The Case for Senior Chess

Photo (L-R): Cole Erskine, Jim Eade, Tracy McCloud and Bill Lee at the Avenidas Center in Palo Alto.

Cole Erskine, the late Art Wang, and I used to hold regular classes at the Avenidas Center in Palo Alto, which is devoted to seniors. It was a very heart warming experience. Some were interested in improving their play, some wanted simply to keep their minds working, but whatever the reason for their participation, it was always a pleasure to interact with them. After the city of Palo Alto poured 14 million dollars into a remodeling project, the Center reopened on April 1st, of this year.

Bill Lee is now in charge of the chess activity there. He sets up boards and clocks every week, arranges for simuls, guest speakers, or whatever else he can come up with. Tracy McCloud is the Avenidas Center’s director, and it was a pleasure to meet with her. She is totally supportive of the chess program there, and we always need an internal champion, if we hope to achieve sustainability.

In the picture, we are holding a board and demo board provided by the US Chess Trust. Our original primary mission was to provide sets and boards to Title 1 schools across the nation. Last you we did so at 72 schools across 29 states. Now, we want to expand our mission to include senior centers around the country.

Based on my work with Checkmating Dementia, I have learned that although chess play cannot prevent the debilitating effects of age related illness, it can delay the onset of symptoms. Helping these centers by providing chess sets and boards to them seems consistent with our mission.

The US Chess Trust ( a 501c3 organization, which means donations are tax deductable) needs help to meet the challenges of today. We believe that chess serves a useful purpose helping to educate the young, provide a pleasant pastime for adults, and a solace in old age. Help us to help them.

Jim Eade


U.S. Chess Trust

Programs and Tournaments We Support

Supporting the Chess Community

Frank P. Samford, Jr. Chess Fellowship

The Frank P. Samford, Jr. Chess Fellowship is the richest and most important chess fellowship in the United States. It identifies and assists the best young American chess masters by providing top-level coaching, strong competition and access to study materials. The Fellowship also supplies a monthly stipend for living expenses so that the winners may devote themselves to chess without having financial worries.

National Girls Tournament of Champions

The U.S. Chess Trust has supported this event since its inception. Tax-deductible donations are accepted and may be earmarked for the event.

The United States Chess Federation (USCF) National Girls Tournament of Champions is a tournament of Champions for girls from across the United States. It is held annually in the model of the Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions and Barber Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions. The NGTC is held in conjunction with the US Open. Each state affiliate is invited to send one representative, a female player in grades K-12 who has demonstrated her ability in a manner satisfactory to the state affiliate.

Chess-for-Youth Program

The U.S. Chess Trusts Chess-For-Youth program operates under a very simple premise chess makes kids smarter and should be an opportunity available to all students across the country. We can help you establish or continue your chess program.

The Chess Trust provides free U.S. Chess Federation memberships and chess playing equipment to support chess education programs across the nation. Programs are carried out in the field by dedicated volunteers and teachers who give their time and expertise and run chess programs in schools, community groups, and organizations.

Video Feature

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The Samford Fellowship: In Conversation with WGM Jennifer Shahade and GM Yasser Seirawan

Other Tournaments and Programs

The Scholar-Chessplayer Awards

The Scholar-Chessplayer Awards program was established in the 1980s, and is administered by the US Chess Federation and the US Chess Trust. This program is funded by the US Chess Trust and the National Scholastic Chess Foundation.

These annual scholarships awarded by the U.S. Chess Trust, the National Scholastic Chess Foundation, and the USCF, are “intended to recognize and encourage high school junior or senior students who promote a positive image of chess.

High School students who have shown outstanding merits in academics, sportsmanship and chess are eligible to apply for these scholarships.

Dewain Barber Tournament of K–8 Champions

The US Chess Trust has supported this event since its inception. Tax-deductible donations are accepted and earmarked for the event.

The Dewain Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions invites the winners of the US Chess State Affiliate championships to compete for the title of 2019 Barber Champion of Champions. In case of ties in the Barber, co-champions shall be recognized. This year’s invitational tournament will be held from August 3 to August 6 during the 2019 U.S. Open.

Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions

The US Chess Trust has supported this event since its inception. Tax-deductible donations are accepted and earmarked for the event.

GM Arnold Denker (February 20, 1914 – January 2, 2005) was an American chess player, Grandmaster, and a chess writer, but he will forever be remembered for his passion for promoting chess for students. He was an important chess organiser, serving on the Board of the American Chess Foundation, the United States Chess Federation, and the U.S. Chess Trust, the driving force behind the prestigious Denker Tournament of High School Champions.