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Welcome to the 2016 CYO Chess Program

2016 Chess Program
It has been a successful implementation of the CYO Chess Program as the program has doubled in size over the last two years. Below you will find information on how to start a Chess Program in your School or Parish Community. But here are a what people are saying about the Chess Program.


“Our Lady of Good Counsel School (Staten Island) began a Chess Program in 2013-2014!  With 30 eager students...beginners and good players ... and the encouragement and support of 2 wonderful dedicated chess coaches ( provided to us by the CYO) our team became CHAMPS!  Our students learned Chess, team work and had GREAT FUN!  Start a Chess program in your school...and see what happens!!!” 

Mrs. Fran Santangelo, Principal


“The CYO Chess Club was wonderful, the instructor was wonderful with the children. the easiest program to set up. the only things I needed to do to was inform the parents and collect payment. Great program I highly recommend.”

Josephine Fanelli, Principal
St.Theresa School (bronx)


“The CYO Chess program fills a void and engages a subset of our youth who may not be interested in athletic programs”

John Mueller, Parish Coordinator
Holy Innocents (Westchester)

Why CYO Chess?

  • Chess has been proven to increase critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Chess is the ultimate mental sport - it enhances one's ability to interact with other people and tests sportsmanship in a competitive environment.
  • It shows that hard work is rewarded by success. The more effort one puts into chess, the higher the success rate. Chess shows that one learns from their mistakes. 
  • Chess is a test of patience, nerves, will power and concentration
  • Every match begins with a handshake and ends with a handshake, teaching sportsmanship and respect in victory or defeat. 

How to Start a CYO Chess Program:

1) Review the below Information for the following:
                        -Fees & payment
                        -Hosting Event Requirements
                        -Schedule(match play & educational setting)
                        -What to Expect
                        -Assigning Coaches to your program.

2) contact Seth Peloso to to confirm you interest. We will then place Chess Coaches at your school based on the needs of your school community you indicated.

3) Are you interested in hosting chess events? We have set some dates for Match Play. Please review the attached info sheet for possible dates.




  • CYO Teams- Any parish based team or Archdiocese School is eligible to participate.
  • CYO “unattached” Individual- Your parish or school does not have a team, you are still welcome to participate. Register as a CYO Individual and represent your parish or school.
  • Any additional programs or children outside of the Archdiocese network are welcome to participate as well, please contact Seth Peloso.


  • All schools will be required to submit a participation roster for all participants. This is to establish the chess community and keep everyone updated on events. It will also be used to keep individual records to establish a ranking system. The attached roster has space for 25 members. Large programs can submit rosters using an excel spreadsheet, please ensure that all information matches that of the attached roster form.

Fee Structure:

  • The cost for 1-hour instructional classes & play will be $10 per student/per session.
  • The cost for Tournament/Match play will be $10 per student/per match.

*a minimum of 18 - 20 participants is needed to hold either a class or tournament.
** Is your school/parish willing to host a Tournament or Match? Please see Hosting section below.
***All fees will go towards the purchase of equipment and instructors to grow the CYO Chess Program.

Hosting Events/School Requirements:
It is required that a school representative be present for either the educational session or tournament setting. A minimum of 20 participants is needed to hold either a class or tournament. By hosting an event, the tournament is brought right to your school, making it easy for your children to attend. If you are interested in hosting any of the below dates for your county, please contact Seth Peloso.



Upon completion of an educational or match session. School will be billed accordingly. All Payments can be made out to “CYO”. Please indicate Chess in the Memo section of the check. Mail to the attention of:
Seth Peloso
1011 First Avenue, 6th FL
New York, NY 10022

Match play will follow United States Chess Federation Rules (USCF).

Visit: for more details.

Age Range:

Following USCF guidelines, we will designate the following
Elementary:        K-3
Middle:                K-6
High School:      K-12


We encourage all schools or individuals to invest in the basic equipment. As a point of reference a cloth tournament board and piece set will range from $6 -$10 depending on quantity purchased. Click here for samples:

Limited equipment will be provided for each instructional session and match play. Always bring personal equipment when available.

Monthly Schedule:

Saturday morning educational sessions are currently being determined based on the interest of school programs and individual interest. This is an opportunity for children to extend their learning through additional opportunities.

Starting in January, The last Saturday of each month will be designated as match or tournament play. (If date conflicts with holiday schedule, alternate date will be scheduled). Starting tournament play in January will allow us to establish programs, by educating players from now until January 25th.


Tentative Match Play Schedule: SAVE THESE DATES
(Hosting sites are currently being determined and calendar will be updated.
Special Events to be added.) School administrators interested in hosting the below dates for their county, please email

Date:                           County                        Location                                  Time:


CALENDAR TO BE RELEASED SHORTLY                                   



What To Expect:


Instructional Format:

Each class is generally broken into two (2) parts

  • An interactive lecture with specific themes
    • Themes include opening play, tactics, endgame studies, famous games of World Champions, etc.
  • Supervised play, where students will practice what they learned in class


Match/Team Tournament Play:

Participating schools will be organized into leagues based on location. Dates and locations will be set for each match, which will typically occur once a month. Teams should expect to play at least twice at each match. If a team cannot attend a match, that school’s opponents will play each other.

School coaches will rank their players in order of chess ability and compete against other schools according to their respective strengths.


Match Arrangement:

The host school is responsible for the arrangement of a playing space.

Scoring is based on a minimum of five participants (boards), although teams are encouraged to play more players when possible. Teams with larger rosters should communicate with their scheduled opponents ahead of time to coordinate the number of boards that will be played in a given match. Coaches have the option of allowing boards -- beyond the minimum five -- to be contested but have those result not count in the official scoring (non-rated practice matches).

Official scoring

Board points are used to determine match results. Assuming there are 5 boards, the first board will be worth 5 points, the second board will be worth 4 points, and so on and so forth. That is why it is imperative for coaches to place their best players on higher boards.

At the end of the season, there will be a playoff between the top teams to determine the League Champion.