Granite Gambit

Connecting Chess to the NH Classroom


Frequently Asked Questions


Regarding The Granite Gambit Program

(updated 4/27/2023)

What is the Granite Gambit program?

Answer: This statewide program in New Hampshire supports training for teacher-driven chess initiatives that connect chess with core academic content, helping to build student engagement. In fiscal 2022 the program received ESSER funding through the NH Department of Education making the program free to LEAs and NH teachers. The program is eligible for grant funding through ESSER II (through 9/30/2023) and ESSER III for the following year. Title IV and Beyond School Enrichment grants are other possible fund sources. For the latest information on grant funding and pricing, see the home page.

Who is involved in the organization Chess in Education – US?

Answer: Chess in Education – US LLC is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit limited liability company. It was originally founded in 2015 as Chess in Schools LLC in conjunction with the launch of the Alabama Chess in Schools program, the first statewide US Chess in Education program in the United States. In 2023 Chess in Schools became Chess in Education – US (CIE-US), signaling an expanded scope of its services. CIE-US specializes in preparing educators to play chess and use the game as an educational tool to teach academic and 21st century skills. The CIE-US team brings a wealth of experience in chess and instruction. Its certified CIE training includes proven methodologies developed by the European Chess Union.

What type of chess program is required?

Answer: Each school decides what kind of chess program works best for their students. Options include using chess and chess-related activities during the day to teach curriculum standards, before- or after-school chess clubs, summer chess camps, or some combination of these programs. We provide teachers with the training to plan and implement programs for their schools.

Find more on the varieties of chess in education programs.

What training and resources are available?

Answer: The Granite Gambit initiative led by Chess in Education – US (CIE-US) offers multiple training opportunities. CIE-US provides a 4-day Chess in Education Instructor – Level 1 Certification Training for teachers. Teachers who complete Level 1 training have the option of taking the 2-day CIE Instructor Training – Level 2 Certification course.

In addition to training, CIE-US will provide chess supplies and equipment to schools along with chess training software licenses. CIE-US will also provide online support for the duration of the program. Finally, CIE-US will provide access to additional online chess in education resources.

What does a teacher who attends the professional development receive? What does the teacher’s school receive?

Answer: Teachers who complete the training receive certification as Level I Certified CIE Instructor. As part of the training, they will receive a personal chess training software license, and a training manual.

The school will receive chess training software licenses for each participating student, a classroom set of chess equipment that includes chess sets (boards and pieces) and demonstration board along with other motivational chess-related items.

What factors will help my school create a successful program?

Answer: Communicating the benefits of chess to stakeholders (administrators, teachers, parents, community) helps to get lasting buy-in. Training at least two teachers per school mitigates turnover and allows more students to benefit. Remembering that the primary goals are student engagement and skill development (academic and 21st century skills) focuses the program as an integral part of the existing mission of the school.

I think my students would benefit from chess, but I don’t play and don’t have a lot of extra time to learn chess.

Answer: Chess is easier to learn than you might think. And you don’t need to be a chess expert to bring the game to your students. The training will give you what you need to get the program started. Afterward, learning new chess skills along with your students will actually build a stronger relationship with them.

I want to start a competitive after-school chess club at our school and prepare students for tournament play. Will Granite Gambit help?

Answer: Absolutely! But it will do even more. The program will help students develop the skills needed for success in and beyond the classroom. The training shows you how to use chess to develop academic and 21st century skills. You will also learn how to develop a variety of activities that take advantage of students’ desire to compete. CIE-US is also working with the New Hampshire Chess Association to expand opportunities for competitive chess.

We already have an after-school chess program. How would Granite Gambit help?

Answer: Granite Gambit offers schools additional training and resources (such as chess equipment and online training licenses) to expand existing programming.

Is Granite Gambit targeted toward a particular type of student?

Answer: Chess appeals to students in all grade levels and from every background. Opportunities for in-person and online interaction have expanded in recent years allowing a broader range of student participation with reduced cost. Granite Gambit prepares your school to create a lasting program that positively impacts students from across the entire student population. Research shows the greatest benefits accrue to children during the elementary school years.

Teachers have marveled at the Social-Emotional impact that chess can have on kids with behavioral or attention problems. Students who don’t seem to fit in with their peers due to language or cultural issues find chess to be a new and fun way to interact with others. Particularly since the pandemic, teen culture has come to view chess as “cool”.

What is Chess in Education?

Answer: Chess in Education focuses on chess as an educational tool. Whether as a curriculum subject with its own school time or as a transversal and interdisciplinary tool with chess integrated into other curricular subjects, chess is used to engage and equip students with academic and 21st Century skills. Since it connects to any area of the curriculum, chess serves as a means to create student interest, differentiate for complexity, and encourage critical thinking in and beyond the classroom.  Click here for more information!

How do students benefit from playing chess or using chess-related activities in the classroom?

Answer: Chess introduces and reinforces Academic and 21st Century skills such as:

  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Creativity

Click here for more information!

Regarding Chess in Education

Find FAQs for parents, educators, and researchers about the international Chess in Education movement at


Paul Roberts

Administrative & Technical Support:

Jerry Nash