About Us

Our

History


Chess4Life was founded in 2005 by National Master Elliott Neff. With over 20 years of experience teaching chess, Elliott understands that the study of chess provides a great vehicle for learning life lessons. Perseverance through adversity, the payoff of consistent effort and the priceless feeling of earned achievement are experiences well known to dedicated chess players.

Chess teaches us sportsmanship, good decision making, patience, planning, and how to learn from mistakes. These traits are enhanced by positive encouragement and personalized instruction.

Today Elliott’s goal is to develop every Chess4Life student so that they build both chess and life skills, regardless of whether or not they move on to the championship level.


The mission of Chess4Life is teaching life skills through chess and, in doing so, positively impact as many children’s lives as possible.

Through the game of chess we endeavor to teach character qualities and the importance of a core set of values.  We do this through the instruction of our proprietary curriculum and, perhaps more importantly, by our own personal example. We stand by the adage that what we do speaks louder than what we say. It is our promise that students at Chess4Life will learn chess, develop life skills, and have fun.

Seeing children develop into confident, persistent achievers is the greatest reward for our work. Chess4Life focuses on encouraging students at all levels to develop sportsmanship and teamwork, and we pride ourselves on providing the right environment and experiences students need in order to excel in chess and whatever personal endeavors they undertake throughout their lives.


Chess4Life has a proven, proprietary training system that has produced multiple national champion students and some of the highest ranked students in the United States.

Our instruction system focuses on understanding chess and how to think effectively during play so students can figure out the best move in any position, not just memorize patterns of movement. This methodology helps students to avoid developing bad habits that may be difficult to correct.

Our classes generally consist of the following elements:

  • Lesson or lecture on chess strategies and tactics
  • Chess exercises, including puzzles
  • Practice time for chess play
  • Reviewing material learned

Our coaches employ a number of teaching tools including DVD’s and Workbooks that have been created and designed by National Master Elliott Neff and a highly skilled team of chess coaches. Elliott and his team have spent hundreds of hours developing this curriculum and building an instructional system that helps students establish a strong foundation that avoids bad habits and prepares them for continual achievement, ongoing progression, and overall success. This training program is present in all of our programs, but it is delivered most comprehensively in chess classes at Chess4Life centers.

We at Chess4Life very much look forward to working with you and your children to positively impact their lives through chess.