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
This free and friendly series of meet-ups, spearheaded by Sunrise Mayor Michael J. Ryan in cooperation with Mayors from throughout Broward County, draws attention to the benefits of chess in both the academic environment and in our community.
Each Mayors' Chess Challenge event provides an opportunity for players of all ages, novices and experts alike, to join in the fun with elected officials and community leaders. Instructors from the Sunrise Center for Excellence in Chess are on hand to help those new to the game.
The complete 2019-2020 schedule is as follows:
- City of Deerfield Beach: Saturday, September 14, from 10:00 a.m. to noon - Hillsboro Technology Center, 50 Hillsboro Technology Drive
- City of Fort Lauderdale: Saturday, September 21, from 10:00 a.m. to noon - Riverland Park, 950 SW 27th Avenue
- CITY OF SUNRISE: Saturday, September 28, from 10:00 a.m. to noon - Sunrise Civic Center, 10610 West Oakland Park Boulevard
- Town of Davie: Saturday, October 5, from 10:00 a.m. to noon - Pine Island Multipurpose Center, 3801 South Pine Island Drive
- City of Tamarac: Saturday, November 2, from 10:00 a.m. to noon - Tamarac Community Center, 8601 West Commercial Boulevard
- City of Lauderhill: Saturday, November 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. - Multipurpose Rooms, 5581 West Oakland Park Boulevard
- City of Dania Beach: Friday, December 13, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. - CW Thomas Park, 100 NW 8th Avenue
- City of Coconut Creek: Saturday, December 14, from 10:00 a.m. to noon - Recreation Complex, 4455 Sol Press Boulevard
- City of Weston: Saturday, January 11, from 10:00 a.m. to noon - Weston Community Center, 20200 Saddle Club Road
- City of Coral Springs: Saturday, January 18, from 10:00 a.m. to noon - Mullins Hall in Mullins Park, 10000 Ben Geiger Drive/NW 29th Street
- City of North Lauderdale: Saturday, January 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. - North Lauderdale Teen/Recreation Center, 701 SW 71st Avenue
- City of Pompano Beach: Saturday, February 1, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. - Pompano Beach Cultural Center, 50 West Atlantic Boulevard
- City of Cooper City: Saturday, February 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - Pool & Tennis Center, 11600 Stonebridge Parkway
- City of Boca Raton: Saturday, February 15, from 10:00 a.m. to noon - Boca Raton Downtown Public Library, 400 NW 2nd Avenue
- City of Miramar: Saturday, February 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - Vizcaya Park, 14200 SW 55th Street
- City of Parkland: Saturday, February 29, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. - Parkland Recreation and Enrichment Center, 10599 Trails End
- City of Hollywood: Saturday, March 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. - David Park Community Center, 309 North 21st Avenue
- City of Miami Beach: Saturday, March 14, from 10:00 a.m. to noon - Scott Rakow Youth Center, 2700 Sheridan Avenue POSTPONED
- City of Oakland Park: Saturday, March 28, from 10:00 a.m. to noon - Jaco Pastorius Park Community Center, 1098 NE 40th Court POSTPONED
- City of Wilton Manors: Saturday, April 11, from 10:00 a.m. to noon - Hagen Park Community Center, 2020 Wilton Drive
- City of Lauderdale Lakes: Thursday, April 23, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - Multipurpose Auditorium, 4340 NW 36th Street
- City of Plantation: Saturday, May 9, from 10:00 a.m. to noon - Deicke Auditorium, 5701 Cypress Road
- City of Pembroke Pines: Saturday, May 16, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - Club 19 at Pembroke Lakes Golf & Racquet Club, 10500 Taft Street
Players will receive a Mayors' Chess Challenge Passport so they can log their participation over the course of the school year. Those with perfect attendance will receive a prize at the end of the season.
For more information, please contact the Sunrise Leisure Services Department: (954) 747-4600
The City of Sunrise hosts FREE open-play chess sessions each Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 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. Thanks to the Sunrise Center for Excellence in Chess, free instruction is provided.
Open-play chess creates year-round opportunities for friendly competition and learning, and supplements the work of school-based groups in Sunrise. For more information, 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 second and third grade classrooms in public schools countywide.
For more information about First Move, visit firstmove.org.
National and Local Recognition
Sunrise's scholastic chess initiative has been recognized for excellence by prominent 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.
- The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance - Broward County's leading economic development organization - presented Sunrise with its 2016 Education Partnership Award. The award recognized the role of chess as an economic development tool - developing the critical thinking skills the next generation needs in order to innovate and succeed in the workforce.