Story Time Chess: The Game. No Experience Required! - tBR Company of the Week
No Experience Required! Story Time Chess: The Game Is Perfect For Anyone Ages three – 103
Story Time Chess: The Game has successfully taught over 200,000 children how to play chess through storytelling. Known as the “Oscar of Toys,” Story Time Chess: The Game was honored by the Toy Association with the coveted 2021 People’s Choice Award this past February. The game is praised by parents, celebrities, chess masters and more in its ability to adequately teach children chess through silly stories, vibrant illustrations, custom chess pieces and a unique chess board.
Story Time Chess: The Game uses a curriculum based on the successful company, Chess at Three. Chess at Three is a New York City-based company founded by Tyler Schwartz and Jon Sieber. These two successful entrepreneurs created a proven curriculum based on two principles; children can learn anything through fun stories, and anyone can teach through fun storytelling. In 2006, Tyler, one of the founders and a master of chess, was tasked with teaching chess to three and five year olds at a local school. It was then that he discovered the power of stories. He created story after story explaining why the chess pieces move the way they do, and the kids loved it! Children have an astounding ability to retain stories down to the last detail and can sometimes recall a story word for word. So instead of game “rules,” both Tyler and Jon began teaching the game of chess through compelling stories that engage those young and old, and Chess at Three was born. Following this, the team added an additional partner, Harlan Alford who was the first tutor after Jon and Tyler. Harlan Alford is now COO at Chess at Three. Today the company has more than 100 tutors with in-home classes taking place in more than a dozen U.S. cities including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago and several around the world.
While the in-home tutoring continues to grow, the company quickly evolved its business to include online learning through its proprietary platform tutorcarrot.com. Each of their tutors is of the highest caliber; a creative storyteller, wonderful with children and an excellent chess player. Chess at Three breaks the mold when it comes to their chess tutors. Their goal is to bring the game of chess to life and make it fun, personalizing the stories for each child. They want each child to be cherished on their journey through such a difficult game while at the same time instilling in their student’s grit and determination.
With an understanding of the opportunities to teach chess in a fun and creative way to kids as young as three, the company launched Story Time Chess @ School, and they are partnering with countless schools, park districts, libraries, country clubs, and even retirement communities. Today, their proprietary curriculum is being used in almost 300 schools as well as offered through leading early childhood providers, such as Godard, Bright Horizons and Primrose. Their story-based curriculum is easily accessible and requires no chess knowledge. As long as you can tell a story, you can teach chess.
Two additional partners joined the company, Andrew Kashian, who manages Story Time Chess: The Game and with a fourth partner, John Grieco. While their online and in-person chess lessons have become increasingly more popular, the introduction of Story Time Chess: The Game has been a “game” changer for the company. While sales have grown significantly each year from when it was launched, winning the Toy of the Year Award from the Toy Association as People’s Choice has taken the interest in chess, and the game to an even higher level. In addition to the game which comes with a chess board, 32 custom chess pieces, 32-character cutouts, 30 miniature tokens, an instruction book and chess piece storage bags.
The company also offers three workbooks: Story Time Chess My Coloring Workbook, Story Time Chess Activity Workbook and Story Time Chess Puzzle Workbook
Online game sales have skyrocketed during the first quarter of 2021 and the company has added to its list of retailers currently carrying the game. As of today, it is at 50 and growing. At the same time, the company has brought on sales representatives in the U.S., Canada and internationally, with product set to hit store shelves here in the United States and around the world later this year.
Building off this initial success, the company is set to launch Story Time Chess 2: The Game, together with three additional workbooks. This newest version allows kids to step up to the next level of learning how to play chess after successfully learning with Story Time Chess: The Game. Additional products are in the pipeline for introduction later this year and into 2022.
Andrew and John are excited to grow the brand, finding more ways to bring chess, a game that has been around for nearly 1,500 years into the homes of people all over the world.