top of page

More About Us

SJ Chess School is an Official Affiliate
of the United States Chess Federation

About San Jose Chess School

In the early 90s, San Jose State University Students and members of the SJSU Competitive Chess Team began teaching Chess to elementary school students on San Jose Unified and San Jose Diocese school campuses in exchange for college credit and to satisfy volunteer requirements.


The program spread into more districts, other cities and beyond. We became an official affiliate of the United States Chess Federation with a sole mission to broaden the LOVE for Chess throughout the community here in the Bay Area by promoting Chess to all interested K-12 Students, shortly after members formed the San Jose Chess School and established a 501c3 Non-Profit.


We contract top chess professionals with years of successful teaching experience and professional competition. They are all certified in the 1st-Move instructional program and can transmit our award-winning curriculum to children of all ages and skill levels.


Over the decades, our chess school has helped to foster a continuing passion for chess in thousands of students. We now host Chess Club classes in over 100 school locations throughout all nine Bay Area counties.

In addition, we make learning and progressing at Chess FUN kids of all ages and capabilities. Our staff customizes each program to meet the needs of our specific student(s) from casual to highly motivated, competitive Chess Club players have countless achievements, numerous top standings, and championships... Including city, state, and national titles.


Our in-school, elementary & middle school teams are continually some of the highest-rated teams and win multiple sections year after year at countless Chess tournaments.


Chess Benefits for Kids

Both casual & competitive Chess is on the rise! It's mainstreaming in recent years has been in part to the many studies showing the benefits to kids.  Local youth has been more successful than ever in district tournaments, state rankings, national events, USCF ratings.


We are even seeing more Chess on TV, film, print, and movies... And now that Chess is back in an Olympic bid we are seeing this 2000+year-old game just about everywhere.  More Americans are playing Chess than ever before in our Nation's history.

Children from all backgrounds can succeed at Chess.  Even children who are not performing well in school are inspired by Chess and show a better attitude toward learning.


According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, “Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully... The brain needs this skill set to filter distractions, prioritize tasks, set and achieve goals, and control impulses.” 


We believe teaching Chess provides both conceptual instruction and practical application, allowing students to develop the necessary skills for success in life. One of the oldest and most intriguing games, chess is a pedagogical tool for students of all ages and abilities. Through Chess, students learn thinking skills that apply to other disciplines.

  • Chess improves concentration and self-discipline;

  • Chess involves all levels of critical thinking (knowledge, comprehension, analysis, evaluation)

  • Chess requires forethought and circumspection;

  • Chess cultivates visualization;

  • Chess develops problem-solving skills;

  • Chess encourages children to overcome the fear of risk-taking;

  • Chess teaches children to assume responsibility for their decisions;

  • Chess encourages socialization skills that extend across cultures and generations;

  • Chess raises self-esteem and promotes good sportsmanship;

  • Chess rewards determination and perseverance;

  • Chess is fun!

Summer Chess Classroom_edited.jpg

San Jose Chess School Booklet Series
*When finished Students submit completed books to their Chess Coach for and earn Certificates for passing each booklet, winning cool Chess prizes along the way, and earning SJ Chess School Trophies 


bottom of page