Chess for Success provides free chess clubs in high-poverty schools. A coach is hired and is given our trademarked curriculum and supplies. Students receive two hours per week of chess instruction and practice from October to March. The club participants get to play in Chess for Success tournaments for free. The students design and are given a club t-shirt, and a chess board and set to keep. In addition, Chess for Success gives a few chess books to the school library.
Chess for Success puts on a series of regional tournaments from January through March. There are 24 regions in Oregon. Each region has a tournament. Students must win the tournament to qualify for the State Tournament. In March, after all regional tournaments are completed, the students convene in Portland at the Convention Center for the State Tournament. In addition, Chess for Success sponsors the Vangie Shaw Girls Play Chess Memorial Tournament and the City of Portland Tournament.
As of the 2019 - 2020 school year, Chess for Success is offering the program to schools whose demographics do not qualify for the free program. Schools can now pay for the program. Included in the cost is a paid coach, chess supplies, and free entry to Chess for Success tournaments.