Pawns to Queens


Promoting Excellence in Chicago Chess

Tiered coaching, in which instruction is offered at multiple levels of difficulty, is essential to building competitive excellence in Chicago’s schools. That is what Pawns to Queens is all about. The best way to do so is to add coaches to existing clubs in the best position to benefit. In most cases, this means clubs with significant numbers of players who know the basics (the rules and general principles of strategy and positional chess) and are ready to advance to the next level. The program will make available $1000 of new coaching to schools not presently able to afford it.

Please donate now and select the Pawns to Queens program.

Criteria for Participation

Applications will be reviewed with these questions in mind:

  1. Is there a group of ten or more students in the club ready for advanced instruction? By this, we mean students who know the rules, point values of the pieces, some tactics and mating combinations, and general principles of strategy and positional chess.
  2. How is your club supported at present, and how are coaches and club expenses paid? (E.g., CPS stipend, discretionary funds, CSI, OST, All-Stars, fund-raisers, parent donations). Do you have parents involved (and how many)? (Preference will be given to schools most in need.)
  3. Does the school have a record of participation in competitions such as CCF/YCFC tournaments, CPS championship, other local tournaments, State K-8 or All-Grade Championships, and Nationals. (Preference will be given to schools with demonstrated interest in competition.)
  4. Does the club appear to have the capacity to manage two or more levels of instruction, including separate spaces for teaching? (E.g., a committed coach with parental or other assistance.)


The P2Q application is available at Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with decisions generally rendered within two weeks. CCF will select coaches in consultation with each school selected. Schools presently participating in CCF’s Rook, Rattle and Roll program are not eligible. Questions: Jerry Neugarten,