Chess at Three gets kids playing and loving chess through storytelling, starting at the surprising age of 3. We have been working to equip children with learning tools and life skills since 2006.
The company was founded by Tyler Schwartz and Jon Sieber. They created a curriculum based on two key principles: children can learn anything through fun stories and anyone can teach through fun storytelling.
Tyler, a master of chess, began by teaching chess in the traditional style to everyone from beginners to experts, from adolescents to the elderly. But it wasn’t until he was asked to teach at a school of 3- to 5-year-olds (an age traditionally thought too young to comprehend chess) that he discovered the power of stories. He accepted the challenge but quickly realized his traditional methods of teaching didn’t work with such a young age group. Tyler tried to find an existing curriculum that catered to this demographic, but the only resources available were for ages 8+. Necessity is the mother of invention, and so he began to craft his own curriculum. Tyler created stories to explain why the pieces move the way they do. The kids loved it. They were genuinely connecting with the characters and the world Tyler described and, in turn, they were learning and benefitting from chess at a younger age than ever before.
Jon eventually started teaching as well, he brought his extensive knowledge of storytelling and love of working with children. Together Tyler and Jon crafted stories and consulted some of the greatest educational minds to create a company for tutors to come to the home or to the school.
Our tutors are of the highest caliber. Each one creative storytellers, excellent chess players and wonderful with children. We break the mold when it comes to our chess tutors. Our goal is for each tutor to bring the game of chess to life and to make it fun. We want each child to be cherished on their journey through such a difficult game while at the same time instilling in their students grit and determination.
Every detail of our curriculum has been honed as a result of hundreds of test classes, meetings, and drafts. It has been perfected in a school just like yours with the input of a diverse group of minds, ranging from experts in chess to teachers just like you, who may not know anything about the game.
Stories and the Power of ‘Why?’
Stories are very powerful and are perfect for children. Children have an astounding ability to retain stories down to the last detail. In some cases, children can recall a story word for word. It’s incredible how the young mind is able to remember long stories but not abstract facts. Telling a child a rule in three sentences may only confuse them because they have nothing to connect with. Instead of telling them what to do or what something is, reveal it through a story. This allows the listener to figure things out alongside the characters. They can answer their own questions or be open to the answer that is given because the story explains how this answer came about.
Click Me!Young children need reasons for things. Arbitrary rules don’t make sense to children (or adults either). This is why children ask ‘why’ all the time. They are trying to get to the root of the rule, its justification. All children are brimming with curiosity. They want to know everything. That’s why stories are the heart of the Chess at Three Core Curriculum. The stories funnel all of the ‘why’ questions that children are so quick to ask into the principles of basic chess strategy.
Stories also accommodate different levels of chess experience in the classroom. If an absolute beginner and someone who has some chess experience are in the same class, they will still be able to connect to the story and learn something, regardless of skill level. These stories engage everyone.
Meet our Team
Director of Tutors
Director of Partnerships