Volume 2, Issue 7 September 2002

over 1,500 readers

Edited by Bob Ferguson, Member of USCF Scholastic Council 

** Story Hour with the Grandmasters **

GM Joel Benjamin and GM Arthur Bisguier along with their moderator, Stephen Shutt, entertain and inform their audience by sharing little-known chess anecdotes in this 90 minute video.


Greetings to All Chess Folks,

Welcome to the tenth issue (Volume 2, Number 7) of the Scholastic Chess Update.  

  • Comparison of Academic Coaches

  • Web Site of the Month!

  • Ask Your State's Department of Education for Support

Comparison of Academic Extracurricular Coaches 

by Steve Dillard

For my master's thesis I did a comparison of academic extra curricular coaches in the Jefferson County Public School System (90,000 students at that time).  The comparison was to determine whether a coach was more effective when they were volunteer or when they were paid.  I did the study in the 1991-1992 school year.

At the time, coaches of debate were paid a stipend in the school system worth $2000 - $4500 based upon experience.  (Similar to sports coaches and cheerleading coaches)  Chess Coaches were volunteers recruited by principals.

Several areas were studied.

Longevity of service. 

The paid coach stayed in service for an average of 7 years.  The longest service was for 16 years in the field of debate.

The volunteer coach averaged 2 years.  The longest service was for 11 years in the field of chess.

Success in finding scholarships for student participants

The debate coaches reported finding $750,000 + total scholarships for their students.

Chess coaches reported finding $5800 in scholarships.

Special Programs

Debate teams averaged 1 out of city trip for every 3 teams in existence.

Chess Teams averaged 1 out of city trip for every 8 teams in existence.

Number of  teams

Every known High School in Jefferson County had a debate team.  (41 teams)

There were 16 chess teams at the High School level. 

Number of schools to drop the program in the last 5 years.

Debate 0 Reason?

Chess 7 Reason?  Inability to find a sponsor.

After the publication of this thesis, the JCTA (Jefferson County Teacher's Association) placed extra curricular sponsorship on it's agenda to be funded.  The Jefferson County Schools decided to stipend all extra curricular programs that were officially listed in school activity plans.  Now High School Coaches are paid in all Jefferson County Schools that have teams.  There were 28 teams last year.


** Story Hour with the Grandmasters **

GM Joel Benjamin and GM Arthur Bisguier along with their moderator, Stephen Shutt, entertain and inform their audience by sharing little-known chess anecdotes in this 90 minute video.




Recent Chess News Including coverage of:
          Konig Invitational (San Francisco)
          First Saturday Tourneys (Budapest)
          Russia vs Rest of the World

The Week In Chess (TWIC) The most complete Tournament News

The Chess Oracle International Chess News & German Bundesliga

The Campbell Report Correspondence Chess News

Net Chess News - News and More


Web Site of the Month!  

Chess Corner

image1This excellent Web site is created and maintained by Janet, a self-described chess addict who lives in London, England.  She is a full time primary school teacher at a girls' school and runs a chess club for the children.

This site has almost everything�

  • A chess tutorial
  • A chess corner discussion forum
  • A list of sites where you can play chess
  • Games collections you can download
  • A list of suggested chess books
  • Chess Software links for a variety of software you probably didn�t know existed
  • A fun section with greeting cards, problems, quizzes, and much more
  • A list of the World Champions with photos, articles, and game collections
  • Great Links

Check it out, and let us know what you think.  Share with us your favorite chess sites by e-mailing our Web Guy at [email protected].


!!! Castle Chess Camp !!!

Dates for the 2003 Castle Chess Camp are June 8-15 at Emory University in Atlanta and July 20-27 at the University of Pittsburgh in Bradford.  If you would like to be placed on our mailing list for the camps, email us at [email protected].



Ask Your State's Department of Education to Support Chess

By Bob Ferguson

I've got to be kidding, right?  Well, maybe they won't write you a check to fly your team to Nationals, but perhaps they would be willing to publicize your state events or run a survey in their state education newsletter and/or online.

When I tried this in Pennsylvania, the department willingly published my article which included a survey and information about our state scholastic championships.  Out of the schools that responded, 42 of them had chess programs but did not know that the U.S. Chess Federation existed!  This is a great way to reach others and bring them into the fold.

If you would like to know more about your state department of education, click here for a clickable map with links to all state departments of education.

While you're at it, why not contact your state teachers' union about publishing information on the educational benefits in chess, and don't forget to share your success stories with us. 

** Submit Articles For the Update **

We need your help to provide articles to chess folks.  Please consider submitting an article.  Share your ideas with others to help more kids reap the benefits of chess.


One of the Scholastic Council�s goals is to improve communication among members of the scholastic community.  This e-Newsletter is the second step towards reaching this goal.  Our first step was the creation of a Scholastic Chess Website to communicate what the Scholastic Council is and what goals are being pursued.  For details, visit or  

How do you contact your scholastic representatives?







[email protected] 


Ralph Bowman [email protected]  620.244.5683



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Sunil Weeramantry [email protected] 914.997.9409

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The Scholastic Chess Update is a newsletter created to help coaches, parents, teachers, and others promote scholastic chess. It is read by over 1,500 chess aficionados.

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