But our new home is right here on earth!

We are thrilled to announce that through hard work, the support of our community, and a little bit of serendipity, the Berkeley Chess School has purchased a spacious and affordable church located at 2622 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley.

This means so much. Since our old home at Berkeley’s Hillside School was sold in 2012, we’ve been nimble at finding venues for our growing portfolio of all things chess. BCS camps, classes, teams, and tournaments have been hosted at schools, churches, performance spaces, and conference venues throughout the City. Though we met demand and deftly controlled costs, there were always concerns that we might be priced out of a highly competitive Bay Area rental market. Those concerns are gone. With our occupancy costs now capped, what we offer will be determined by how much chess Bay Area children would like to play!

The Church is in remarkably good condition and the expansive nave is ready for use as a tournament hall now, but there is much more to do. We want to boost capacity by adding a third story, build a playground for our scholastic camps and tournaments, and install an elevator so our new home will be accessible to all.

Can you help us by making a donation to our Building Fund?

To qualify for significant foundation, corporate, or government grants, it is crucial that we show we have the support of our community.

If you would like to make a significant leadership or legacy gift to our Building Fund, please contact our development team at development@berkeleychessschool.org.

Volunteers Wanted!

We have tremendous need for skills and labor to help transform this twentieth century church into a twenty-first century chess school. The building needs to be painted, the sanctuary carpet removed and replaced with sturdy laminate flooring, drywall installed to create additional classrooms, new lighting fixtures similar to the likes of these acoustic light fixtures installed so that classrooms have suitable lighting levels, as well as sound-dampening materials to decrease volume levels of all classes, the grounds landscaped, and a plethora of etceteras! If you can help, please email the Berkeley Chess School at programs@berkeleychessschool.org with “church renovation” in the subject line.

Promote the Pawn! Make a Donation to our Building Fund!

Our new home will:

  • Be a vibrant, welcoming, and inclusive community center and destination for chess players worldwide.
  • Support the cognitive and social development of every child. With rigorous research guiding curriculum development, the Berkeley Chess School will launch a national strategy to reduce learning inequities and help each child reach their full academic potential.
  • Offer multi-level chess classes, teacher seminars, specialty camps, and tournament play.
  • Provide full programming and tournament opportunities for adult and senior players.