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Where do we start if we want to get our child involved? 

The best place to begin is to visit one of our Sunday Scholastic Chess Clubs just for kids and their families. They are from 1 PM to 4 PM CST most Sundays of the year. 

During the Summer Months, we have two formats - "Open Sundays" are the best for beginners. Kids just show up and play other kids for fun. 

Click on our calendar below to see a complete schedule and more details. 


Do you have chess classes for kids?

Yes! On our Sunday Open Clubs (Hours 1 PM to 4 PM), there is a group lesson about 2 PM CST. 

We have one-day chess camps when students are typically out of school such as MLK Jr. Day and President's Day. 
We also have four weeks of NCC Summer Camp, where students get classes each morning. 

Do you offer private lessons?

We have a list of our teachers in the area on the NCC TEACHERS PAGE that we recommend for private chess instruction. You can contact them individually to try to arrange a private lesson. 

Do Parents have to stay and monitor their children at NCC events? Are they allowed to stay?

When you are registering your children for one of our NCC Summer Camps, Sunday Scholastic meetings or after-school clubs, child care is part of the program and parents are welcome to stay or they can sign their students in and depart. 

At our larger events we hold off the NCC premises (example - City Championship Qualifier at Lipscomb Academy with 180+ kids last November), then a parent, family member, chaperone must stay with their children. That large of a group is just too much for our staff to monitor appropriately. 

Parents often team up at the "all-day" events to take shifts. 

What do you mean by "all-day???"

We are here to strengthen your children's minds. This requires patience and lots of thinking! 

A chess tournament is not like your typical children sports that are done in an hour. Chess tournaments are more like a school day typically, they start around 8-9 AM and they end in the early to late afternoon based on their age and group. Younger kids are less experienced and typically think less, older kids use their time more wisely and are there later in the day. 

A chess game can take up to one hour and at most events they play 4-5 rounds. 

Are participants allowed to play in some of the rounds? Can they miss part of the event?

In most tournaments, yes. A student can often get a "half-point bye" for a round or two they have missed, so they are fully penalized for missing the first game. 

In important qualifying events, like state tournament and team tournaments, we highly discourage this as it does impact the event when a kid leaves early or arrives late. 

Of course, at our NCC events such as summer camps and Sunday events, it is completely fine to depart early or come late. 


Registration is now open for the NCC Home School Chess Clubs! 
 We have a weekly home school group that meets on Wednesdays (1 PM - 2 PM). Please check out calendar to register.

TEAM MESSAGES - Team Tournament will be held Saturday, March 2nd at Montgomery Bell Academy. 


How many players does a team need?

You need a minimum of 3 players or your team can’t win the match. A full-team is 4 players, plus 2 alternates (6 total).

All students must attend the same school.

How many rounds are there?

4-rounds. School do not get eliminated. They play all four rounds win or lose. At the end of the event, the Top-4 teams in each category advance to the State Championship on March 23rd @ Tennessee Tech.

How do we register a team?

The Coach should collect the team fees and place the players in order, typically with stronger or more experienced players on Board 1, then Board 2 and so on.

Entries should be sent to Chris Prosser ( or to the Nashville Chess Center.

Can we register at the door?

NO!!! Team line up and entry fees are due by February 22nd for the early entry fee and must be registered in advance.

Please see flier for complete details.

When:        Saturday, March 2, 2024

 (Players must arrive by 8:15 AM and will be there until the early-mid afternoon)

Where:      Montgomery Bell Academy

Can my student leave for another sporting event and come back?

NO! This is the sporting event that day. Each team has 4-players on it and if a player is unavailable or running behind then it hurts the entire team. Students must commit to the entire day.

What if my child gets sick? Does it hurt the team?

We are allowed to put two alternates on each team (6-players total, but only 4 play each match), so in the case of a withdrawal due to sickness or a family emergency, the alternate would step up.

How many teams are we allowed to form?

As many as we want! SCHOOL NAME will field an A-Team in the K-3 and an A-Team in the K-5 divisions. We can also have as many B-Teams for that category as well. Only A-Teams can advance to the State Championship on March 25th @ Montgomery Bell Academy.  The Coach decides the lineups on each team. A-Team players are decided by outside effort, experience levels, dedication during chess club.

Do Parents have to stay all day?

Not if we can organize shifts or if there is a chaperone. There are simply too many kids at this event for the organizers to provide professional child care. There will be concessions sold on site (usually its pizza or Chic-fil-a sandwiches).

What do we do when we arrive?

Find a comfy spot to hang out! Players on the team will know to find their Captain – Captains will come communicate to me. They will be totally prepared.


NCC Kids Page


The Nashville Chess Center has a range of scholastic events and activities just for the kids!  Here is the information about all of our current NCC Kids offerings:

NCC Kids Sunday Chess Club


Children and their parents are invited to join us Sundays from 1:00 - 4:00 PM at the Nashville Chess Center located at 2911 Belmont Blvd.  All K-12 skill levels are welcome from total beginner to advanced players.  Kids get to play chess games with each other practicing their skills against new opponents from different schools and possibly meeting up with old friends from chess tournaments. There is a teacher-led chess lesson around 2:00.  We typically end the day with Bughouse at 3:30.  Bughouse is a highly entertaining team chess game.  NCC Instructors are on-site throughout to work with kids, and the library and computers are available also.  The Kids Sunday Club is free but only members can check out books from the library.  Come and go as you please or stay for the entire three hours.  We hope to see you there!   


NCC Kids Online Group


NCC Kids can join us online to play against other Nashville Chess Kids and compete in our online tournaments.  We have a private group on called “Nashville Chess Center Kids.”  Use Safari or another web browser to go to the full site.  The ChessKid App doesn’t have all the site features.  To join the “Nashville Chess Center Kids” Club on, you must assign one of the coaches as your chesskid account guardians (this can be done in the settings).  Admins of the club are Coach Todd (MusicCityMaster on ChessKid,, Coach Epiphany (CoachEpiphany or or Coach Aaron (CoachAaronNCC  Just add one of the coaches as a guardian, send them an email with your child's name and school, and they will add you to the group.

Once you’re in the group, you can send challenges to other group members and coaches.  To play in the online tournaments, you can join up to thirty minutes before a start time.  Once logged in to ChessKid, click on PLAY” on the left menu, Click on PLAY FAST” and you should see any upcoming tournaments listed in the far right Chat Box.  Once you join the event, do not leave the FASTCHESS” console – it will start games automatically and each subsequent round will begin automatically once all the games from the round before are complete.  If you accidentally leave while a tournament is in progress, unfortunately it won’t pair you for the next round.  See you online!  Keep track of prizes, standings and results over in our News tab.  

Chess Camps


NCC offers one-day and week-long Chess Camps throughout the year to K-12 students.  Our one-day camps are on Shopping Day (the day after Thanksgiving), Martin Luther King JR. Day (January), and President’s Day (February).  In the Summer, there are typically four NCC Summer Camps lasting a week each.  The camps each run from 9 AM to 4 PM and include instruction and tournaments. Online Registration for Chess Camps 

NCC Chess Camps are open to players of all skill levels from total beginner to advanced.  Players will be grouped accordingly.  Campers will receive daily chess lessons from skilled instructors and make friendships to last a lifetime.  Some of our favorite camp activities include free play chess, tournaments, chess art, memory exercises, chess challenges and puzzles for prizes, giant chess, four-player chess, Bughouse, chess movies, pizza party, popsicles and winning trophies!  



Now that you know the rules, are you ready to compete?  Chess Club is the practice and the Tournaments are the games!  NCC offers tournaments throughout the year for players to test their skills against the playing field.  During the Fall, we usually have three Scholastic City Qualifiers for K-12 players leading up to the Nashville Scholastic City Championship in January.  The State Individual Championship takes place in the Fall and State Teams in the late Winter or Spring. Tournaments help us gain skills in competition, self-confidence, being a part of a team and other motivating factors. Here’s what to expect if you are new to Nashville Scholastic Chess Tournaments:

  • Above all else, we play chess because it is a game and it’s fun. We work very hard to foster an environment where Middle-Tennessee school children can productively learn from their mistakes and rejoice in the successes they and their peers are able to achieve.  
  • Please pre-register before the event! There is a lot of work that goes into getting students in the correct section and updating all of the computer files. If you sign your child up ahead of time on our website calendar – – then you do not have to sign up that morning at the event!  From now on, we will no longer accept the advanced registration rate at the door for letting us know you are coming. All players paying their entries at the door will have to pay the more expensive late fee rate.  Pay with your early registration please! 
  • When you arrive, first find a place for you and your friends/teams/family to hang out for the day. Our host schools are amazing! They usually provide us with plenty of space for you to hang out. Kids spend a lot of time hanging out at chess tournaments. Each round typically lasts an hour, so if a competitor finishes in 20 minutes, then they will have a solid chunk of down time before the next round begins. Bring things for them to play outside when weather permits (soccer ball, baseball glove and ball, outdoor games, etc). We strongly discourage bringing electronic devices such as ipads for them. Chess is a temporary escape from the screens and we want the students to be focusing on that and forming bonds with the chess community. Bring chess sets for them to practice on with friends! Other things you might want to bring:  camping chairs, snacks, a book or something to keep you entertained, and lots of positive encouragement to share with your chess player.
  • Come and check in to be sure your student is on our list. We will post pre-registration lists on the wall that you can double check, or you can come check in with us at the front door when you arrive and get settled. Take time to familiarize yourself with each campus – find the tournament hall, bathrooms, etc. 
  • When you hear the announcement that “pairings are up” – then it is time for your child to go look at the posted pairing sheets and find two pieces of important information:  What is my board number? Am I playing the white pieces or black pieces?
  • Help your child to the numbered boards in the playing hall, take some photos of them, give them a hug or kiss and then parents typically leave the playing room. Sometimes we have bleachers in the playing hall, but please do not hang out next to your child’s board. Chess is a serious and often stressful sport to play. They will do better on their own, rather than their parent being nearby constantly pulling their attention away from the game. We understand some parents are not comfortable leaving their kids alone anywhere and that is fine, but we recommend finding a location where you can keep an eye on their back – so they hopefully will not notice you are there. Chess promotes independent thought and we love seeing our chess kids have full concentration when they are competing. Let your child know where you will be and be sure they know the way back to where they hang out. Of course, our staff will be there to help them anytime they are in need (and many of us are parents too).
  • You stay and play all the games (5 rounds typically), no matter if you win all five or lose all five. If you win, it will get tougher and if you lose, it will get easier. Students only play their teammates from school if it’s absolutely necessary. Standings will be posted by round 3 to keep up with the event.
  • Which section does my child play in? K-1 kids should all play in K-1 when it is offered.  2nd and 3rd graders have a choice – play in their Primary K-3 section with the rated kids or play in the Unrated section with kids who may be a few years older, but are on the same skill level. The Unrated is fine as long as you have a little talk with the younger kids letting them know “Hey, you may play a 6th grader in the Unrated, but they are unrated just like you and on the same level.” If you think this would be too stressful for your 2nd grader, then let them play with the kids their age in Primary.  4th graders and up should play in Unrated at their first event or two, then join their rated age group.  K-6 is Elementary, K-9 is Junior High and K-12 is High School.  Do that in the goal of building some experience and knowing how the tournaments work, then taking on the more challenging rated section.  To join a rated section, students need US Chess Federation memberships (about $20 per year for kids depending on their age). You can get a membership through our organization at an event or at online at
  • Chess tournaments are like a school day. It’s not like a soccer game that takes an hour, it literally takes from like 8 AM to 3 PM for most events. Some of the younger kids (K-3 aged) may get out of there an hour or two earlier, because they move quicker, but there is no guarantee. We have had many parents over the years walk in surprised to find out that they have to stay so late. 
  • Award ceremonies will take place at the conclusion of the final round for the section.  Most tournaments include individual player trophies and then team trophies for the school. 
  • Is it OK to come late or leave early? YES! Just please let us know of those plans. Come find a tournament director when you arrive late or find us to let us know that you will be leaving early. If you do not, then they will be paired and some poor kid will not have anyone to play. So please do not just leave without letting us know. At certain events, like the team tournament in March, coaches may highly discourage attending unless a student can commit 100%. In individual events, it's not usually a big deal. 
  • Please bring some cash and support the concession stand. 100% of the concession stand money goes to the school that is hosting the tournament. 
  • The Nashville Chess Center is a 501-c3 non-for-profit organization. If you know of a student that ever needs help participating because of financial hardships or because of transportation issues, please let me know and I will find a way to get them involved.
  • We ALWAYS need more help! If you are a parent that is planning to be at the tournament all day anyway, please offer to help for an hour or two if possible. We need parents for the following jobs at each event: Concessions, runners, setting up tables and chairs, tearing down tables and chairs, score keeping, ushering, etc.  We appreciate any support!  Our Team – (629) 254 - 4737