Our Founder, Andrew Svehaug, learned chess when he was in Kindergarten. He began traveling around the country in Middle School, competing in National Scholastic and Adult Tournaments, becoming a U.S. Scholastic Chess Champion at the age of 15. He and his brother, Brian Svehaug, then took on a few private students. In less than a year, one of their students became the National Kindergarten Chess Champion.
When Andrew moved from Washington to Southern California for College, he decided to start a chess program at a local private school nearby his University. The following year the school won their Private School Association’s Southern California Championship, and other private schools in the area added the program. By Andrew’s junior year, the demand exceeded the supply for him to be the sole instructor, so Andrew began hiring, training, and managing instructors who helped to bring his program to various communities in Southern California. Brian joined Andrew that fall, and their combined energy and expertise has enabled to program to continue growing steadily.
Believing that students of all circumstances need systematic instruction in chess, Andrew and Brian have helped students of varied demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds, ranging from elite college prep schools in Santa Barbara, to Title I schools in low socio-economic areas. After achieving success in the competitive realm as a player and as a coach, Andrew and Brian narrowed their focus to helping scholastic students receive 21st Century Skills Through Chess.
Today, as a result of their continued efforts, English-Speaking Schools Worldwide can add the program, and help their students to have Success Through Chess.