Who we Are


Who We Are

Progress With Chess, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Ohio corporation founded in 2001. We are dedicated to improving the lives of students through our chess programs. Many studies have proven that students who play chess show significant improvement in their proficiency scores, academic achievement, emotional intelligence and self-esteem. Chess participation develops critical thinking skills such as concentration, memory, and pattern recognition, and promotes healthy social interaction between people of different ages and diverse cultural, racial and economic backgrounds. Objectivity, understanding the long and short term consequences of each move, and complex decision making are just a few of the abilities essential to mastering chess that are important in every-day life.

Progress With Chess founder and President Michael Joelson is a national chess master and 2003 Ohio champion who has been a chess teacher and program director in the Cleveland area since 1995. The best area instructors, many who are accomplished tournament players in addition to possessing the necessary teaching and classroom skills, are employed by Progress With Chess. Our instructors are sought after by local and national chess organizations.

Progress With Chess Board Members



Scott Wachter, Board Chair

Michael Joelson, President

Taylor Lovell Shockey, Secretary

Wayne D. Jennings

Joel Feldman

Karen McKeehan

Tony Rotella