About

Motivated beginner chess players and players who are struggling to win at chess of any age rely on Lauren Goodkind to help them become a confident chess player and improve their chess skills!

My mom, a beginning chess player, taught the game to my twin sister Barbara and me when we were eight years old.  Back then, chess to me was just like any other fun board game, like Monopoly or checkers, so I didn’t take chess that seriously.  When I was 15 years old, I played in my first USCF tournament and my first rating was 689.  After playing in many tournaments and studying tactics over the years, I became nationally ranked in the top 100 females in the United States, currently rated as a class A player, rated between 1800-2000.

Here are my chess highlights:

-Gained about 450 USCF rating points in less than four months, from 1117 to approx. 1550.

-Defeated Vivian Smith, the New Zealand women’s chess champion in a 2004 tournament game. The second tournament game was a draw. Both games were played in beautiful New Zealand.

-Drew (a tie) against Peter Thiel, a billionaire and master chess player in a 2003 tournament game. See the game here (Meeting fascinating people is one of the perks of chess).

-Defeated a 2300 rated master in a blitz game.

-Drew a couple of 2200 rated master players in USCF rated tournaments.

-Drew and defeated various 2000-2199 rated expert players in rated USCF tournaments.

-Won numerous chess tournaments at the Burlingame Chess Club and other local clubs.

-1st place winner: Hip Hop Chess Federation tournament in Feb. 2012 in San Jose, CA.

While playing, many people have asked me to help them with their chess game. Over the past few years, formal chess teaching has been a natural extension of my passion  for the game. In America, chess is a male-dominated game, so in order to encourage more girls and women to play chess, Barbara and I have produced an award winning, local access TV show, “Chess Diva”: http://chessdiva.show.tripod.com/index.html.

Chess is a wonderful window to the world, opening many opportunities. For example, in 2010, Barbara and I organized a chess-blitz fundraiser in downtown Palo Alto and raised over $400, while enjoying countless fun interactions with our mid-Peninsula neighbors. We donated all of the money to UNICEF to help Haitians recover from the 2010 devastating earthquake. Click here for an article about our exciting fundraiser!

In January 2015, InMenlo Magazine wrote a chess article about me: http://inmenlo.com/2015/01/19/lauren-goodkind-is-on-mission-to-get-more-females-playing-chess/