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John Bain

UPDATE Haiti – Level 4: Do Not Travel. Last Update: Do not travel to Haiti due to kidnapping, crime, and civil unrest. U.S. citizens should carefully consider the risks of traveling to, and remaining in, Haiti in light of the current security situation and infrastructure challenges.

Remembering Chess in Pignon, Haiti

My son Denny and his wife Abby in Fort Collins, Colorado, founded LovingHaiti, a non-profit organization that supports an orphanage and school in Pignon, a remote town with a population of 29,000 people, located 90 miles north of Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti with 2,620,000 people.

Every day for more than 30 years, the orphanage addresses the needs of 60 children, feeding them nourishing meals and providing simple health care and sanitation. Education takes place in a cinder-block school with no glass or screens!

Orphanage and School

Playing chess with kids from orphanage

Before the recent no-travel warnings, my wife LaVaun and I traveled to the orphanage and school with my son, Denny, and Betsy and Bella, two of our granddaughters–all chess players! Fellow chess coach and Corvallis friend, Dan Dalthrop, donated 14 quality, triple-weighted chess sets to take with us.

The children at the orphanage do not speak English, they speak Haitian Creole! They had never seen a chess set and had no knowledge of the game! We taught the names of the pieces in English and the instruction was translated into Creole.

The students loved learning and pronouncing the names of the pieces in English! Their enthusiasm was overwhelming. After a few lessons in the tin-roofed former dining hall in 92-degree weather, the children were ready to play!

A few fascinated students embraced the game, completely immersed themselves, and demonstrated a remarkable comprehension of chess in a short time!

Donate to Loving Haiti orphanage and school here >>

Cargo plane landing on grass field in Pignon with supplies for orphanage and school

Cargo plane unloading supplies for orphanage and school after direct flight from Florida, USA and landing on grass field in Pignon, Haiti!

History of the Orphanage

In 1982, an African-Haitian couple, Pastor Francois Romelus and his wife, Madam, born in Pignon, Haiti were the biological parents of four children and busy pastoring a church, when they began taking orphans into their own home. The number of orphans grew and eventually they built a simple two story cinder-block dormitory to house them. Next came a school and a sewing center.

Francois and Madam

Today, the orphanage and school is housing, feeding, educating and caring for more than 60 children!

In 2010, LovingHaiti, founded by Denny and Abby Bain, and Abby’s father, Mark Bell, partnered with Pastor Francois and Madam to help improve the health care, sanitation and nutrition at the orphanage–and enhance the school.

Donate to Loving Haiti orphanage and school here >>

Life and Hope in Pignon, Haiti
Life and Hope in Haiti

Video shows life and hope in Pignon, Haiti!

Saturday is Market Day

Saturday Market Day in Pignon, Haiti!
Saturday Market Day in Pignon, Haiti!

Chess Improves Academics, Exercises IQ

Begin Here!

The World’s Best Selling Scholastic Chess Workbooks!

Beginner’s Book – Chess Rules For Students

Chess Rules For Students workbook

“Knights Battle”

Chess Rules For Students is a workbook for students learning the game of chess and for beginning students returning to the game. No previous knowledge of chess is necessary. Parents unfamiliar with chess will find this booklet a valuable guide to their child’s new interest.

Chess Rules For Students is designed with students, coaches, and parents in mind. Reading level is appropriate for grade-school use. All major rules of chess are covered, and algebraic notation worksheets are included. Each page is in easy-to-use worksheet format.

A student-friendly Answer Key makes self-correction fun!

Beginners & Intermediate Book – Checkmate! Ideas For Students

Checkmate! Ideas For Students

“Knight Checkmates King!”

Checkmate! Ideas For Students is a workbook for beginning and intermediate students. Checkmate! covers the tactics used in checkmate attacks with clear explanations, diagrams and arrows to pinpoint the key features.

Unlike many other basic checkmate books, Checkmate! categorizes the checkmates by the tactics used to force the checkmate–like Pins, Sacrifices, Removing the Guard, Attraction, Clearance and Attacking Flight Squares–rather than only the checkmate pattern itself.

The worksheets and Answer Key are clear and simple for the student to use, and easy for the parent, teacher and coach to correct! Fun!

Intermediate & Advanced Book – Chess Tactics For Students

Chess Tactics For Students workbook

“Profiles Face-Off in King’s Shadow”

Chess Tactics For Students contains 434 carefully selected problems in worksheet format.

Chess Tactics has been extensively field tested with elementary, middle-school, and high-school students over a four-year period. This book is ideal for independent seat work as well as for homework and classroom instruction.

The worksheet format and Answer Key enable self-correction with minimal dependence or direct help from a chess teacher, coach, or parent.

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Solve a chess puzzle, enter the weekly drawing as often as you like, and win awesome prizes! Winners’ prizes are listed below. If you don’t win this week, try again next week! New puzzles are posted daily!


Below are the weekly prizes we send out! If you don’t win, try again the following week for your chance to win! Click on the prize to learn more about it.

Checkmate In One Prize
Chess Rules For Students Workbook
An instructional workbook designed for students learning the game of chess. Click here to learn more!
Checkmate In Two Prize
Checkmate! Ideas For Students
An instructional workbook containing tactics in worksheet format used to checkmate--like Pins, Sacrifices, Removing the Guard, Attraction, Clearance, and Attacking Flight Squares!
Checkmate In Three Prize
Chess Tactics For Students
An instructional workbook containing 434 carefully selected problems presented in worksheet format.

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