Ethan Gagliano a 3rd grader from Countryside School was so inspired by the story of little Meher that he thought of a creative way to raise funds to support her education. Ethan asked individuals to sponsor his chess matches. Each time he won the sponsors would donate $5 towards his charity. Ethan won all of his 5 matches raising $500 to support Meher’s education. Meher is as old as Ethan and he has developed an empathy with her through following the stages of her treatment.

Ethan at Hough Tournament

Ethan on the right playing his match at the Hough Tournament

Ethan along with other students will be working towards earning the Presidential Volunteer Service Award given through the White House to honor volunteers. Ethan and Alec Onker are currently serving as assistent coaches for the Sunny Hill Chess Club.

Chess Without Borders salutes Ethan for his unique social entrepreneurship!


Ethan Gagliano from Countryside School and Alec Oker from Prairie Middle School in Barrington are learning the difficult art of teaching by organizing the chess club at Sunny Hill School. Chess Without Borders is sponsoring the chess club at Sunny Hill so that children at Sunny Hill can join the chess community as other students develop skills, host tournaments and serve at various humanitarian roles. Both students are learning to appreciate the responsibility and effort that comes with being a leader. They are responsible for organizing, pairing players, dividing them into groups, assessing each players skill level, cleaning up and motivating players to succeed in their matches!


Alec Oker on the left with a student

and Ethan Gagliano (standing) as he teaches.


Chess Without Borders is proud of the students at Countryside who are acquiring a new skill and our student leaders Ethan and Alec who are making this possible. Both of them are working towards a Presidential Service Award through their work over the next year. We honor their service.

Remarkable goals are becoming possible thanks to the spirit of service and intellectual growth taking place at Chess Without Borders. On Nov 9th 2012 a hundred and thirty students competed at the Grove Avenue Chess Tournament. While they matched their skills other students like Jane and Jack Bradley, Isabella Anzelde and  Rose Abrahamson volunteered to work hard from start to finish.  They prepared for the event by creating decorative and informational posters and menus, shopping and organizing the concession stand in order for it to run as efficiently as possible during the event. During the tournament they bussled about cooking and serving others.  While everyone said their good-byes following the tournament our volunteers continued to help by putting everything away and cleaning.  They raised an amazing amount of $750 through their efforts under the leadership of Margo Bradley Clark, Jeff Clark, Paul Petraitis, the Anzelde’s and Alison Abrahamson.  The Menikoff’s helped as well by donating some snacks and drinks.  It was a wonderul Chess Community effort!
This money will be donated to the Maggie Gruber Computer Center in Delhi, India. This education center run by Project Why serves families and children from the slums of Delhi. The center has been visited by Barrington residents such as Teacher Maggie Gruber, Dr Kiran Frey, Austen Murrow and her grandmother and Sujit Johnston. A relationship was established with the 180 students being educated through this center.
Students such as Jack and Jane Bradley, Isabella Anzelde and others through CWB are supported when they choose to create humanitarian projects. They selected the building of a computer center as a beneficiary of their service so that other children like them can have opportunities to learn and communicate with others.

Because of the involvement and high expectations of our parents, teachers and community our students are able to achieve these high humanitarian goals.

Nov 072012

We offer group lessons on Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Saturday’s at GM Shulman’s house (428 Waverly Rd., Barrington, IL 60010).

Fall 2012

Tuesday Wednesday Saturday
Meeting Dates
  • November 13, 27
  • December 4, 11, 18
  • November 7, 14, 28
  • December 5, 12, 19
  • November 17
  • December 1, 15
Meeting Time
  1. 5:00 – 6:00 PM
  2. 6:00 – 7:00 PM
  1. 5:30 – 6:30 PM
  2. 6:30 – 7:30 PM
1. 10:00 – 11:00 AM
2. 11:05 – 12:05 PM
3. 12:10 – 1:10 PM
Chess Level Everyone is welcome! 1400+, limited to 6 players Everyone is welcome!
Price $20/hour** $25/hour** $20/hour*


**pre-registration is required for all group lessons (please contact us if you are planning to attend our group lessons Yury 312-375-7475 or contact Viktoria

There are two groups on Tuesday and Saturday:

  1.  Advanced (rating around 1000)
  2. Beginner/Intermediate for unrated and players up to 400 rated players.
  •  Advanced players – might be interested in learning the new openings, advanced chess tactics, endgames, postional play and strategy, planning, learning about Chess World Champions and their style of playing.
  • Intermediate players – might want to learn how to checkmate Lone King with Queen and Rook, Queen, Rook, learn about opening principles, chess tactics.
  • Beginner player – might want to learn how to move pieces, or might want to learn what is check, checkmate, castling, pawn promotion, en passant, value of pieces.

Tuesday flier is available here:

registration online is available here:

Saturday flier is available here:

registration online is available here:

All our chess clubs registrations can be found here:

Please contact us if you have questions.


Congratulations to Aidan and Zander Kitchen who have excelled as Marketing Agents for the sales of the documentary produced by Chess Without Borders called “A Future for Meher”. Aidan and Zander are identical twins both are also enthusiastic chess players but now they have found a new calling as Marketing Agents. They have sold a record number of DVD’s combining charm, knowledge and spirit of helping. The funds raised from the documentary will be used for establishing a computer center in the Govindpuri Slum Education Center in Delhi, India. The service the students render will qualify as a project for the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. Chess Without Borders is proud of the humanitarian education it is able to provide through projects such as this.


Photograph of Aidan and Zander taken by Joseph Ridgway last year at a tournament. We salute their humanitarian spirit.


Be sure to visit the Barrington Area Library to view our photo Display about Chess Without Borders. The display will last till the end of this month. Each of you has made it possible to combine humanitarian goals with chess education. We have donated $80,000 to various charities, volunteered over 50,000 hours and educated over 10,000 students through this program created in 2000 at Grove Avenue School. We have won many awards/scholarships/honors for this unique program.

The display was a result of the hard work of Amanda Vondrak and Dr Kiran Frey


The tournament held at Countryside School was a success in many ways thanks to the students and volunteers. The players continue advancing in their knowledge as they get an opportunity to test their skills at tournaments. Through food sales Chess Without Borders raised $490 thanks to the efforts of our student and adult volunteers. The money will be donated to a local Illinois charity that will provide a meal for prisoners who are being rehabilitated into society. Our student volunteers were Toby Schwartz, Millen Srivastava, Varun Ahuja, Prathnik Kandimala, Zander and Aidan Kitchen and Jane Bradley. They were terrific in their charm and service.


A special thanks goes out to our adult helpers who generously donated their time and effort as they taught our students the value of service and what it means to make a difference in this world. We salute our very own Grandmaster Gourmet Chef Zein Bertacchi who has made it a tradition to serve hand made hummus at many tournaments. We have donated $75,930 over the last ten years and won many awards for our unique combination of education with service.

Special thanks to adult volunteers Margo Bradley, Jeff, Marian Wulff, Nina Sethi, Peggy Schwartz and Zein Bertacchi who worked tirelessly to reach our goals. The supplies were donated by Chess Without Borders, Shona Ahuja, Sethis and Margo Bradley. Each tournament is an introduction to the rich world of learning and service for our students many of whom go on to win the Presidential Award for creating projects through service.




The documentary, A Future for Meher”, chronicling the humanitarian work done by chess families and students is entered in the Elgin Film Festival. The chess community has raised $31,000 in the last 4 years allowing 8-year-old Meher to have 3 plastic surgeries on her hands and face. Meher was a victim of severe burns after her mosquito net caught fire when she was an infant. Because of her circumstances she was unable to receive any medical care untill chess students stepped in. The documentary is a triumph of how students can work together to accomplish incredible goals. In this case they gave Meher a favorable chance at life.

Students competing at the 4th Annual Hough Street Chess Tournament

(Photograph by Joseph Ridgway)

Chess Without Borders has won awards, honors and recognition for its work combining chess education with service and philanthropy. Several students won scholarships for their leadership roles at fundraising and most recently 16-year-old Madison Rossi qualified to join the UN Youth Assembly in New York. Madison joined youth volunteers from around the world at this prestigious Assembly. Her article about her experience appears in the Barrington Courier today.

Any student in the Chess Without Borders program who volunteers can qualify for attending the UN. Please email at Also a copy of the documentary is available for $10. The money will help buy a computer for the school run by Project Why in the Govindpuri slum in Delhi, India.


This is the 9th year of BHS hosting the world class chess camp. The camp is nationally well known for its ability to attract world class international players like GM Alex Onischuk. GM Onischuk is ranked in the top 20 players in the world and he is an outstanding chess teacher. Taraq and Zaed Hallak who are living in Montreal, Canada  came to the camp to learn from him after they heard he was teaching there. They were excited about learning chess and watching students like them notate their games. They are determined to return to Canada and start competing in chess tournaments.


Picture of Zaed and Taraq on the right playing a match with students from the camp.

The chess camps began in 2004 as the population of chess players grew exponentially since 1999 when chess was started in the Barrington area. GM Shulman relocated to the area in 2005 co-founding Chess Without Borders with Rishi Sethi. District 220 schools and parents supported the program which uniquely combined chess education and philanthropy since its inception. GM Shulman continued to uphold the tradition of the program and today over $75,000 has been donated to various charities locally around the world. The program has won several awards and students who volunteer win scholarships/honors and awards for their contribution.


Summer chess camps are a powerhouse for building knowledge, skills and philanthropy. Quest Academy hosted summer camps with world class grandmasters, Anna Sharevich, Alex Onishuk and Yury Shulman. Students had a chance to interact and learn in small groups from them. These grandmasters have competed in world class events and sharing their experiences of losses and triumphs helps students build a deeper understanding into the rich world of chess. In addition, $300 was donated towards establishing a technology center at the Govindpuri slum school in Delhi, India. This is a rare opportunity where students are able to actively engage in helping other students through learning.

Picture of GM Onishuk teaching at Quest Academy June 2012

Recently Sujit Johnston, who had volunteered last year at Quest Academy visited the Govindpuri slum school in India donating $100. These donations will allow the purchase of a new computer according to the Director at project Why Ms Anou Bakshi. We are delighted to make things happen through education.

Students in school at the Govindpuri slum school in Delhi, India.

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