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Acclaimed chess program won't reopen its doors for kids

Acclaimed chess program won't reopen its doors for kids

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, July 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Chess NYC, whose high-energy after-school programs and camps make it a leader in making chess fun, is flat out refusing to reopen its doors to students anytime soon.

It cares about students too much to do otherwise, says Michael Propper, Chess NYC director. "Sure, as New York finally eases up from the pandemic, some camps and programs are throwing open their doors and insisting it's fine for children to pile together," Propper says. "We just don't feel right about doing that. We don't want to take the chance with the health of our kids and their families."

Plus, he says, Chess NYC realized something as the pandemic took competition and instruction online: The fast-paced format of its matches and the way its coaches teach the game are more important than any brick-and-mortar location.

"We built our operation – our reputation – on the belief kids rarely sit still, and chess shouldn't either," Propper says. "And we've taken that approach to our online programs."

One example is Play N Stay, matching boys and girls with three opponents of similar skills, based on age and rating. Competitors earn points for wins, draws and even losses, with the intent of feeding kids' competitive natures while building skills. Points earned are reflected in U.S. Chess Federation ratings, and winners earn cash prizes and a shot at a family Disney World trip, once that's safe again.

Chess NYC's coaches offer plenty of ways for kids, from beginners to teens, to learn the game and hone skills, from group lessons to tailored one-on-one sessions. Its website,, has details, lesson and match times. Having helped fill the need to keep kids and their minds active while stuck at home, Chess NYC is working to make its online programs even more engaging and available to anyone across the country.

"A lot of people think the words 'fun' and 'chess' don't go together, but we've proven that wrong, no matter how we teach it," Propper says.

About Chess NYC

Chess NYC has operated after-school programs and summer camps since 2008 and has been the industry leader in offering multiple ways to compete and learn the game online. Reflecting its focus on education, Chess NYC acquired the award-winning learning center in 2020.


Michael Propper 


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