Welcome to the Berkeley Bishops! 

                                                      Training sessions held in Berkeley  

Welcome to the Berkeley Bishops!  The Berkeley Bishops is an elite team of players that will train together, attend private matches against other teams, and compete for BCS in theCalchess Spring State Championship. The goal of the Bishops is to create a group of kids that want to improve their chess and join a team of other kids interested in more than just our regular after school & BFN sessions. Bishops must be BCS Students, and have at least 6 months of chess experience.  Registration link at the bottom of this page.

2023 Team Information

5 week session, Sundays 1-3pm  

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

Summer One (5 weeks)
June 4th
June 11th
June 18th
June 25th
July 2nd
Summer Two (5 weeks)
July 9th
July 16th
July 23rd
July 30th
August 6th

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 with at least 6 months of chess experience, and a desire to improve their chess skills.

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, 2018 US Chess Champion 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
  • IM 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
  • GM 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

Bishops - Summer One, 2023 Jun 04 - Jul 02 2622 San Pablo Ave
CA 94702
Express Registration
Bishops - Summer Two, 2023 Jul 09 - Aug 06 2622 San Pablo Ave
CA 94702
Express Registration