State Dept. of Ed to launch ‘Granite Gambit’, a statewide chess-in-schools program

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CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Education announced an innovative partnership today with Chess in Schools (CIS) to establish a statewide chess-in-schools initiative. The program is funded using federal supplemental Title funds.

This statewide program will support training for teacher-driven chess initiatives that connect chess with core academic content, helping to build student engagement. Beyond the academic content, the game of chess builds skills in critical thinking, logic, strategy, and creativity. The program will run for 2-years and allow interested schools to build the capacity for sustainable programming.

“The game of chess has become incredibly popular with students as a result of the hit Netflix series The Queens Gambit,” stated Frank Edelblut, commissioner of education. “The research is clear that when we engage students with their areas of interest, the learning is deeper and richer. We called the program Granite Gambit. A gambit is defined as a device or action as a calculated risk to gain an advantage. Granite Gambit will give both our educators and students an advantage.”

Anya Taylor Joy plays chess prodigy Beth Harmon in “The Queens Gambit,” a popular Netflix series that has sparked an interest in chess among younger players. Image/Netflix

“The program is modeled after a program Chess in Schools began in 2015 in Alabama,” stated Jerry Nash of Chess in Schools. “Students see the program as a fun-to-learn exercise. Teachers embrace the program for the impact it has on making students more focused and engaged in traditional curriculum topics. We are excited to be partnering with the New Hampshire Department of Education.”

Chess in Schools is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization founded in 2015 in conjunction with its launch of the Alabama Chess in Schools program, the first statewide US Chess in Education program in the United States. CIS specializes in preparing educators to play chess and use the game as an educational tool to teach academic and 21st-century skills. The CIS team brings a wealth of experience in chess and instruction. CIS’s certified CIE training includes proven methodologies developed by the European Chess Union.

Additional information about Chess in Education concepts, pedagogy and best practices is available here.