National Master Elliott Neff is the founder of Chess4Life, as well as a mostly self-taught chess master. He is well-read in chess literature and brings his extensive experience working with both younger and older players to the table in helping others achieve success in the chess world--and therefore, in life.

- United States Chess Federation (USCF) National Master 
USCF Certified Tournament Director
Rating: 2275


Chess Career Highlights

  • Coached the 2003 US National Grade 4 Champion.
  • Organized the 2005 WA State Elementary Chess Championships, attended by over 1,100 children.
  • Has multiple students currently in the top 100 list in the US for their ages.
  • WA High School state champion in 1993 (represented WA at the national Denker Tournament of High School Champions twice).
  • Competed in 9 US Open Chess Championships (starting in 1990), placing several times in his category.
  • Co-champion of the 2000 US Open Speed Chess Championships Master Class.
  • Tied for 4 th at the Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions in 1993, held concurrently with the US Open Chess Championships.
  • WA Speed Chess Champion in 1998 and 2011
  • Won the Best Game Prize at a WA Open Championship, defeating a strong master player from the former Soviet Union.
  • Has drawn and defeated International Master professional Chess players.
  • Has conducted numerous simultaneous chess exhibitions, including some blindfold simultaneous exhibitions with up to 12 players at one time.
  • Has won first place numerous times, including the WA Junior Open, WA Junior Closed, and WA High School Action.
  • As captain of the WA Scholastic Chess Team, led the team to victory over British Columbia's Scholastic Chess Team.
  • Lost only 3 games in his scholastic career.
  • In 2002 at the US Open Chess Championships, defeated his first Grandmaster, GM Boris Kreiman (2551), and tied for 3rd place in the US Open Speed Chess Championships half a point behind GM Susan Polgar, former women's world chess champion.
  • In 2012 was awarded the USCF (US Chess Federation) Special Services Award
  • In 2013, played 96 players at one time in a charity fundraiser simultaneous exhibition, with a result of 90 wins, 4 losses, and 2 draws


Teaching Experience

  • Has taught numerous chess students, many of whom have taken 1st prize at state and national scholastic tournaments.
  • Taught and coached chess for over 20 years.
  • Coached thousands of students from beginning level to national champion level



  • Working on increasing his blindfold chess proficiency, currently able to play up to 12 at one time blindfolded.

"My wish in promoting chess is to advance the overall good of the students with whom I interact. As such, chess is exceptional in developing self-discipline, responsibility for one's actions, concentration, math skills, calculation, social skills, and many other excellent qualities. For these reasons, chess is now included in many school curriculums as well as after-school programs."

- Elliott Neff