5 Best Chess Summer Camps For Kids 2023

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Updated: March 14th, 2023

Chess camps are an excellent way to inspire a love of chess in new students. These camps allow established players to deepen their understanding of the game and learn from experienced coaches. Chess summer programs also offer kids a chance to get off their phones and create friendships with like-minded peers. 

Grandmasters guide students through the fundamentals of chess, gradually working up to more complex strategies. After camp, children can feel confident in their chess tactics and strategy. This is a great way to keep your child’s mind sharp during the summer break from school. 

Luckily, there are lots of options for those of all ages and skill levels. Here are the five best chess summer camps, with online and in-person options.

Top 5 Chess Summer Camps

chess summer camps

1. Chess4Life

Chess4Life offers online and in-person chess camps for students from kindergarten through 6th grade. Their camps are a great choice for children who want to get more involved during the summer or school breaks. The program is designed by National Master Elliott Neff and implemented by trained chess coaches. 

Instructors at Chess4Life challenge students to learn new strategies while making the learning process engaging and fun. The small class sizes allow coaches to work closely with each child and target their individual strengths and weaknesses. 

You can choose from the standard summer camp or chess PLUS camp. Focus solely on chess with the standard camp or split the camp 50/50 with Chess PLUS by choosing an additional topic of interest. Students enrolled in Chess PLUS can choose from other subjects like sports, robotics, tutoring, art, coding, and drama. 

Kids can enroll in beginner, intermediate, or advanced level programs. They offer learning programs all-year-round, including during the school season and the winter break. 

2. Denver Rocky Mountain Chess Camp

Kids can surround themselves with the beauty of Denver, Colorado, at Denver Rocky Mountain Chess day camps. Founded in 1995, the program is run by National Chess Master Todd Bardwick. Children ages 6 to 18 are welcome to participate and choose from beginner, intermediate, or advanced level groups. 

Kids learn in person from carefully trained coaches, most of whom have a background in education. The small class sizes with an 8:1 coach to student ratio allow the coaches to give personalized attention to each child. In addition to coaching, campers receive valuable workbooks to study chess strategies and tactics. 

Children learn, play, and compete in a safe and supportive environment. For this season, the chess camp runs from June 6 - 10 with morning sessions, afternoon sessions, or full-day classes. The July camp runs from July 5-7 with full-day courses only. 

Space is limited to be sure to sign up your child as soon as you can, so they can make it into the upcoming program.

3. Bay Area Chess

Students have a variety of options for studying chess in the beautiful Bay Area. Bay Area Chess offers in-person camps during the spring and summer, while online chess camps run during the summer only. Children ages five and up are welcome to join the Bay Area programs with no experience needed! 

In-person programs are located in San Jose, Palo Alto, and Menlo Park. You can check their schedule for spring break camps or enroll in the summer program where students learn from skilled chess instructors in small group sizes with an instructor-to-student ratio of 1:10. Both morning and afternoon programs are available. 

Absolute beginners can get started with the Online Bootcamp offered every two weeks. More experienced players get grouped accordion to their age and expertise. Kids who register are also given membership access to Chesskid.com, where they can practice what they’ve learned from their classes.

4. Elite Chess

Elite Chess is located in Illinois. You can build your child’s love of STEM and chess at Elite Chess, with locations in Wheaton, IL, and Naperville, IL. The in-person and online chess classes are for children who know how to play chess but want to improve upon their skills. Kids who are brand new to it can enroll in their combined STEM/Chess program. 

Experienced players can join the intermediate or advanced programs. During their time in class, children study famous games and learn how to strategize like a Grandmaster. The chess camp concludes with a tournament where the top players win trophies and bragging rights. 

The combined program is perfect for campers interested in learning how to play chess. The camp combines fun STEM activities with chess lessons. During this full day of educational fun, they learn about chess, science, math, and engineering. The program welcomes incoming 1st - 6th graders. Only 12 students can participate in the program, so it’s best to sign up ahead of time. 

5. Caveman Chess

Caveman chess offers a comprehensive list of programs for participants of different age groups and capabilities. During this full week of hands-on learning, youth learn from some of the world’s top chess masters. Campers take what they learn from their demos and lessons and then compete in tournaments with their peers. 

Their Explorer camp is open to everyone. Enrolled campers are assigned groups pertaining to their current ability level. They work on building basic knowledge and chess strategies. The Intensive Study Camp is open to youth and adults who demonstrate a high skill level. Explorer camp participants and Intensive Study participants are separated for tournaments and games. 

You can also sign up your kid for their free chess seminars, including a chess basics class and the chess parenting class. If you’re enrolling more than one child, they’re eligible for a siblings discount.