Happy New Year fellow Chess Enthusiasts!

The Legacy Chess Team would like to thank all of our supporters and welcome you to 2018!! We are incredibly excited for this coming year as we are preparing for classes. Let’s kick off this year strong!


Please reach out to us if you would like to sign up for the after-school programs at your school or for any questions you might have. 



Check it out! Legacy Founder, Corey Hancock, is shown teaching a student all the way out in California over the phone.

How is this done?

With Chess Notation – notation allows for players to record and discuss their moves so they can analyze games. During the moments Corey isn’t speaking, the student is answering questions by telling him what squares he is focused on and what movements he’d like to play.

Chess notation allows for us to teach online and over the phone! If you would like to learn notation or schedule a lesson, reach out to us!




Why chess?
I get asked this question a lot and the question usually comes from two places.

1. Why did this become your passion?
2. Why not something that can pay you more?

I will answer both for you today.
In my preschool to elementary years I was very anxious and shy. Any chance that I had to choose my seat in class, I would sit in the back corner of the room. Not just the back – the corner, because it meant I would only need to sit next to one person instead of two and decreases my chances of having to talk to anyone.
Whenever I was called on to answer a question, my heart would start racing, my throat would feel tightened, palms got sweaty, I would do anything to avoid eye contact, and my muscles would not move. I would feel this way every time without fail. Even just thinking I was going to get called on scared me. If someone said a word that sounded like the beginning of my my name, like, “correct”, my insides would jump.

This anxiety made it very difficult for me to participate in school. Most of it stemmed from a fear of being wrong, the consequences of poor grades and being mocked by other children for not knowing or understanding something.

There were projects assigned to me that I was required to stand up to present to an entire class. Even after spending weeks on the project leading up to the presentations, I would take a zero because I could not bring myself up to present. When it was time to go up my body would freeze. The threats of a failing grade did not outweigh the expected ridicule of failure from trying.
It was in sixth grade that I joined our middle school chess club. I remember walking in nervously and seeing a room filled with people, but I was simply following a friend around who wanted to join and I knew I was going to ignore anyone who spoke to me to avoid an awkward encounter.

To my surprise, I got through my first meeting without receiving much more than a “Hi”. We had all sat down, shook hands, played our game, shook hands again and moved on. For the first time I felt like I had a connection with a stranger without even having to speak to them. This was huge! (To me anyway) And I didn’t have to worry about a failing grade if I lost.
So I kept going to the weekly meetings and then a second day per week opened up and I started going to all of those as well. Over time I was engaging with the chess lectures, asking questions (what? Me? Talking in front of a class on my own?), sharing ideas, teaching newer players what I knew, and so on.

Next thing I knew, I was doing the same things in school. The anxiety was still present, but I knew it was a feeling that would pass once I started speaking. I still jumped when I heard my name but I had the strength to rise to the challenge. Part of my problem was not knowing how to find an answer I didn’t know or how to ask the right questions in my head and anticipate what may be asked of me. I learned that in chess. In chess we have a lot of “If, then.” scenarios. IF this happens THEN we should do this or that. We ask ourselves, “well, why did this move get played?” “What can be done now?” “Okay how can this be broken down and made simpler?” “What do we already know and what do we need to find out next?”

Questions like these teach us to prepare for anything. Being prepared took a great weight off of me and I haven’t even mentioned just how fun the club meetings are, but I’ll get into that another day.

I was very fortunate to have this chess club. The lessons I learned have opened many doors for me and have me left feeling capable of anything I set my mind to. Now I want nothing more than to duplicate that experience for other students. No matter what kind of issue you’re facing, I know you can find solace here.

NBC12 visits LCA at Varina Library

We want to take this opportunity to thank Karla Redditte from NBC12 for coming out to do a story on Legacy Chess Academy. NBC came in to observe one our classes which this time was held at the Varina Library. We were also able to share some of the history of LCA and our vision going forward. All very exciting stuff!


Looking forward to seeing the story airing next week!


Chess Open House!

Saturday, April 29, 2017 Legacy Chess Academy held its first Open House! Chess enthusiasts gathered to learn, to educate, and to get their faces painted! 

We are incredibly thankful for RVA Cafe allowing us to use their space for the afternoon. 

To see more picture and videos please visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/legacychess 

Southside Regional Governor’s School Camp

I had an absolute blast working at the Southside Regional Governor’s School Camp! I had the opportunity to represent Legacy Chess Academy offering one of the activities available to the students. Words cannot describe how wonderful this experience was and how great the students were, I just know that they will all move on to do tremendous things!



Magnus Carlsen playing timed chess blindfolded!

Magnus Carlsen is one of the most extraordinary chess players on the planet! Watch as he effortlessly plays three matches blindfolded at the same time. Carlsen is not only able to visualize the board & pieces in his head, he also able to play with the same skill as a Grandmaster! In other words, he not only pictures the movements in his head, he makes logical strong moves in response to his opponents as well. Enough to win all three matches. 

Chess Club at Central Montessori

After a heartwarming amount of positive feedback from Central Montessori School, devoted member Richard Martin and myself were welcomed back to lead another eight weeks of fun filled chess instruction and activity! Ending the year on a high note, 9 students took on founder Corey Hancock in individual simul matches. Each student took home a medal that serves as a reminder of their participation in the chess program.

Our mission at Legacy Chess Academy does not end with those already familiar with the game. We pride ourselves in reaching out to children in our community. As we are aware, children are often reluctant to try different activities when their peers are not noticeably participating. We have received a great amount of positive feedback from parents and grandparents in relations to having activities that solely benefits children learning chess with others in their age range. On and off the board, we strongly believe chess is a game that provides a substantial amount of lessons that can be applied in many life situations.

– JaVonne Bowles