The Berkeley Chess School is a nonprofit organization offering chess instruction to thousands of children in kindergarten through high school throughout the Bay Area. It was founded in 1982 by Elizabeth Shaughnessy, former Irish Women’s Chess Champion and former president of the Berkeley School Board.

Classes are offered, for a fee, one hour per week either after school, at noon time, or during the school day in the student’s classroom. There is 20 minutes of instruction and 40 minutes of supervised play, a rich blend of learning through lecture and play.

We offer chess instruction in more than 120 schools throughout the entire Bay Area, including the North Bay, East Bay, Peninsula, and San Francisco.

Detailed lesson plans, compiled by master chess players and teachers are used by BCS instructors who themselves have been carefully screened and chosen for their expertise with both children and chess. Ongoing instructor training workshops are also an integral part of the program.

Through the medium of chess, we teach critical thinking, problem solving, mental discipline, how to deal with winning and losing, and other skills which affect learning in the classroom. Chess is fun whether played competitively or for recreation. It can be learned quickly and easily, especially by children. To read more about the impact of chess on children.

BCS students have won many competitions, including first place in both state and national competitions.

For more information or to set up a chess class in your school, email us or call our office: (510) 843-0150.