Marin County Chapter
ChessPals started in Marin County in 2018 and this chapter is the largest. We are always adding new teachers as the number of programs we are running keeps expanding. Many of us grew up playing chess together as friends and opponents in the Marin Scholastic Chess Program, run by Lanette and Jeff Gorden. We learned the art of good sportsmanship after a tough loss or a satisfying win. We credit chess with teaching us to set long-term goals as we endeavored to do better in tournaments and improve our USCF ratings. Most importantly, chess was as fun as it was challenging. And, it is that sense of fun that we want to give to our students.
The schools and camps where we have programs is found on the Partners page.
In addition, we have a partnership with Vivalon, a resource hub for older adults and people with disabilities where we teach several classes. We have a vision to connect these students with our elementary school students to play chess at lunchtime and build intergenerational connection and community.
Marin Academy 2023
My passion for chess began through my elementary school club; at first, I imagined the intricately carved wooden pieces to be airplanes soaring through the air or rocketships ready for takeoff into the stratosphere. Gradually, I began to understand piece movement and the strategies behind the game. Additionally, the strategic thinking behind chess allowed me to better myself in the classroom by developing my time management and ability to adapt to tricky situations. Through teaching, I want to instill what chess has taught me in my students and ensure they have fun learning the beautiful game.
Marin Academy 2023
I like teaching chess because I love the feeling of seeing my students find joy in learning. I have been a lifelong lover of chess and I want to spread that passion to others.
University HS 2025
I love all of the intricacies of chess and how there is always something that can be done to improve my play. I believe that there is no perfect chess, only better chess, and I love sharing my quest to be better each time with kids who would not have gotten a chance to explore this game
I teach chess as a way to give back to the game. Chess has changed my life, and inspired me to be a learner and a doer, and I want to inspire other people in this way through the great game of chess.
My first encounter with chess was as a first grader in a program that my school offered. Here was where I first learned about the basics of chess, and I had such a great experience and have so many fond memories from that introductory program. It opened the door for me into the world of chess, and I hope to do the same for others.
As I've become more advanced in chess, I've come to love it even more. I can now appreciate its complexity and I know there is always more to learn. I teach because it gives me the opportunity to pass on my knowledge to others. I hope to foster a love of chess in my students.