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Keynote Speakers

GM Maurice Ashley

Maurice Ashley made history in 1999 when he became the first African American chess Grandmaster. He is a national championship coach, many time author, chess commentator, puzzle inventor, video course creator, and motivational speaker. In recognition of his immense contribution to the game, he was inducted into the US Chess Hall of Fame in 2016.

Ashley is an ardent spokesperson for the many character-building effects of chess. His latest books are "Move by Move: Life Lessons on and off the Chessboard" and "The Life Changing Magic of Chess", a picture book for early readers.

GM Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov is a chess icon renowned for his exceptional career. At just 22, he became the youngest world chess champion in 1985 and defended his title five times. Beyond his chess accomplishments, Kasparov is a passionate advocate for chess in education. He founded the Kasparov Chess Foundation in 2002, a non-profit promoting the teaching of chess globally. The foundation's program, active in the United States and international centers, underscores Kasparov's commitment to leveraging chess for educational benefits. With an extensive background in promoting chess, Kasparov continues to make a significant impact on education worldwide.

GM Judit Polgár

Judit Polgár is widely regarded as the best female player in chess history. At age 12, she took the lead in the adult women’s world ranking. At age 14, she was already a two-time Women's Chess Olympic Champion, Later, she won two silver medals as a member of the Hungarian men's team. At age 15, she became an international grandmaster, breaking Bobby Fischer's age record. In 2005, she ranked 8th in the absolute world ranking, as the first and, to date, only female top 10 chess player.

Since her retirement, her international promotion of the sport includes creating a skill-development chess educational methodology, the Judit Polgár Method, developed for pre-school and primary school children.

Presenting Sponsors

Additional Sponsorship Opportunities

We have numerous opportunities for organizations to support the conference, including sponsoring a Keynote Speaker, a cocktail reception, or the networking room. For a full list of Sponsorship opportunities, please click here.

Contact Tad Middleton ([email protected]) for more information.

Preliminary Schedule

In addition to Keynote sessions, the conference schedule will include both plenary and concurrent sessions focused on chess research and education. A full schedule will be released in the summer, but illustrative sessions are:

  • Findings from rigorous studies investigating the educational benefits of chess
  • Gender and chess: data, policy, and practice
  • Chess instruction and programming in unique contexts: senior citizens, prisons, and students with disabilities

Thursday, October 24, 2024Welcome Reception

Join us for the closing ceremonies of the U.S. Chess Championship. For an add-on of $25, enjoy food, drink, and festivities.

Friday, October 25, 2024Day 1 of Conference Proceedings

Day 1 of the conference will include plenary and concurrent sessions in the morning and afternoon, followed by an evening cocktail reception. Breakfast, lunch w/keynote speakers, and cocktail reception are included in your conference registration.

Saturday October 26, 2024Day 2 of Conference Proceedings

Day 2 of the conference will include plenary and concurrent sessions in the morning and afternoon followed by a closing reception. Breakfast, lunch w/keynote speakers, and closing reception are included in your conference registration.

Submit a Proposal

From beginners to Grandmasters, researchers to coaches, chess has a varied and vast role in society. Join us to share your experiences and meet others who share your passion for the game!

We encourage both empirically based presentations that use quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methodological approaches to demonstrate the impacts of chess, as well as educational, theoretical, and practitioner-based approaches connected to chess education.

Submission Categories

Conference submissions can take one of two forms: single presentation submissions or panel submissions.

SINGLE PRESENTATION SUBMISSIONS: The Program Committee will assemble single paper submissions into panels and appoint a moderator or discussant. We encourage proposals that target cutting-edge topics under the general theme of chess research and learning. Submit a single presentation here.

PANEL SUBMISSIONS: Panels will provide opportunities to examine a specific chess topic from a variety of perspectives, methodologies, or geographic locales. Panel participants might include researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. The organizer of a panel submission should propose the topic, identify participants, and describe the specific format to be used. Panel submissions will range from 60-minute concurrent sessions to 75-minute plenary sessions. Submit a panel submission here.

We strongly encourage submission of proposals that take advantage of the diversity of conference participants, both internationally and by sector, which stimulate broad discussions.

All submissions are due by 5PM CT on Friday, April 5, 2024. Notification of proposal acceptance or rejection will be sent by May 15, 2024.

Lodging and Location

Lodging: All conference sessions will be held at the Chase Park Plaza in Saint Louis' Central West End. A limited number of rooms have been secured starting at a reduced conference rate of $175/night. To reserve the conference rate, enter your information on this form. 

Things to Do: Saint Louis' Central West End is a vibrant area and home to the World Chess Hall of Fame and the Saint Louis Chess Club. There are ample restaurants, bars, and other amenities in the near vicinity.


Do I need to be a member of the Saint Louis Chess Club to attend?
No, you do not need to be a member to attend.

Who should attend this conference?
Chess enthusiasts, educators, and researchers. This conference is targeted towards adults whose work and/or interests intersect with the social, educational, and research aspects of chess.

Will attending the conference help me become a better chess player?
While we anticipate casual chess games between attendees in the common spaces and during evening social events, there will not be programming focused on chess strategy or tactics.

Can I attend with my child/children?
As described above, conference programming targets adults. This is not a chess festival; we do not plan to offer child-focused events or program topics. Keynote talks will also target an adult audience. We do not, however, have an age cut-off. A student with the right temperament and maturity may find the conference interesting, and could merely sample some of the more accessible sessions (for example, chess and gender, chess and students with disabilities). Also, the cocktail event(s) will be all-ages, although the program may include some later, informal gatherings at a local bar that would be limited to 21-and-up.

What if I have specific questions that are not addressed on the website?
For more information please email us at [email protected].

Register Today!

All registration options include breakfast & lunch on Friday and Saturday; access to all keynote, plenary, and concurrent sessions; and cocktail receptions Friday and Saturday evening.

  • Available only to full-time students or those living under financial hardship

Optional Add On

  • 2024 U.S. Chess Championships Closing Ceremony

    2024 U.S. Chess Championships Closing Ceremony

    Join us Thursday, October 24th at 6 pm for the closing ceremony of the 2024 U.S. Championships as we crown the 2024 Champions. Experience an evening filled with cocktails, delectable hors d'oeuvres, and the chance to dance and mingle with the talented competitors

    $25.00 ea.


Billing Information

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