Chess'n Math Association
The Chess and Math Association (CMA) is a non-profit organization which, with our provincial coordinators, aims to promote chess in schools in Canada. The organization was founded in 1985 and now has three offices, 20 full-time staff and more than 100 qualified instructors. We teach chess as an extra-curricular activity to over 10,000 young people each week through our program. We provide a range of services to students and schools throughout the country.
Our mission is to introduce children of all ages to the game of chess. This helps them to develop logical thinking, self-confidence and the ability to concentrate in a stimulating, structured and fun environment.
We’re celebrating 30 years of service within the chess community and are very proud of what we have accomplished during this time. For example, Pascal Charbonneau, who started taking lessons with us when he was 8 years old, went on to become a Grand Master and national champion. Many of our alumni are making valuable contributions to today’s society. Chess has been a positive influence in their lives and this is something they will always carry with them. We are so proud of them!
The Association celebrated its 25th anniversary in grand style by organizing the first Canadian edition of the "North American Youth Chess Championship" in Montreal. This international tournament sanctioned by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) welcomed players from Canada, the United States, Mexico and Haiti. The "MonRoi" system was used at that time to transmit the most important parts and the results over the internet. This was followed in 2013 by the second Canadian edition in Toronto. Players from many countries, including Costa Rica, also took part in this tournament.
Marked the opening of our third branch, this time in Ottawa. We rented the retail space at 250 Bank Street in June 2002 and are still there today.
Montreal was the first branch opened by the Association. We started in 1985 at 1500 Stanley Street (corner de Maisonneuve) in a room on the 3rd floor. In 1989 we moved into a retail store on the ground floor of 5860 St-Hubert Street (north of Rosemount). Then in 1996, we purchased the building at 3423 St. Denis Street (near Sherbrooke). It was originally a medical center, so it came with an elevator. Our building measures 6700 square feet over 4 floors. Today we are mortgage-free. We occupy approximately 70% of the space and rent out the rest.
Our second branch was opened in Toronto. We had initially rented a small space in the basement of 1681 Bayview Street in September 1993. We were greeted with open arms by Toronto’s chess community and had a very successful first year. As time passed we moved into a retail space in the same building. Unfortunately the ownership of the building changed hands and we had to move in June 2008. Since then, we’ve been located at 701 Mt. Pleasant Road.
The National Chess Challenge was launched in 1988. That that time, Ben Wicks wanted to link chess with fundraising for GEMS (Global Ed-Med Supplies), a charitable organization run by his wife Doreen which raises money for those in Third World countries. In 1989 several major Canadian sponsors covered transportation and other costs of players from all over the country. This allowed all the registration fees paid by the students to be submitted to GEMS. The philosophy behind the challenge was simple: children helping other children while having fun playing a game that puts the emphasis on mental agility.
Saw the first edition of “Echec au Roi”, a French magazine for younger chess players and beginners. Since its beginning, the magazine is published 5 times a year. It’s filled with lots of great tips, lessons, chess advice, news, stories featuring “Kiril The Pawn” and lots of games! The print edition was available by subscription between 1988 and 2008. Today the electronic format is distributed for free on the internet. The English edition, “Scholar’s Mate” became available the following year, 1989.
The Chess’n Math Association was founded on August 23, 1985 as a non-profit organization. Incorporation papers were filed with the Quebec government specifying that the organization’s mission was to promote chess among young people. Jacques Meloche, Guy Roy and Larry Bevand were co-signatories of the request. Today, Guy is a judge who addresses labour standards, Larry has stayed with the organization as executive manager for the past 30 years and Jacques has his own games store called "Le Maître des jeux" in a shopping center north of Montreal.