Chess

ASAP Chess helps kids make the right moves on and off the chessboard.

With more than 150 clubs and over 2,500 students, ASAP Chess is one of the largest scholastic chess programs in the country. Through weekly club meetings and monthly competitions, students develop strategic-thinking and problem-solving skills that help them find success in chess and in life.

ASAP Chess provides equipment, training, and other resources to help schools, libraries, recreation centers, and community sites run after school and summer chess clubs. In addition, ASAP organizes a series of events and competitions to help players hone their skills and to foster a sense of belonging for youth across Philadelphia.

If you are a youth or a parent/guardian of a student in Philadelphia who is interested in playing chess after school or in the summer, click this map to find an ASAP Chess club near you. Or to learn more, contact chess@phillyasap.org or call 215.545.2727 ext. 17.

If you want to start an ASAP Chess club at your school or site, click here to learn more.

ASAP provides its club leaders with training, equipment, and resources to run effective chess clubs.

If you are a teacher, school administrator, site staff, parent or student looking to start an ASAP Chess club at your location, click here.

If you are interested in volunteering to support an ASAP Chess club, click here.

From October through February, ASAP runs the Philadelphia Scholastic Chess League, a US Chess Federation-rated league with 50 school teams competing across elementary, middle, and high school divisions. The League is open to Philadelphia public schools and transportation is provided to after school matches for elementary and middle school teams.

To join the League, please contact Martin Collette at mcollette@phillyasap.org or call 215.545.2727 ext. 17.

For the current League standings, please click the links below.

Saturday Tournaments: ASAP holds monthly Saturday scholastic chess tournaments from October to May. These tournaments are rated by the US Chess Federation and feature more than 150 players competing in beginner, intermediate and advanced sections. ASAP Saturday tournaments are free and open to the public. To learn more, contact Martin Collette at mcollette@phillyasap.org or call 215.545.2727 ext. 17.

Philly Girls Play Chess: Created in 2008, Philly Girls Play Chess promote prides, encourages perseverance, and fosters community among chess-playing girls in the city. Each Spring, ASAP partners with the Drexel Institute for Women’s Health & Leadership to hosts all-girls tournament. ASAP Chess also runs a free girls summer camp to further develop the skills and camaraderie of Philly‘s chess-playing girls. To learn more, contact Martin Collette at mcollette@phillyasap.org or call 215.545.2727 ext. 17.

PECO/ASAP Checkmate Violence Chess Marathon: Each year, ASAP partners with PECO to hold the Checkmate Violence Chess Marathon, a two-day tournament that highlights the important role after school programs like chess play in providing safe spaces to challenge young minds and connect children to networks of like-minded peers and caring adults.

State and National Sponsorship: Through the generosity of Lindy Communities and the Lindy Family, ASAP sponsors more than 100 Philadelphia students to the Pennsylvania State Chess Championships each year. In addition, ASAP works with a variety of partners, including the School District of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Chess Society, to raise funds to help students in ASAP Chess clubs represent Philadelphia at various national championship events.

Our Players in Action

Through year-round programming, ASAP Chess builds a community of problem-solvers and strategic-thinkers

“Chess has given me the ability to think about and visualize things from different perspectives.” – Tadacia Pinkney, ASAP Chess alum
With the support of Lindy Communities, dozens of Philadelphia students compete against the Commonwealth’s best chess players at the Pennsylvania State Chess Championships
“Chess is about making mistakes and learning from those mistakes to make better decisions.” – Manus Narula, ASAP Chess mentor
“Chess is a universal language. You can speak through your moves.” -- Daniel Koh, teacher

Want to discover more about ASAP’s programs? Click here to learn about ASAP Debate, ASAP Drama, and ASAP Scrabble.