Chessfest 2017 Photos

Posted on June 9th, 2017 by talgranite

Saturday June 3 was a beautiful day for Chessfest at Harbourfront Centre, featuring the 4th annual Chessfest Children’s Championship. Thanks to all who attended!
(And thanks to some of our fantastic parents for the photos.)

Meanwhile, outside the tournament tent, the Queen of Chessfest was holding court, joined by another young queen:

Weekend Elite Classes

Posted on May 17th, 2017 by talgranite

Sign up for the Spring Session of Elite Club!

A special weekend class with advanced chess training for dedicated players who want to take their game to the next level!

Each weekly meeting is close to two hours and includes:

  • Warm-up games with occasional top-level guidance
  • An advanced lesson covering the most relevant trends and techniques
  • A weekly round of a CFC-rated tournament
  • Group post-game analysis
  • An exciting round-up activity

Time slots are avaialable on Saturday and Sunday.
Hurry up and register for the class of your choice before it’s full!
Groups are limited to 14 participants.

Save your spot today!

This program will be starting back again in the fall!

Chessfest is back June 3-4

Posted on May 10th, 2017 by talgranite

2017 Harbourfront Centre Chessfest – the best of Toronto chess and the best site in Toronto to showcase it!

Along with all the free chess fun, Chessfest features the annual Chessfest Children’s Championship for kids in grade 1 to 6 ($10 entry fee). Register here under tournaments.

Chessfest 2017 postcard

All The World’s A Chess Board

Posted on April 7th, 2017 by talgranite

Famed Chess Queen Phiona Mutesi Plays a Life-Size Game

Queen of Katwe film shot

Toronto, ON, April 7, 2017: Phiona Mutesi, the Ugandan chess player behind the Disney film, Queen of Katwe, which premiered at TIFF in 2016, is back in Toronto this week. Her visit wraps up Saturday with a life-size game of chess at Branksome Hall.

Like Lewis Carrol’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, Mutesi’s story is very much that of a pawn promoted to queen. She started life in a slum area of Kampala, working as a street vendor. Through chess, she rose to national and international fame, winning the national Junior Championships and representing Uganda several times at the international Chess Olympiad.

Her current tour of Toronto with Beautiful World Canada has included a Q&A with young players in Regent Park on Monday, and a game against Canadian General Roméo Dallaire on Tuesday. Saturday she is guest of honour at a charity tournament in Rosedale, where she will play a living game of chess with costumed children as pieces. The event raises funds for children’s chess programs in Toronto through Chess Institute of Canada and for women’s scholarships in Uganda, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone through Beautiful World.

A living chess game from Monselice, Italy

A living chess game from Monselice, Italy

All the world’s a chess board? “Chess, the way we teach it, is more than just a game,” says tournament organizer, Tal Granite. “We are changing lives.” Granite uses chess as a tool to teach important life skills, like goal setting. Mutesi’s chess coach Robert Katende, from Sports Outreach Mission in Uganda, sees chess the same way. As he says in the film, “Chess helps us solve problems. It teaches us to make a plan.”

One important lesson to be learned from chess is to face life’s challenges courageously. “If your goal scares you,” says Granite, “you are on the right path. Dare to dream.” It’s the same advice Katende gives his player when she fears her life will never change: “What matters is when you reset the pieces and play again.”

Chess Institute at Beautiful World Gala

Posted on April 6th, 2017 by talgranite

CIC Founder and President Ted Winick and CEO  Tal Granite attended the Beautiful World Fundraising Gala on April 4, 2017.

The highlight of the night was a chesss game between “Queen of Katwe” Phiona Mutesi and Canadian Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire, with Tal Granite as a live commentator (photo tweeted by Gloria Kim)


Ted Winick was honoured to meet Phiona Mutesi and her coach Robert Katende, as was Toronto City Councillor, Joe Mihevc.

beautiful world gala

Mutesi and Katende’s visit to Toronto wraps up with the Dare to Dream Children’s Chess tournament this Saturday, presented by Chess Institute and Beautiful World.

Ask Phiona Contest

Posted on March 22nd, 2017 by talgranite

ask phiona h5

At the Charity Chess Tournament at Branksome Hall on April 8, there will be a Q&A with the Queen of Katwe, Phiona Mutesi, and her coach, Robert Katende. What would you ask her if you got the chance?

Tweet or comment with your #askphiona questions, and you’ll have a chance to win one of 3 free entries into the tournament.

Winning questions will be selected on March 31.

Play Chess with Phiona!

Posted on February 15th, 2017 by talgranite


Chess Institute of Canada and Beautiful World are proud to present A Children’s Chess Tournament for grades 1 through 8 with Phiona Mutesi, who represented Uganda in the 2010 Chess Olympiad. Join the fun at Branksome Hall on Saturday April 8, 2017.

Phiona’s story inspired the recent Disney movie, Queen of Katwe, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016.

Registration is $50, for which a tax receipt will be issued. The proceeds from this tournament will support both scholarships for girls living in extreme poverty in Uganda, and chess programs for youth living in poverty in Toronto.

Get tickets now!