made an even greater commitment to fund The Sunrise Center for Excellence in Chess. 

This “Center” hosts open play chess sessions every Saturday morning, drawing enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. NSCF instructors are present to guide newcomers and support progressing players. Additionally, our chess tent, set up for concerts and community festivals, is an always popular attraction.

Another initiative, The Mayor’s Chess Challenge, was conceived by Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan to involve elected officials in promoting chess’s impact on education and community strength. Over 20 cities in South Florida have embraced this model, dedicating mornings to refreshments and chess games between mayors and families. These events often draw over 100 children and parents.

In addition to open programs, the Center provides support for school chess clubs and produces free chess tournaments for children who want to try competition. We have also trained officers from the City of Sunrise Police Department who use chess as part of their community policing strategy.

In April 2018,  Chess Life magazine featured the Sunrise program. And in September 2019, Sunil was presented with the Key to the City by Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan in recognition of his, and the NSCF’s role in fostering cross-cultural and cross-generational connections within the community.


chess instruction

In 2022, NSCF launched a chess initiative in collaboration with the City of Miami Beach Parks & Recreation Department. Open Play sessions take place on both Saturdays and Sundays at different facilities. Additionally, we’ve provided weekly lessons to over 400 students each year in the City’s summer camps. The also NSCF organizes an annual complimentary scholastic chess tournament in partnership with the City.

Miami Beach participates in the annual Mayors’ Chess Challenge series and has has integrated chess into other cultural and community events.

Phiona Mutesi, the Queen of Kate, chess enrichment
chess instruction
chess instruction
chess instruction