Reports | September 04, 2010 22:45

Chess in New York City

Chess in NYCNo, we're not talking about the G-Star thing on the 10th. This is about Channel Thirteen in New York who interviewed the founder and owner of NYC Chess, Russ Makofsky, for its weekly series, “New York on the Clock.” The channel thought we might be interested in sharing the short video with our audience, and... why not.

The video shows Russ Makofsky, a life-long chess player who teaches children and adults the basics and finer points of the Royal Game for Chess NYC in the heart of New York's chess community, Greenwich Village. Although the name Makofsky won't share the renown of Kasparov, Fischer, or Spassky, Russ says you don't have to be a Grandmaster to make your mark as a great teacher.

At some point Russ gets a bit over-excited, expressing exaggerations like "New York is the most famous chess city" and "all the US Grandmasters live in New York," but we'll forgive him. :-)


New York on the Clock is a series profiling the New Yorkers who make the city work. It’s a production of


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


ZucchiniMann's picture

Teaching chess to 3-year-old kids? Sounds like a real challenge for me!
I know that I was a lousy teacher but apart from telling them fairy tales, singing songs,... what can you do?
The general notion of "rule" should first be acquired. Most of the young people starting at chess are, as far as i WAS concerned, 6 or 7 years old.

Michael's picture

Well done, Russ. But 2000 is actually only an expert. 2200 is what it takes to be a USCF master.

john's picture

1600-1700 FIDE and teaching chess? I like his enthusiasm but he needs to be careful he isnt doing some kids long term chess damage lol

Rob Brown's picture

Amerigance: (def) a hubristic attitude demonstrated by many USAmericans that combines ignorance and arrogance. Typical examples include: We live in the greatest democracy that has ever existed; Our education and health care systems are second to none; and, New York is the greatest chess city in the world.

Arjon's picture

Funny, I've played on them a few days ago! Guy put his king next to my king in the ending (I had g and h pawns on the 5th and 30s, he nothing and 50s), I played a pawn move and he said 'check'

john's picture

yeah you looked like you were going to cry when I checked you with my King. Better luck next time buddy ;-)

Nima's picture

Nice report thanks. We need more chess players with his enthusiasm and communication skills.

Sander's picture

If theres one thing Americans are good at, its selfpromotion :) But you gotta love the chess atmosphere over there, wish we had that over here ...

Thorn's picture

Rocketboom had a report about chess in NYC some time ago as well:

Hanseman's picture

Way to go Russ. Ik makes me want to be a New Yorker!

Russ's picture

Thanks for all the feedback! We at New York City Chess are excited about the many great things that are currently happening in the chess world.

Here is a bit about us:

New York City Chess Inc. started as a vision to promote chess in NYC. Several players met consistently on 112th and Broadway to enjoy chess, conversation, and community.

From there we began to organize and see an opportunity to bring people together through chess. We ran tournaments, offered lessons, and developed merchandise that represented our vision.

We have recently expanded, and introduced the Chess Academy at the Village Chess Shop.

Please check us out at

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