Chess Lecture and Simul Series

Chess Lecture and Simul Series

Chess & Checkers House (mid-Park at 64th Street)
Saturdays: June 12, July 24, and August 14
Check-In: 10:30 am | Start: 11:00 am

Learn techniques from three world-renowned chess experts. Then put your new skills to the test against the chess masters while they challenge 24 participants—simultaneously!

FREE and open to players ages 6+ with prior experience. Registration opens approximately one month prior to each event.

Advanced registration required! No walk-ups.

Featured Guests

  • Saturday, June 12, 2021

    Grandmaster Irina Krush

    Irina Krush is the reigning eight-time U.S. Women’s Chess Champion. In 2013, she became the first American woman to earn the Grandmaster title. She has been a member of the U.S. Women’s Olympiad team since the age of 14, representing the U.S. in ten events. In 2004 and 2008 she helped the team earn historic silver and bronze medals, and she won an individual silver medal at the most recent Olympiad in 2018. These days, Irina does a lot of teaching through her company, GM Chess (, which offers private and group lessons for all ages and levels. She graduated from NYU in 2006 with a B.A. in International Relations.
  • Saturday, July 24, 2021

    Grandmaster Michael Rohde

    Awarded the Grandmaster title in 1988, Michael Rohde is a two-time U.S. Open Champion and four-time New York State Champion. Michael is also an author and columnist, known for his works Play the Sveshnikov, The Great Evans Gambit Debate, and contributions to Chess Life and American Chess magazines.
  • Saturday, August 14, 2021

    International Master Farai Mandizha

    (Registration opens July 14) Farai Mandizha is an International Master and inspirational chess coach known for his unique tactical playing style. He has personally participated in the Chess Olympiad since 2012. Farai now leads national award-winning Hunter College Elementary School chess teams in New York City. His teaching style centers around helping students understand the unique properties of each piece and the various ways they cooperate to form the best winning strategy. To Farai, the essence of chess is in its constant change, not memorized strategy. Hence, he focuses on all phases of the game, helping students to take in and interpret information from the entire chessboard and teaching them how to be both better players—but, more importantly, better thinkers.


Ensuring the health and safety of our guests, staff, and the public is our top priority. Central Park Conservancy programs follow recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York State, and New York City. This year’s Chess Lecture & Simuls events will limit participation to 24 players, plus one companion per player.

However, despite these safety measures, the Conservancy cannot guarantee participants won’t be exposed to COVID-19 at this event. In booking this experience participants agree to voluntarily assume this risk and release the Conservancy of all liability. Participants also allow the Conservancy to temporarily retain their contact details and share them with NYC Test & Trace Corps in the event contact tracing efforts are necessary.

By participating in Chess Lecture & Simuls program you agree to:

  • Wear a mask that fully covers your nose and mouth for the full duration of the program.
  • Maintain a six-foot distance from other participants, Conservancy staff, and Park visitors, per social distancing guidelines.
  • Stay home if you experience COVID-19 symptoms (i.e. loss of taste/smell, shortness of breath, a temperature 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, cough, etc.), have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, and/or been in close contact with someone else who tested positive with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

Registration for the August 14th event opens July 14.