About Us

Mission and Vission

The Chess Starts mission is to improve education utilizing chess as the tool. The Chess Start Scholastic Program offers Kindergarten through 8th grade youth an opportunity to learn about chess. We teach beginners to advanced players. Students will improve their creativity and analytical thinking skills while learning a fun and thought-provoking game.


Coach AJ Pheasant has dedicted his life to instructing and developing the minds of promising chess players.

Chess Teaching Experience:

I have taught chess to several thousand scholastic chess players. In college as President of the Purdue University Chess Club I created the Chess Start Program in the fall of 2003 to raise the quality of chess in the local area to a tournament level. He instructed 75 children at 4 local elementary schools on a weekly basis. After graduating from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN with a Bachelor of Science, I worked as a full time Chess Coach for the Chess Emporium in Phoenix, AZ in the spring of 2006 - 2010. I taught chess classes at nine to eleven schools. He created team unity within the players at each of clubs while working to further each child's overall development.

Chess Performance:

AJ Pheasant,a Class 'A' player, has been playing competitive chess 13 years. He is the winner of the U1900 Chicago Open section. He began to play in local scholastic tournaments. In high school he competed in three Indiana state tournaments and tied for 2nd 3 times. He also played in 3 High School National Tournaments.

Additional Chess Organization Experience:

Organized, and direct five scholastic and adult chess tournaments each year. 2 years experience as the Day-to-Day Operations Manager for the Chess Emporium, LLC. Negotiated schedules and contracts with 250 school in 15 districts, community education departments, and private entities The program taught over 2500 students each semester 25 full and part time coaches Managed 8 adminstrative support staff Provided friendly, efficient, and superior customer support via phone, e-mail, and in person. Pairing director of a Susan Polgar National event, USCF rated.

© 2015 Chess Start ... Andrew Pheasant. All Rights Reserved