For over 30 years, the NSCF has been dedicated to helping kids learn chess. I received chess instruction at 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
Grandmaster, 5-time US Champion

The Sunrise Center for Excellence in Chess and NSCF have been invaluable community outreach partners for the Sunrise Police Department. These past six years, our officers have been able to play with and speak to countless children and adults during open matches, tournaments and community events. We have developed meaningful conversations and long-lasting relationships because of the NSCF’s work.

Chess is a game where sound decision-making, forward thinking and sacrifices are necessary. The same is true in everyday life. We are proud and honored to have collaborated with Sunil, Robert and their team and look forward to many more years of enriching community engagement through the lessons of the great game of Chess.

Chief Anthony Rosa
The City of Sunrise Police Department

When we first enrolled Jayden in the summer chess program, we only enrolled him for 2 weeks in the beginning because we weren’t sure whether he could stay focused on playing chess for 2 hours every day. But it turns out that he enjoyed it. He told us he is learning a lot and asked us to keep him in the program. I think NSCF’s coaches really did a great job in keeping Jayden motivated and challenged, and I’m happy to hear that he made good progress in his chess learning this summer.

Vincent Chan, Chess Parent

Many organizations come and go, but for over 30 years the NSCF has magically been reinventing – transforming – refining – and evolving itself – most recently to a virtual platform. A valued part of the WPPS in curricular and club venues serving in all of our schools, from our youngest K through HS students, from Special Needs to Rapid Learners, the NSCF is at the forefront in challenging all to observe, evaluate, and decide on the best move, whether in fun games or competition. These all-important critical thinking skills are needed in this fast-changing world. Offering clever positions to solve – with a tilt of his head and a knowing glint in his eye – Master Sunil is “tops” at encouraging youngsters to become more thoughtful, holistic, successful people. I am proud to have been a part of all this for over 30 years.

Bonnie Ackerman
White Plains NY Public Schools Chess Coordinator 1984-2010

Greenburgh CSD has supported an academic-based chess program at the elementary level for years. We believe that the research that shows participating in learning chess improves concentration and memory, enhances reading and math skills, and fosters logic, critical thinking, and creativity supports our mission to educate our students in an environment in which they will develop a life-long love of learning and successfully engage in a rapidly changing, interconnected global community. NSCF has worked directly with us to continue these opportunities in a blending learning environment allowing our students to continue developing core critical thinking skills even when separated from their traditional classrooms. Chess is part of the overall learning experience at GCSD and helps set our students up for future success.

Catherine V. Addor, Director of Advanced Learning and the Arts
Greenburgh Central School District, NY

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

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 first started working with Sunil when I was 6 years old, meeting with him a couple times a week for several hours at each lesson. I was a difficult child growing up and Sunil helped me in so many ways. I played in NSCF and Hunter tournaments and found a creative outlet that helped me focus, and I got pretty good, becoming a National Master and even winning the National High School Championship in 2012. While I only play for fun now, chess and Sunil’s mentorship has helped me be successful in every aspect of my life. I can’t thank him and the NSCF enough.

Ben Gershenov, a former student

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