More Requests for Chess Clubs Than Current Capacity Can Handle

This is a double edge sword.  Playing ACES CHESS is pleased to report that more schools (and parents) want chess programs; however, some programs will have to be delayed due to limited volunteer capacity.  Mr. Nate cannot be everywhere and many UVA student volunteers are limited by not having transportation.  This limits them to supporting schools within walking, biking or short bus trip of Grounds.

Playing ACES CHESS is also considering creating a PTO Chess Club Training program to show how PTO’s can create an effective school-based K-12 chess program based on the following minimum concept:

PTO parent chess club sponsors:

  • would be trained to run weekly clubs
  • would have support from available area chess coach / mentor volunteers to help coach them and lay out training plans for supporting parents / PTOs as they engage (focus K-8) students
  • would work with other parent sponsored chess clubs and Playing ACES CHESS to develop a cohesive school-v-school match / regular rate/unrated tournament events schedule

Playing ACES CHESS would:

  • develop a visiting mentor program, meaning at least two mentors could be assigned to say 2-3 schools  they would rotate to in order to help coach, especially for elementary schools.
  • would develop a school v school match and a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly tournament schedule as schools would like.
  • would develop a virtual chess event series that would also allow area schools to challenge and play other players in a virtual safe space.  Playing ACES CHESS would train all parents  on the safe proper use of the Internet Chess Club (ICC).  The ICC system will become the preferred chess education and events platform for all Playing ACES CHESS participants.


  • Schools would not be limited by Playing ACES CHESS volunteer capacity and parents (especially K-5 parents would be empowered to develop in collaboration with Playing ACES CHESS program of high quality on a year to year basis
  • Playing ACES CHESS would manage opportunities for local chess events (RATED or UNRATED) as an impartial party so that all schools environments (public, private, home and special needs) would be fairly administered.
  • Allow for expansion of parents like the Day in the Life program (Curry School of Education), Madison House Volunteers and other student community service groups to expand student volunteer possibilities specific to chess.
  • Program growth would be unlimited as demand for K-12 chess increases to multiple day programs.  This would allow local advanced adult players (Class A and up) to engage talented K-12 players in order to help them achieve Class A or better rating status via a quality analysis program.  The Charlottesville City Chess Club, meets every Monday evening at St. Marks Lutheran Church at the corner of Alderman Road and Ivy Road each Monday evening.  There several young rated players like Aaron Osborne approaching Class C status, in addition to adults with Class A or better rating who are happy to help advance anyone’s chess skills, especially area K-12 youth.
  • Playing ACES CHESS could offer chess program schedule for the community.   But, this would require acquisition of a facility dedicated to such an endeavor.   Such a concept would be open to all.

The chart below is an evaluation of 4 participants at the Winter K-12 Nationals a couple of years ago.  These were all 12th grade participants.  What is most important is that the most efficient development from initial rating establishment (600) to the point of nearly or attaining 2400+ status was the K-12 student with a 2465 ELO who completed 1175 games in some 235 events, which indicated an estimated 200 pt. ELO rise/year.  At this conservative rate that player began to play chess in their 2nd grade year attending an average of 2+ events/month (aka 1 event every other week).  It also seemed, based solely on calculations that this student received good quality instruction leading them to an efficient rating increase over time.


Needless to say, the earlier a child starts to play competitively the greater the possibility they will rise to Expert (2000+), Master (2200+) and Grandmaster (2400+) levels with quality chess instruction and a the sustained ability to attend rated events on a frequent basis.  Such capacity requires communities to have a strategic approach for sustainable chess program development as shown in the strategy map below:


It should be noted that many talented players come from family situations of limited means, meaning communities cannot expect these students to keep up with those of more affluent means and thus must support locally rated events to give these students a opportunity to be competitive with out undue expense to travel to such events.