Welcome to the Berkeley Bishops! 

                                                      Training sessions held in Berkeley AND Dublin! 

Welcome to the Berkeley Bishops!  The Berkeley Bishops is an elite team of players that will train together, attend private matches against other teams, travel to nationals together (usually held in Florida, Tennessee & California, this is not a requirement). The goal of the Bishops is to create a group of kids that want to improve their rating and join a team of other kids interested in more than just our regular after school & BFN sessions. Bishops will receive homework lessons between sessions, will have the opportunity to analyze their games with coaches and learn/socialize with some of the the top kids in our program. Bishops will be separated into multiple levels.   Registration link at the bottom of this page.

2017-2018 Team Information

Berkeley 6 week session, 11:00am-12:30pm-  

Berkeley Chess School
2622 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

April 29th
May 6th
May 13th
May 20th
skip a week (memorial weekend)
June 3rd
June 10th
Dublin Bishops 6 week session-  1:00-2:30pm
6665 Amador Plaza
Dublin, CA 94568April
April 8th
April 15th
April 22nd
April 29th
May 6th
May 13th


 $120 for 6 week session (includes shirt)

financial aid (50%) available. Please contact our office to submit an application.

Instructors: Berkeley Top class will be taught by former Berkeley Bishop, GM Sam Shankland! Sam is an American Chess Grandmaster on the United States National Team, the reigning Olympic Champions. He is a two-time Olympiad Gold Medallist (2014 and 2016), a former World u-18 co-champion (2008), winner of several international events, and the third highest rated homegrown American player of all time. He has worked as an analyst for the reigning World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, training with him to prepare for the 2014 and 2016 World Championship matches.

Additional instructors include:

BCS Top Coach- Mr. Chess (Stephen Shaughnessy)

Master Derek O’Connor

History of the Bishops:

The town of Berkeley was named after an Irishman Bishop Berkeley. An Irishwoman, Elizabeth Shaughnessy, founded the Berkeley Chess School. So when we were choosing a team name for the Berkeley Chess School’s best, the Berkeley Bishops seemed appropriate. The Berkeley Bishops team played their first match on November 10, 1984 in Berkeley against the Orange County “Wizards”. Over the years, they had many memorable matches both in Berkeley and Los Angeles. The students on that first team eventually formed the Berkeley High School team that won the State Championship for three of their four high school years, the other winner being College Prep, whose number one board was also a “Bishop.” In the early nineties the Bishops played against a combination team of Weibel and Mission San Jose, and in the years following, the annual Weibel v Bishops match became a staple for preparing students for the State Championships. In the year 2000 the Bishops traveled to Straffan, Ireland for a match against the All-Ireland under-14 Champions, and the Irish team played the return match in Berkeley in 2001. In 2006, a Bishop’s team again traveled to Ireland, this time to Dublin, to play the students of GM Alexander Baburin. The Irish team played the return match in 2007. The philosophy of the Berkeley Chess School — to share the joy of chess with as many young people as possible — is embodied in its Berkeley Bishops Team where emphasis is placed on competition and good sportsmanship rather than on results.

How is the team chosen?

Students taking classes from the Berkeley Chess School are personally invited by instructors. 

The Commitment

Students on the Berkeley Bishops and the Berkeley Queens teams are encouraged to show up for every match to which they are invited to play against another school or team, including the State Grade Level Championships and/or the Girls’ State Championships. They must wear a Berkeley Chess School custom shirt, cap or sweatshirt. Typically there are two to three matches a year. Special practice sessions with instruction are offered to strengthen the team’s play. Most matches, events, and classes will be held on Saturdays. A list of Bishops with phone numbers and city of residence is emailed to all Bishop families, in order to facilitate carpools.


The Bishops Proudly Boast Alumni:

  • Grandmaster Sam Shankland, World Champion U/18, 2010, Chess Olympiad gold medal winner, 2014, and recipient of the prestigious Stamford chess scholarship
  • Grandmaster Jon Ludwig Hammer, second for World Champion
  • IM David Pruess, recipient of the prestigious Stamford chess scholarship
  • FIDE Master Andy Lee
  • Daichi Siegrist, Junior Chess Champion of Japan
  • Monty Peckham, California High School State Champion
  • Alexander Setzephandt, member of the Pressman All American Team
  • FM Josiah Stearman, youngest National Master (age 10), 2014, member of the Pressman All American Chess Team, 2013, and member of the US World Youth Team, 2012 and 2013
  • Ben Rood, member of the US World Youth Team, 2012
  • Callaghan McCarty-Snead, member of the US World Youth Team, 2013
  • FM Hans Neimann, member of the US World Youth Team, 2014
  • Natalie Baldacci, California High School Girls State Champion, 2012
  • David Petty, National Master
  • State Champions too numerous to mention by name, every year since 1984.


Program Name



Details / Register

Berkeley Bishops Class Registration Apr 29 - Jun 10 2622 San Pablo Ave
CA 94702
Express Registration
Dublin Bishops Class Registration April 8th-May 20th Apr 08 - May 13 6665 Amador Plaza Rd
CA 94568
Express Registration