How it all began

The things that Elizabeth Shaughnessy loves about playing the game are tactics, problem solving, and of course, winning. But what she loves most about chess itself is its ability to cross boundaries and appeal to all ages. One of her early memories was as a child in Ireland watching her father play with a Lithuanian WWII refugee whose family hers was sheltering. By the age of five Elizabeth’s father had taught her chess, and she, her father, and brother played for fun.

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Recent posts

Berkeley Bishop’s Qualifier

Congratulations to all who attended our Qualifying tournament on Saturday, you are now officially on our Berkeley Bishops team!Read More

All Girls Tournament 2014

Our annual Berkeley Chess School All Girls Tournament was held on January 18th at Hillside School in Berkeley with 30 of our students participating.Read More

BCS Whiz Kids Compete at Elite World Tournament

Two East Bay children, 7 and 10, take on the world in chess – and come back with lasting friendships.Read More

BCS Alum Makes National Master

At a USCF-rated chess tournament in Rochester, New York last November, BCS alumnus and former chess teacher David Petty quietly achieved a lifetime goal.Read More


The Berkeley Chess School congratulates BCS student Josiah Stearman for recently attaining the title of National Master before his 11th birthday! His hard work and determination paid off.Read More


Congratulations from Berkeley Chess School to BCS Instructor Uyanga Byambaa for recently attaining the title of National Master!
Great Job!Read More

Best After-School Program in East Bay According to Diablo Magazine

  • After-School Classes
  • Friday Night Chess
  • The Berkeley Chess School’s chess programs are designed for beginning, intermediate and advanced students of all ages. They provide a rigorous training in chess while making the process fun, with skilled and engaging instructors and an eye toward personal growth. Chess in the Schools The Berkeley Chess School offers chess instruction to K-12 students in over 150 schools throughout the Bay Area. We offer after school classes as well as chess in the classroom during the school day.

    View Our After School Classes
  • The Berkeley Chess School offers Friday Night Chess classes for K-12 students at our Hillside School location in Berkeley, the Grace Presbyterian Church in Walnut Creek, and Country Club Elementary School in San Ramon. Sign up by the midnight of the Wednesday before the first class to qualify for Early Bird (reduced) tuition! Classes are 90 minutes in duration from 5:30-7:00 p.m.Classes are followed by an optional tournament from 7:00-8:00 p.m., which gives the students a fun opportunity to gain tournament experience.

    View Our Friday night Chess

Over 1500Competitors in our Tournaments

BCS holds weekly chess tournaments during the academic school year and camp programs, including a large, all-girls tournament. We also facilitate our students’ participation in annual statewide competitions. Our weekly competitions draw up to 100 players, and up to 80 BCS students attend statewide competition attracting over 1,500 competitors. Tournaments provide the motivation that encourages students to master their games. They develop focus and concentration, celebrate wins, learn from losses, and build confidence in their own abilities. Many say that tournaments are their favorite aspect of the program, because it gives them an opportunity to test and showcase their skills in front of teachers, peers and parents.

View Our Tournament Calender

Thank-you notes from our students

What Parents Say about us

Last year I signed my older two boys up for one week of chess camp. The staff was accommodating, but I knew my busy 6-year-old wouldn’t last 15 minutes in those quiet, focused classrooms. The next day I brought him, but stayed around so I could take him home when he got bored. 15 minutes turned into an hour, an hour turned into all day and before I knew it he had stayed the whole week. This past spring when I asked the boys what they wanted most to do in the summer, they all asked – can we have 2 weeks of chess camp instead of one?!
Thank you for giving my son & his cousin the opportunity to experience your program. They definitely walked away with skills they can use for a lifetime!
On behalf of my daughter, I would like to thank everyone there for the tournament. My daughter had a great time. The experience was marvelous. She came home even more excited and determined about playing chess. Thanks so much for all of your hard work and tremendous effort! The event will remain with each and every child for the rest of their lives! Many, many thanks!

Get in touch with us

Office Address

1845 Berkeley Way
Berkeley, CA 94703

Mailing Address

PO Box 10073
Berkeley, CA 94709

Contact Us

Phone: (510) 843-0150
Fax: (510) 843-0140
Adult tournament phone: (510) 684-9907

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