Our goal

Our goal: is to help all districts of Belize to create chess culture and organize all the clubs around the country into a network of like-minded people who are passionate about the game, and recognize it as a very effective mind training activity, and as a great educational and motivational tool. We are interested in assisting with organizing new chess clubs and to revive the clubs that used to be active, even in the most remote areas of the country for the purpose of getting kids off the streets and getting them involved in the intellectual activity.

Target group: 6-18 years old

Why this age? At that age children begin looking for leadership, guidance, support and direction are most eager and are in the best stage to learn. Our national wide chess program offers them a safe environment where they will find attention, where they can grow their self-esteem, learn to be excited about learning and feel proud of their own accomplishments.

Chess Foundation offers:
- Assistance with organizing school or community afterschool chess clubs
- District and regional Tournaments
- Chess camps
- Workshops for teachers and community volunteers to learn chess, teaching techniques, classroom management, visual aids
- Assistance with chess curriculum materials and equipment

After school clubs and holiday/weekend tournaments will provide a safe and stimulating environment where the students can find like-minded friends
and adult supervision.

Chess clubs and events will provide kids with exciting and challenging activities known to boost academic performance and to improve their social skills. Chess offers a constructive alternative to television, general aimlessness and the temptations of the street. Players gain confidence that comes from facing competition, honing talent and being part of the team.
Numerous studies proved that chess helps children to improve reading and math skills. Chess became part of the curriculum in more than 30 countries around the world.


There are more and more school counselors who started 
using chess to help students with their emotional problems. 
Chess is a very emotional game, just like life....

In the table below please see a list of life skills that can be developed through chess. 

Life skills that children need to develop
Skills that chess develops
Emotional skills:
Managing feelings
Chess player needs to manage feeling in every position of the game; otherwise he/she will make irrational moves and lose the game.
Controlling impulses
If the chess player doesn’t take time to think about the move and consider different options, he/she might move too fast and not notice the best move.
Delaying gratification
In certain chess positions it is better not to capture a piece, but rather make a “waiting move”.
Anger and behavior management
Ability to admit mistakes, express feelings about difficult situations
In every game there will be a winner and a loser, unless there is a draw. Coach should emphasize again and again, that in chess there are no losers. There are winners and learners and therefore instead of getting angry because of the bad move, they should do their best for the rest of the game
Chess games allow us to learn from our mistakes and fix them in the very next game. If we get angry and throw a tantrum, the brain will lose the ability to learn from the mistake because it will be spending all of it mental energy on feeling angry. Solution: admit the mistake, by analyzing the game with the partner, or with the coach and try to avoid it in the very next game.
Reducing stress and learning how to pace themselves during tests and exams
By using a chess clock to show students how much better they are thinking when they are given plenty of time to finish the game, instead of five minute game. They will notice that under time stress they make wrong moves all the time, because they are worried about time. Talk them through the techniques how to play calmly even when there is very limited time given. Very soon students realize that even 5 minutes can be used productively and will bring better results if they stay calm. This skill is extremely important for chess games at the tournaments, as well as tests and exams in school.
Cognitive Skills:
Problem solving, decision making, setting goals, identifying alternative actions, anticipating consequences
Students learn to consider different options for their moves. If they make a wrong choice, they will face the consequences right away and lose a piece, or find themselves in the disadvantaged situation. Chess makes them learn from their own mistakes and anticipate the problems before they arise next time. A lot of times, they also have to make a choice between the satisfaction of capturing a piece, as a short term goal, and winning the game, as a long term goal.
Verbal: making request clearly, responding effectively to criticism, resisting negative influences, listening to others, helping others

As part of the chess club, students learn from each other, help weaker players and they must accept productive criticism from the coach. At the same time, they need to learn not to get intimidated by other peers who would make suggestions about their moves, they need to do the independent thinking and decision making that is not influenced by peer pressure. The same way as with everything else mentioned in this table, kids can experience the consequences of wrong choices right away, and they get into the habit of not blaming anybody else for their mistakes, but take responsibility for their own actions.
Behavioral Skills:
Understanding the perspective of others
To play chess you must understand and try to predict what the other player is thinking, you must look at the game from the other player’s perspective.
Understanding behavioral norms
There is chess etiquette, such as shaking hands before and after the games, control your anger and express yourself in civilized manner.
A positive attitude toward life
No game was ever won by resigning. This is basically the core of what we are teaching them. As chess players they must learn that doesn’t matter how bad the position looks, a lot of times, if they don’t get discouraged and concentrate they have a big chance to have a draw, or sometimes even to win. They learn how to be optimistic and put their effort into the game until the very last second of the game.