The Right Move was formed in October 1990 by the Manhattan Chess Club. Fred Goldhirsch and Norman Friedman, Manhattan board members, were the original founders of The Right Move in consultation with Douglas Bellizzi, a New York chess master and teacher, and former Manhattan Chess Club president. The name, “The Right Move,” was an inspiration of Fred Goldhirsch, and as soon as he uttered the words, everyone present knew that was our name.

In remembrance of our chairman, Fred. P. Goldhirsch. Read more about the man who dedicated much of his life to the pursuit of making chess available to youths for free.

The program became operational in January 1991 with free chess classes for high school students offered at the club’s headquarters in Carnegie Hall. Later that year, in June, The Right Move organized its first citywide chess tournament.

The rest may be ascribed to history, as the Right Move has established a record of providing the longest-running free citywide chess tournament in New York City history. The Right Move has provided chess education programs in schools during the regular classroom hours and after school.

Through the years the Right Move has served the Manhattan Veteran’s Hospital, the Lighthouse for the Blind, The School for the Deaf, nursing homes and libraries all free of charge. Since the idea became a reality, the Right Move has served thousands of New York City’s youth, of all races, creeds and ethnic backgrounds. The Right Move became a separate foundation in 2002, The Right Move Chess Foundation, Inc., and is no longer affiliated with the Manhattan Chess Club.

The program is faced with new challenges and hopes to expand its reach. Presently, the Right Move sponsors chess tournaments in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. We have teaching programs in schools and libraries. The Right Move launched its satellite tournament program where local tournament organizers receive assistance to implement free chess tournaments in their area.

The playing of chess stimulates high order strategic thinking skills in people of all age groups. Chess playing stimulates concentration, visualization, and memory thus cultivating the skills necessary for critical thinking, so vital in a modern technical world where innovations rapidly become obsolete and ideas challenged. Studies have shown that chess playing improves academic performance. There is abundant anecdotal evidence that, through playing chess, children feel better about themselves, improve their social skills, and become more thoughtful about the world around them. No one is too old to play or learn chess, which can help to maintain a sharp intellect. And chess is the multicultural game par excellence, transcending all cultural and economic barriers. The rules of chess are the same all over the world.