DEEP SEA CHESS curriculum

Celebrate chess's rich heritage while ensuring a culturally inclusive and engaging learning experience!

Our resources, including worksheets and digital content, are free for educators and students, aiming to make chess a multicultural, universal game. 

Chess offers a wealth of cognitive and social-emotional benefits, making it a powerful tool for young learners in preschool and primary grades. Compulsory chess lessons, especially in grades 1 and 2, can significantly enhance educational outcomes. Furthermore, those lessons can be run in low-resource environments, reducing the costs of scaling such initiatives in the city and nationwide.

As young learners navigate the board, they develop essential skills like strategic thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. Deep Sea Chess takes this further with its captivating ocean theme, igniting a passion for marine life and demonstrably enhancing memory and overall cognitive development. Additionally, the game strengthens focus, spatial reasoning, and perseverance – all crucial skills that support success in the classroom and throughout life.

Deep Sea Chess is a culturally inclusive chess curriculum for early childhood instruction. This curriculum has blended study sheets for classroom instruction to promote compulsory chess lessons in preschool and primary grades. The curriculum has been piloted for first- and second-grade students at Istanbul Technical University Foundation schools, one of the first schools in the world to implement compulsory chess lessons in preschool and primary grades. Deep Sea Chess has a 32-lesson curriculum with study sheets, which is ideal for 30-40 minute instruction per week by the primary grade teacher. We provide training to teachers to instruct with this curriculum on the rules of chess and elementary tactics.

We also use culturally inclusive and ungendered terminology in our instruction, as well as culturally inclusive chess set designs and chess icon designs to embrace all historical variants of chess, such as Mediterranean ajedrez, Middle Eastern shatranj, and Asian chaturanga. It should be noted here that it is a well-known phenomenon that chess instruction in schools mostly neglects the inclusivity of chess practitioners from various faiths. Unfortunately, chess remains the least inclusive form of after-school activity despite its popularity. Chess sets and chess diagrams often include crucified kings and bishop’s mitre, which make it difficult to promote chess as a universal interfaith game, which it has been throughout history up until the last century. 

As a chess master born in Europe to a minority group, I feel the need to report that chess throughout Europe has been played mostly with universal chess sets up until the 19th century. One of the earliest chess tournaments in the USA, Cambridge Springs 1904, also used kings with a helmet top, without any religious symbols, due to the presence of non-Christan chess masters from Europe in that tournament. To reclaim chess as a universal heritage of all civilizations and to avoid any cultural appropriation, at DEEP SEA CHESS, we use a culturally inclusive chess set design, Shahi, matching chess icon designs, and also use ungendered and multilingual chess terminology to make our chess instruction more inclusive. 

DEEP SEA CHESS's culturally inclusive and diverse work has been supported by the European Union Erasmus+ Youth program and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The DEEP SEA CHESS curriculum and study sheets are free and open to teachers and students, while we charge for Shahi chess set orders, teacher training, tournament participation, and online premium membership. We can also arrange instructors for after-school instruction.

Now, with that foreword out of the way:

Let's learn chess!

Dear teachers and parents,

If you liked the chess questions and worksheets viewable on our homepage from your mobile phone or tablet, you can access our entire introductory curriculum and all our worksheets!

Our curriculum is offered free of charge to teachers and students.

Contact us for free access!

Dear teachers, chess coaches, and school administrators,

Would you like to introduce all elementary students at your school to chess? Deep Chess is a curriculum and education platform designed specifically for the compulsory chess lessons first introduced at the Istanbul Technical University Development Foundation schools, where it was piloted. You can introduce your young students to one of the most exciting ways of learning chess with Deep Chess!

Usage is free of charge for teachers and students in schools.

Contact us for free access!