What is the Chess Merit Badge?

The Chess Merit Badge is an award given by the Boy Scouts of America to recognize Scouts who demonstrate an understanding of the history and strategies of the game of Chess. To earn the Chess Merit Badge, Scouts must meet certain requirements.

Chess Merit Badge Requirements

  1. Discuss with your merit badge counselor the history of the game of chess. Explain why it is considered a game of planning and strategy.
  2. Organize and run a chess tournament with at least four players, plus you. Have each competitor play at least two games.
  3. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the rules of chess. Explain the concepts of check and checkmate, stalemate, and the roles of each chess piece.
  4. Be able to set up a chessboard and show the proper placement of pieces. Demonstrate the two most common ways that chess players move their pieces.
  5. Describe three different ways that a chess game can end in a draw.
  6. Discuss the benefits of playing chess.
  7. Play at least three chess games against another person.
  8. Participate in a chess tournament lasting at least two hours.
  9. Write a composition on one of the following topics:

    • The importance of chess in culture and history.
    • The value of chess in improving decision-making skills.
    • A chess player who has made a difference in the world.

Chess Merit Badge Worksheet

In order to earn the Chess Merit Badge, Scouts must complete a worksheet that outlines their progress on each requirement. The worksheet should include:

  • The date that each requirement was completed.
  • A detailed description of each requirement.
  • A description of the activities that were involved in completing each requirement.
  • A signature from a parent, guardian, or merit badge counselor.

The worksheet should also include a section for the Scout to self-evaluate their progress and provide feedback on their experience working on the requirements.


For more information about the Chess Merit Badge and its requirements, Scouts can visit the following resources:

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