Founded in 1996, and now in its 25th year, the Long Island Chess Nuts, a non-profit organization, is a scholastic chess club whose goals are to promote the educational and positive benefits of chess to all children. It has a current base of over 2,000 members, with many chess champions, who learn and play chess in Garden City, Smithtown, and in over 50 schools throughout Long Island, New York.

About Us

The Long Island Chess Nuts, a non-profit organization, (founded in 1996, and now in its 25th year!) is a scholastic chess club whose goals are to promote the educational and positive benefits of chess to all children. It has a current base of well over 2,000 members, with many chess champions, who have been learning and playing chess in Garden City, Smithtown, and in over 50 schools throughout Long Island, New York. And, now we are also offering programs online! DON’T MISS OUT ON LEARNING AND IMPROVING YOUR CHESS SKILLS on our secure website!

Our Mission

The Long Island Chess Nuts, also known as the Chess Nuts, is a scholastic chess club with thousands of 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 also hold a highly successful Chess Camp in the summer, 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.

Our History

The Long Island Chess Nuts was founded in March 1996. It has been ranked in the top 50 chess clubs in the US since 1998 (out of more than 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); and it “provides a regular schedule of play & instruction for school-age children [in] the sport of kings,” Newsday (Dec. 12, 1998).

News Channel 12 has also covered many of our community events. Sponsors and supporters of this organization have included Citibank, Sears, The Dime Savings Bank, Anton Newspapers, Roosevelt Field, Nassau County Executive Tom Gullotta, Senator Kemp Hannon, and many others.  It is an affiliate member of the US Chess Federation, and a member of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce.  


What We Offer

Online classes

We offer online coaching sessions for the students. They are designed in such a way that the students can enhance their skills. Chess Nuts is integrated with the best coaching management platform for facilitating online lessons.

Academy classes

In-person, with classes in Garden City, Smithtown, and other locations, and now online! Play chess and learn together with the members of the academy.

School Programs

Students learn together with in-person classes, from top-rated chess coaches. These sessions open doors for students to learn and grow together.



Conduct Individual and Group lessons with Integrated audio, video, and real-time across the board action!

coming soon


Share tactics or puzzles with your students or student group(s) and track their solution


Upload your PGNS files, share and collaborate with your students. Access to our database of puzzles.


Let your academy students play against each other. All games are stored for analysis. Find commonly made mistakes from student's games


Students’ progress are tracked on a daily basis and constant feedback will be given to them We recognize the thinking and playing pattern of the students and nurture them to become a better chess player

Online Schedule

We have a flexible schedule for our students.
We offer on-line programs on weekdays and Saturday mornings

Monday - Friday:

Period 1

2:45 pm

Period 2

4:00 pm

Period 3

5:30 pm

Period 4

7:00 pm

Saturday at 10:00 am (coming soon)


Margarita Lanides

Founder and Director

Contact Us

Feel free to contact us . Fill out the form to get in touch with us.


(516) 739-3907


P. O. Box 1515, Mineola, NY 11501

Long Island Chess Nuts © 2020  All rights reserved – Powered by Chesshost

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Our History

In the beginning…

March 21, 1997: the Chess Nuts’ First Children’s Open Chess Tournament was held 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” in Nassau County.

April 1997: its’ innovative children’s programs were interviewed on TV Channel 25 (Telicare):  – where the educational values of chess for children were discussed. Two of our kids played chess on TV, and were asked about the game!  

May 1997: Nickelodeon came to the club and featured our members in a TV segment about chess on their station!

June 1997: we held a simul exhibition, featuring 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), played 36 children simultaneously, signing autographs in-between. 

June 1998: our second simul featured Grand Master Joel Benjamin, 2 time U.S. Champion, who, with Senior Master Mark Ritter, played over 40 children. 

Both these events were held at & sponsored by Roosevelt Field Shopping Center, and attracted over 500 people each, including a number of dignitaries. TV Channel 12 News covered the events; and the events were featured in over 20 local newspapers. They were also a lot of fun!  

March 1998: Long Island Chess Nuts co-sponsored, with the Nassau Chess Club, the New York State Scholastics Championship. There were 579 players from downstate and upstate NY (a record at that time).

March 1999: the First New York State Game/45 Championship was and sponsored by 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.

March 2000: the Second Annual New York State Game/45 Championship was held. 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. 

This very popular tournament continued annually for almost 10 years!

June 2002: 20 of our members were invited to play in a simul against Garry Kasparov, the world’s greatest chess player at that time! It was held in honor of the grand opening of a semi-conductor company, headquartered in Germany. It was a thrilling and exciting event for all!

2004: the founder and director of Long Island Chess Nuts, Margarita Lanides, was honored to receive the NY Soroptimist Woman of Distinction Award. This award honors women who have inspired, encouraged, and have had a significant impact on the lives of others.

2006: Margarita Lanides became the first woman to ever be inducted into the New York State Chess Hall of Fame. The NY State Chess Association, in existence for over 100 years, is the oldest chess organization in the U.S. It honors one individual each year who has made an important contribution to chess. It was an honor to receive this prestigious award!