THNOC’s Education Department invites chess lovers of all ages to the inaugural Historic New Orleans Collection Chess Fest! The Chess Fest is an event organized by the THNOC Chess Club. Guests will be able to craft DIY chessboards, play chess puzzle games, play “human chess” on a giant chessboard, and join a friendly fast-chess tournament. 

Register here

Saturday July 9, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Boyd Cruise Room
Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street

The schedule of activities is as follows:

  10–11 a.m. Build Your Own Chess Board

  Kids and adults. Experts and novices. Everyone is welcome to participate in this activity where we’ll use THNOC’s Chesskits to make DIY boards!



11–11:30 a.m. Puzzles and Pawn Mower for Beginners

Learn to play Pawn Mower, a puzzle game that helps teach the basics of chess and how chess pieces move.

11–11:30 a.m. Checkmate and Tactic Competition

Experienced players go head-to-head in a puzzle competition. The winner will get a $50 gift card to the Community Bookstore.

11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Unrated Tournament

This friendly unrated tournament will have four 25-minute rounds.
Registered players must have an ELO rating of at least 600. Players may use the ELO of any online chess platform that can be verified or USCF rating. Winners will receive a $50 gift certificate to The Shop at The Collection.
To register in advance, contact Kendric Perkins.

11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Human Chess

Players of all levels can join in this friendly game where people play the role of chess pieces on a life-sized chess board.

11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Chess Documentary Series

Building Minds with Chess (10 min): In 2013, International Grandmaster Pontus Carlsson, one of three International Grandmasters of African descent in the world at the time, visited New Orleans to share his idea about connecting the business community with youth chess players. This documentary is a snapshot of a time before COVID and includes many of the important people that have contributed to the chess culture of New Orleans today.

The Opera Game (80 min): One of the greatest chess players of all time, New Orleans native Paul Morphy (1838–1884) was a multidimensional genius prodigy. This documentary examines his exciting and tortured life, from his childhood to his untimely and mysterious death.

1:30–2 p.m. Award Ceremony