Support Us

Your Donations at Work

ELMNT FM talks to our own Peter Lambert

Chess Institute’s Peter Lambert has been teaching chess remotely at Hartley Bay School in Gitga’at First Nation on the West Coast. David Moses interviews Peter for ELMNT FM as part of his daily “Moment

Read More »

Your caring donation to Chess Institute of Canada will gives kids the tools to thrive during challenging times

Chess Institute’s founder, Ted Winick, called our chess instruction programs “magic”, and for good reason.

For more than 500 years, chess has fascinated people worldwide, including Ted. In 1999, he taught the game to his young children, and started a chess club in their elementary school. Ted noticed his kids and students positively approaching life’s challenges by using chess skills in daily life. As their chess playing improved, Ted noticed a boost in their self-esteem and confidence.

After Ted’s club won a championship, many more schools invited him to run chess clubs. Later under the banner of Chess Institute of Canada (CIC), Ted and a growing pool of carefully trained English and French instructors deliberately taught kids how to apply their chess skills to life, including:

Ted learned of other international programs that used chess to teach life skills. Now being part of a large group of like-minded people around the world, Chess Institute is actively improving our Chess to Life™ lessons, applying research on the psychology of chess instruction and its positive effects on human behaviour to our own unique lessons. We’ve worked our chess magic with thousands of students in more than 100 schools, in after-school clubs, in-class curriculum courses, tournaments and camps.

Becoming a registered charity to help people in need

In 2016, Chess Institute of Canada became a registered charity to help us deliver our programs to schools and students who could greatly benefit from our lessons, but cannot afford the full fee. The heartfelt generosity of donors have brought our subsidized programs to kids and schools in low-income neighbourhoods. We’ve also successfully taught at-risk youth in shelters and adults in a detention centre, spreading the transformative power of chess to conquer life’s challenges.

Dear Ted,

I graduated from Hillcrest School about 6 years ago. While I was there, I was a member of your school chess club and a participant in your chess in the classroom programs. I already knew how to play the game and enjoyed it, but you made me think differently about it. You emphasized critical thinking and careful analysis, not just in chess, but in all things. “Touch move” was your signal to weigh my options, and a way to try to visualize the game.

You used to say that chess was like life, with a beginning, middle and endgame. I’m still near the beginning, and I’m currently starting my first year at McGill University. I’m not sure what I want to do with my life quite yet, but I think your lessons in chess have helped me make some decent moves. Thanks for everything!


Alex Kelly
(letter to Ted Winick, 2019)