The Chess Nuts, also known as the Long Island Chess Nuts, is a scholastic chess club with over 2,000 members, learning and playing chess throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Our goals are to promote the educational and positive benefits of chess to all children.
We are a non-profit organization, with programs being held in over 50 schools and over 45 libraries throughout the year. In addition, over 100 children from numerous towns meet in Garden City, New York, on Thursday and Friday afternoons for chess instruction, and in Jericho on Thursdays, with more programs being planned for weekends.
We also hold a Chess Camp, “Bughouse” Tournaments, and other nationally-rated scholastic tournaments throughout the year. All are geared to offering children friendly competition, challenging their minds, improving their skills, enjoying the camaraderie of others their age, and having fun. Studies have shown that playing chess not only increases confidence and self-esteem, but it also improves reading levels, math scores, and overall school grades.
A Brief History of the Chess Nuts:
- The Long Island Chess Nuts was
founded in March 1996.It was ranked in the top 50 chess clubs in the US in 1998 (out of 2500 clubs); it is "the
largest organization on Long Island where children can advance their chess skills,"
as quoted in The NY Times (Mar. 15, 1998); & it "provides a regular schedule of play & instruction for school-age children…[in] the sport of kings,” Newsday (Dec.
- Its' innovative children's programs have been interviewed on TV Channel 25
(Telicare): April 1997 - where the educational values of chess for children were discussed. Two of our kids played chess on TV, and were asked about the game! News Channel 12 has also covered many of their community events.
Sponsors and supporters of this organization have included Citibank, Sears, The
Dime Savings Bank, Anton Newspapers, Roosevelt Field, Nassau County Exec.
Tom Gulotta, Senator Kemp Hannon, and many others. It is an affiliate member of
the US Chess Federation, & a member of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce.
·The Chess Nuts have held two Chess Simultaneous Exhibitions, which were open to the public: June 1997 - featured Josh Waitzkin (International Master & subject of the book & movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer). Josh and Mark Ritter, (Senior Master & one of our club's coaches), each played 36 children simultaneously, signing autographs in-between. June 1998 - featured Grand Master Joel Benjamin, 2 time U.S. Champion, who, with Senior Master Mark Ritter, played 80 children. These events were held at & sponsored by Roosevelt Field [Shopping Center], and attracted over 500 people, including a number of dignitaries. Channel 12 News covered the events; and they were featured in over 20 local newspapers. They were also a lot of fun!
The Chess Nuts' First Children's Open Chess Tournament was held on March 21, 1997, at Adelphi University, with over 120 chess players and 400 attendees. Everyone enjoyed the surroundings. Sponsors included Citibank, Interplay, & Anton Newspapers. The day was even declared Long Island Chess Nuts' Day!
The following year, the Long Island Chess Nuts co-sponsored, with the Nassau Chess Club, the New York State Scholastics Championship, in March 1998. There were 579 players from downstate and upstate ( a record at that time).
The First New York State Game/45 Championship was held in March 1999, and sponsored by the L.I. Chess Nuts. The Co-Champions were GM Pavel Blatny, and GM Alexander Stripunsky. Third was taken by IM Jay Bonin. There were also a large Reserve Section and a large Scholastics Section.
The Second Annual New York State Game/45 Championship was held in March 2000. IM Danny Kopec became Champion, with GM John Fedorowicz, and GM Gennady Sagalchik tied for 2nd. The Reserve and Scholastics Sections were almost as exciting.
and this was just the beginning.....
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