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Welcome to ChessPals!

ChessPals is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to developing important life skills by expanding access to chess

Henry Lien teaching chess at the whiteboard

Our Mission

ChessPals offers free after school and summer camp chess classes to elementary school students without access to a chess program. Our teachers are strong chess players currently in high school who mentor their students, using chess to teach lifelong skills, such as goal setting, consistent practice, good sportsmanship, and a growth mindset. Numerous studies have shown that playing chess increases math and reading scores, which is especially critical now as schools are focused on recovering from Covid learning loss.

Our Vision 

ChessPals has a vision to have ChessPals chapters in all 50 states so that all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background can have access to chess and use the game to help realize their full potential. ChessPals currently has multiple chapters throughout the United States and is actively expanding. 


Our goal is to have high school teens in all executive and teaching roles so that as they are mentoring their students, they are also gaining valuable leadership experience. 

Are you a school looking to add a chess program or a high school chess player looking for a teaching and/or leadership position?

Are you interested in donating so that we can serve more children? It costs $25 per year to add a chess student to our program. 

A girl contemplating her next chess move
A boy enjoying the game of chess

The ChessPals program uses a customized curriculum based on’s comprehensive framework. Every student also receives a account with which they can practice the game and connect with fellow players. Our classes can be taught online with Zoom or in person on school grounds. We work hard to create a fun and safe learning environment.  We have no age restrictions on our programs. Our average class size is 10 children but we can teach up to 20 kids at one time. We offer the opportunity to participate in local chess competitions so our students can pursue their chess interests as far as it can take them. 

We have an amazingly talented group of high school chess players who teach our free afterschool classes and summer camps. ChessPals teachers love to share their knowledge of chess with the next generation. They know that the lessons they learned from playing chess go well beyond the game itself. Goal setting, patience, empathy and good sportsmanship are just some of the characteristics of a chess player. Plus, a lot of teachers have played chess together as friends and opponents for many years and know the camaraderie and community that develops. 

In addition, we are fortunate to have a strong board of advisors who are supporting the expansion of ChessPals and ensuring that thequality of program is consistent throughout the country. (Photo credit: Jeffrey Huang)


Children served

Over 800 children taught in our 5 year history


Ten 1-hour classes taught every week in Marin County, California

9 Marin County schools 

served with chapters starting across the nation

10 chapters nationwide

Chess Game

Interested in learning how you or your school can get connected to ChessPals? Get in Touch!


We will reach out as soon as possible! Thank you!

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