Inclusivity and Accessibility in Chess

US Chess Accessibility


US Chess believes that everyone has a seat at the chess table.

Central to the mission of US Chess is a belief that chess can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of one’s circumstances. This belief is reflected in the work of US Chess — tournaments for all ages, activities designed to bring more girls and women into chess, programs that remove financial barriers to enjoying the game, and accommodations for players with disabilities. The US Chess Executive Board has repeatedly stated its commitment to providing access to chess and broadening the community of players that can benefit from and enjoy the game.

In 2019, the US Chess Accessibility and Special Circumstances Committee (“Accessibility Committee”) developed guidelines to assist organizers and tournament directors with offering chess events that are accessible for players with disabilities. Guided by the philosophy embedded in the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991 (“ADA”), the US Chess Executive Board established a vision that imagines an inclusive chess community. This vision is consistent with the spirit of the ADA — a law that requires organizations operating in public places to offer “reasonable accommodations” to people with disabilities. The ADA is not about special treatment. It’s about providing equal access to services offered in public places.

The Accessibility Committee offers broad guidance for how chess organizers and tournament directors can provide accommodations to people with disabilities. Through a series of upcoming posts on CLO, the Accessibility Committee will provide information about accommodations for players with disabilities. Among the topics expected to be presented are:

  • Chess and Disability
  • Temporary vs Permanent Disabilities
  • How-to’s on Requesting Accommodations
  • Electronic Devices
  • Equality versus the US Chess Rules: Case Studies
  • Respect for All

As the CLO series rolls out, US Chess reaffirms its commitment to inclusivity in chess. During the coming year, the Accessibility Committee also will host a webinar covering additional topics and provide a forum for organizers and tournament directors to ask questions and offer solutions from their own broad experience. 

We hope you benefit from the inevitable dialogue we hope will emerge from this series. If you have questions about the content of this, or future, posts, or about how to offer an appropriate accommodation, please email us at Click here to show email address and a member of the Accessibility Committee will be in touch.