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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 an academic tool. While expert chess instructors are a valuable resource, the most cost-effective programs to reach the greatest number of children make use of teachers who are already in the classroom. 

The National Scholastic Chess Foundation offers professional development programs for teachers across the country. Even if you’ve never played chess, the NSCF’s teacher training workshops will prepare teachers to teach a chess program in school, in after-school or in a community program. 

NSCF workshops and shorter training classes are available to school districts and community programs nationwide. For more information on Teacher Training programs, contact Robert McLellan via email at


Demystifying Chess: Thinking Skills Workshops

The NSCF offers two Demystifying Chess workshops that together cover key topics for a  22+ week program of chess instruction, regardless of grade level. In addition to in-person instruction, each full-day workshop includes additional online homework and review tests. When requested, workshops can be adapted so we deliver the content over multiple days. The goal of these workshops is not to dictate a specific curriculum. Instead, we provide the outline of key concepts and the order in which they should be introduced so children can play chess successfully in a short period of time. Course materials are tied to state standards and social-emotional learning competencies.

Over the past five years, we have trained over 650 teachers, law enforcement, and other professionals working with children to deliver chess instruction in Broward County, Florida and Fresno County, California, as well as for Detroit Public Schools. We have also delivered half-day introductory trainings for over  50 summer camp counsellors who were then able to assist our NSCF instructors in introducing chess to camp participants.