Chess Kings is a nonprofit organization based in Chicago, Illinois that aims to create quality chess programs. We want to help everyone improve their chess playing ability. We understand the importance helping schools and parents save money and resources. Studies show playing chess leads to higher scores on IQ tests and standardized tests. Our nonprofit has an educational mission and we seek to offer competitive programs at affordable prices. We offer after school programs, online lectures, and summer camps.
Chess Kings works with teachers who have experience working with kids and experience as competitive chess players. We make having fun our top priority and recognize that this more than anything will lead to improvement over time. Our activities are interactive and work the patterns into your brain. Most importantly, our beginner lessons plans build the foundation for more advanced study.
Ben Rothschild founded the nonprofit organization Chess Kings to teach chess in schools. After working for several chess companies, doing two years of freelance work, and teaching dozens of private students, he decided to found a nonprofit organization to focus on the game’s community building mission. He developed his own curriculum for elementary and middle schools with his book, The Real Beginner’s Guide to Chess. The book takes a different approach by teaching pattern recognition and “hanging” piece puzzles as building the foundation for the future study of tactics. This method aims to expedite the 600-800 USCF learning process where it takes the student several hours (with the book) to learn what they might otherwise have had to learn by playing through a hundred games in the period of several months.
Ben Rothschild obtained the expert title at age 16, earning him the ranking of 17th in the nation for his age group in April 2007. His high school team placed first in the state chess competition in 2006 and was seeded first the next two years in a row at state, consistently scoring in the top four in state competition during his junior and senior years. He received the Larry Stilwell Award in 2006 for his playing ability, coaching skills, and leadership. This award was only given to one student each year in the state of Illinois. In 2008, his high school team placed third at the high school nationals competition. In 2013, Rothschild tied with another individual for first place the Chicago Open Under 2100 division. With a rating of 2106, Rothschild can play chess blindfold and calculate several moves ahead.
Niles North’s chess program has consistently brought forth players that have made the top 100 lists in the country. Numerous experts and Class A players emerged from the Niles North chess program. The school’s success has a lot to do with their teaching philosophy, which is to make sure that if the players are having fun, they will become inspired to study the material and improve on their own. Niles North’s Director of Student Activities called the chess program the “most dominant and successful program of any kind this entire school district has.” After winning their third state title in 2012, the Mayor of Skokie proclaimed May 7th, “Niles North Chess Team Day.” The Illinois General Assembly passed resolutions congratulating Niles North on their championship wins. The high school was recently featured in the documentary by Rick Rysso called Chess State.
In high school, Ben Rothschild was a Illinois Chess Association Warren Scholar, a program that honors chess players for reaching the top echelons of play nationally. He has coached hundreds of students and consistently helped them reach 1200 to 1600 USCF. He defeated chess masters in tournaments as a high school student. His games were featured in the Illinois Chess Bulletin. Rothschild was quoted in the recent book called Players and Pawns: How Chess Builds Community and Culture by University of Chicago sociologist Gary Alan Fine. Using teaching techniques he developed from coaching in his high school years, Rothschild developed the curriculum for Chess Kings to help students improve. Many young people who play competitive chess go on to become doctors, lawyers, and scientists while using thinking techniques developed through the game.
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