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Learning Chess Techniques 
 Chess Concentration
 Friendly Competition
Sunrise: Proud Winner of the U.S. Chess Federation's "2015 Chess City of the Year" Award!

Chess in the educational environment has been a popular topic among researchers – many of whom report a strong correlation between learning to play chess and academic achievement. According to a landmark 2000 study published in the journal “Research in the Schools,” students who received chess instruction scored significantly higher on all measures of academic achievement, including math, spatial analysis, and non-verbal reasoning ability.

The City of Sunrise has collaborated with community partners to promote the scholastic benefits of chess by encouraging the development of after-school chess clubs in all schools; providing privately donated chess sets to each Sunrise public school; establishing an “adopt a chess club” program; and hosting family fun chess nights at local restaurants. In addition, the City facilitates the following chess initiatives:

Mayors' Chess Challenges
Mayors’ Chess Challenges are friendly competitions that bring together elected officials, community leaders, students, families and chess players of all ages and abilities to support and celebrate scholastic and community-based chess programs. The free events, spearheaded by Sunrise Mayor Michael J. Ryan in cooperation with Mayors from throughout Broward County, are designed to draw attention to the benefits of chess in both the academic environment and in our community. It’s also an opportunity for players of all ages, novices and experts alike, to join in the fun. Instructors are on hand to help those new to the game. 

A new series of Mayors' Chess Challenges has been announced for the 2016-2017 school year:

  • Davie: September 17, 2016 – 10:00 a.m. to noon, Pine Island Multipurpose Center, 3801 South Pine Island Road
  • Weston: September 24, 2016 - 10:00 a.m. to noon, Weston Community Center, 20200 Saddle Club Road (inside Weston Regional Park)
  • Sunrise: October 1, 2016 - 10:00 a.m. to noon, Sunrise Civic Center - Grand Ballroom, 10610 West Oakland Park Boulevard
  • Tamarac: November 5, 2016 - 10:00 a.m. to noon, Tamarac Community Center, 8601 West Commercial Boulevard
  • Coconut Creek: December 10, 2016 - 10:00 a.m. to noon, Coconut Creek Recreation Complex, 4455 Sol Press Boulevard
  • Coral Springs: January 28, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Coral Glades High School - Cafeteria, 2700 Sportsplex Drive
  • Parkland: February 4, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to noon, Parkland Recreation and Enrichment Center, 10599 Trails End
  • Wilton Manors: February 25, 2017 - 10:00 p.m. to noon, Hagen Park Community Center, 2020 Wilton Drive
  • Hallandale Beach: March 11, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Hallandale Beach Cultural Community Center, 410 SE 3rd Street 
  • Lauderhill: March 18, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to noon, Veterans Park Community Center, 7600 NW 50th Street 
  • Cooper City: March 25, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Pool & Tennis Center, 11600 Stonebridge Parkway
  • Oakland Park: April 8, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to noon, Jaco Pastorius Park Community Center, 1098 NE 40th Court
  • Lauderdale Lakes: April 20, 2017 - 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Lauderdale Lakes Multipurpose Building, 4340 NW 36th Street
  • Fort Lauderdale: May 13, 2017 - 10:00 a.m. to noon, Riverland Park, 950 SW 27th Avenue
  • Pembroke Pines: May 20, 2017 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Club 19 at Pembroke Lakes Golf & Racquet Club, 10500 Taft Street

For more information about a Challenge, please contact the Sunrise Leisure Services Department (954-747-4600) or the host community's city hall.

Open-Play Chess
Each Saturday morning, the City of Sunrise hosts FREE open chess play for all ages. Participants gather from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in the lobby of the Sunrise Civic Center Theatre (10610 West Oakland Park Boulevard).

People of all ages and skill levels, including those who have never played chess, are invited to participate in supervised open play. New players can be taught and guided by more experienced players. Already many new Sunrise chess players have learned the game that has dazzled and beguiled for centuries.

The Club creates year-round opportunities for friendly competition and learning, and supplements the work of school-based groups in Sunrise. For more information about the City's open-play chess sessions, call (954) 746-3207.

The Sunrise Senior Center (10650 West Oakland Park Boulevard) hosts a chess club each Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. For details, please call (954) 746-3670.

Free “Champions of Chess” Student Tournaments
The City of Sunrise began hosting its annual Champions of Chess tournament in 2012. Students of all ages gather at the event for camaraderie - and bragging rights. The tournament begins with round-robin play followed by the winners’ single-elimination bracket. All participants receive a t-shirt, and tournament champs take home a prize. For more information call (954) 747-4600.

"First Move” from America's Foundation for Chess
During the 2013-2014 academic year - and for the first time in Broward County history - students in second and third grade received formal chess instruction as part of their school curriculum. This innovative pilot program involved 40 classrooms at Village Elementary, Banyan Elementary and Discovery Elementary - all in Sunrise - and was a collaboration of the School Board of Broward County, the America’s Foundation for Chess “First Move” program, and the City of Sunrise Police Department. The award-winning, standards-aligned "First Move" uses chess as a learning tool to enhance the core curriculum while improving students’ critical thinking and test taking skills. Through this program, students nationwide have demonstrated better understanding of math concepts at an earlier age and developed gains in reading and comprehension. 

Thanks to Mayor Ryan’s advocacy and the overwhelming support of administrators, faculty, parents and students, “First Move” has been adopted in all second and third grade classrooms in public schools countywide.

For more information about First Move, visit For more information about America’s Foundation for Chess, visit

National Recognition
In 2015, Sunrise's scholastic chess initiative has been recognized for excellence by two prominent national organizations.

  • Sunrise was named Chess City of the Year for 2015 by the United States Chess Federation (US Chess). The City was selected for this prestigious honor by the Executive Board of US Chess “in recognition of the positive impact [Sunrise] citizens have made on chess in America.” 
  • The U.S. Conference of Mayors named Sunrise one of “Most Livable” Cities in America for 2015 on the strength of its scholastic chess programs and Mayor Ryan's support of community-based chess.
Last updated: 8/31/2016 5:25:40 PM