Program & Events Support Plan

Lots of K-12 students across our area can be brought together to enjoy the life-long benefits of chess using multiple integrated approaches. Learn more below!

Consider ThisSets & ClocksEvent SuppliesPlayer SupportBulk Memberships
Students respond to quality. It is no different in chess. Buy a cheap chess set and kids will consider chess cheap and not take it seriously. Playing ACES CHESS learned this during the 2009/2010 school year.  Back then we had no funding, but we had interest from schools and parents.  Before we had the tournament quality sets we have today (see Playing ACES CHESS KPIs) though some generous initial supporters we used what the venues had. In many cases these sets were of lesser quality!

When using these lesser quality sets often times made of small hollow plastic pieces that were easily knocked over event at the slighted movement would disrupt board positions causing and cause students to argue.  This often caused instructional disruption wasting time. Once tournament quality sets and later chess tournament quality clocks were introduced these same students respected these higher quality items and instruction disruptions immediately dissipated. The simple lesson – provide quality materials to support quality instruction and students will give you quality behaviors (self – discipline). 

The goal by 2020 is to have in the Playing ACES CHESS inventory 1,000 tournament quality chess sets and clocks that will be able to accommodate 2000+ students annually.  Because Playing ACES CHESS will have custody of these materials they can use them for any program venue including for tournaments. This means the cost to replace missing or damaged pieces or clocks will not be on the venue but on Playing ACES CHESS to assure continued quality.

ComboSet04Chess ClockKeep in mind chess events are time limited, therefore having durable clocks that require little to no maintenance, save for batteries to power them, allows for years of use after initial purchase.

  • Archer Style Chess Sets
  • ZMF II Style Solid State Chess Clocks


K-12 students like being recognized for success. This means having a stockpile of trophies, plaques, and medals on-hand for the regular monthly and annual event that are planned. Events, especially rated events are important.

Also, other items such a prizes in the form of  personal chess clocks, professional sets, etc. are also offered to those that place in addition to trophies for their over the board accomplishments.

Playing ACES CHESS goal is to have a minimum of 12 annual rated events the conservative cost is ~ $750 – $1,250 depending on the event type. This includes the event recording fee that the United States Chess Federation (USCF) charges to record official rated events. Playing ACES CHESS is always looking for event only sponsors to cover these cost.  Any participation fees charged are at a level to replenish these items for the next event.

Talented K-12 players need to compete in rated events in order to achieve higher levels of chess excellence.  This means identifying individuals / businesses to sponsor for talented K-12 students who otherwise would fall by the wayside.  Playing ACES CHESS seeks support to send deserving K-12 students to both state and national chess events like Winter Nationals in Florida or VSCA K-12 State Championship.  To learn more about this idea contact  Our goal every year  will be raise enough funds to sponsor three teams to a attend major championship events:

(1) Elementary School Team (k-5) (8 students including a parent/student)
(2) Middle School Team (6-8) (8 students including 2 chaperones)
(3) High School Team (9-12) (8 students including 2 chaperones)
(4) Plus 1 coach for each Team level

The Virginia Scholastic Chess Association (VSCA) maintains a state wide calendar of these rated events.  Therefore, the first priority for support will be for rated events within a few hours drive of the Charlottesville/Albemarle area.  Also, click here to learn about a study in rating progression and why starting young matters.

Playing ACES CHESS can save parents money in two Ways:

1st – Use the bulk membership program option offered by the USCF.  Simply put, the more students compiled for annual membership under a single process the cheaper membership is to the individual family without loss benefits from such membership. After all why would anyone not want to save over 35+% in membership fees. The advantage to USCF membership is access to training materials and other chess centric information for K-12 students and their parents.

2nd – Use the bulk membership option offered by the Internet Chess Club (ICC) to engage more rural K-12 students in online high quality chess instructional materials  and events that they can have access to 24/7/365.  These tools  are designed by the world’s leading chess Masters/Grand Masters.  Once a student has the basics, and like with any sport or activity, it is all about practice to get better.   After all why would a parents not want to save > 75% individual annual ICC membership cost via the use of bulk memberships.

Bottom line, Playing ACES CHESS desires to add value to each students K-12 chess experience by being prepared to offered the basics or to advocate for emerging talent and to help those deserving student achieve chess success.