• About the NSCF

    The National Scholastic Chess Foundation

    Inspiring Excellence Through Chess

    The National Scholastic Chess Foundation (NSCF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization founded in 1990 to provide the benefits of a chess education to students of all ages.

    The primary focus of the NSCF’s programs is to develop critical thinkers. The cornerstone of the critical thinking process is considering and evaluating options. This process requires discipline, deliberation and decision. For over 25 years, the NSCF has  worked with diverse populations in private and public schools, with children in gifted programs as well as those with special needs. The NSCF has shown that chess is a tool that helps students develop independent study and problem-solving skills and helps educators attain positive learning outcomes in all core subject areas.

    The NSCF operates a variety of programs in 60 schools in 30 different communities in New York and Connecticut, and implements teacher training programs and community-focused chess programs in cities across the USA.

    In the Curriculum – The NSCF specializes in curricular instruction where chess is offered to all students during the school day. In dealing with a wide spectrum of ability and interest, keeping everyone engaged is a priority. The instruction de-emphasizes winning and focuses on the process of move selection. This approach encourages experimentation and minimizes performance anxiety. Every stage in the original version of Bloom’s taxonomy is addressed here. To Bloom's list, a chess player would add ‘decision’ as that is the culminating stage of the process.

    Enrichment – The NSCF provides chess instruction as an enrichment activity. Studies have shown that regular participation in high-quality after-school programs is linked to significant gains in standardized test scores, increased student attendance and engagement in school, as well as improved behavior. (1)

    Community Programs – The NSCF offers community classes with partners, such as YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, and local parks & recreation departments, among others.

    Summer Learning – The NSCF also operates summer chess programs designed to provide a more intensive exposure to chess for players of all abilities.

    Tournaments – The NSCF organizes scholastic tournaments for those students who are attracted to the competitive aspect of chess. Twenty tournaments are offered during the school year with special recognition for students performing at a high level on a consistent basis throughout the season. Many NSCF students also participate in state, national and international tournaments.

    Teacher Training – The NSCF provides professional development so teachers are equipped to add chess as a curricular or enrichment activity in their schools. Working with school districts and community partners, the NSCF’s goal is to increase the use of chess in education by offering instructional resources and teacher training tied to state standards. The NSCF also promotes activities that increase public awareness of the benefits of chess in education and in society as a whole.

    Scholarships – The NSCF awards scholarships to its programs on the basis of need. The NSCF also recognizes excellence in chess and education by co-sponsoring the National Scholar Chessplayer Awards.


    (1) Afterschool Alliance 

  • Florida Program Instructors

    Florida Program Instructors

    Teacher training programs are led by two acclaimed instructors with long careers in the classroom and in after school. Both are also champion chess players in their own right.


    FIDE Master Sunil Weeramantry is a nationally acclaimed instructor who has over 40 years’ experience teaching and developing award-winning chess programs. Since 1979 Sunil has directed a curricular chess program at Manhattan’s Hunter College Campus Schools, a leading laboratory school for talented and gifted students, where chess is a required subject for all students in kindergarten through fifth grade. A former New York State Chess Champion, Sunil served as the first Chairman of the US Chess Federation’s Committee on Chess in Education and produced Chess in Education workshops across the country, including on Capitol Hill. Click here to read our more complete bio of Sunil


    National Master Bill Cornwall is a teacher with over 35 years’ experience building award-winning chess programs in Florida. A former Florida Chess Champion, Bill is also a chess columnist whose articles appear weekly in  the Los Angeles Times.

  • Teacher Training

    Chess Training for Teachers

    Chess is taught within the curriculum in school systems around the world. A key factor in the success of these programs has been training classroom teachers to introduce chess as both a game and as a tool for imparting many academic skills children can use to attain success in their own education. While expert chess instructors are a valuable resource, the most cost-effective programs to reach the greatest number of children will make use of the teachers who are already in the classroom.

    The NSCF is working with our partners to develop new teacher training materials that align with Common Core State Standards and is embarking on a program to train classroom teachers nationwide. The long-term goal is to ensure high quality chess instruction is available to children in every community in the nation.

    NSCF's teacher training workshops: Demystifying Chess, Thinking Skills Workshops for Teachers comprise two full-day workshops additional online homework and review tests for each class.

    Even if you’ve never played chess, these workshops will prepare you to teach a chess program at your school. The workshops covers key topics for a  20+week program of chess instruction, across all grade levels. The goal of the workshop is not to dictate a specific curriculum but to provide the outline of key concepts and the order in which they should be introduced to have children playing chess successfully in a short period of time.

    Over the past two school years, we have trained over 450 teachers for school, after school and community programs in Florida and California. Workshops are available to school districts and other community partners nationwide. For more information on Teacher Training programs, contact Robert McLellan via email at Robert@NSCFchess.org.

    Workshops in Broward County, Florida are offered in partnership with the Broward Education Foundation.Visit the Teacher/Mentor Training page on our site www.SunriseChessCenter.org. The Sunrise Center for Excellence in Chess is a community chess program of the National Scholastic Chess Foundation.