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Online Scouts BSA Chess Merit Badge


The Saint Louis Chess Club first introduced the Chess Merit Badge in 2011. Since then, it has become one of the most popular badges in the Scouts BSA merit badge catalog, with over 300,000 scouts earning their Chess Merit badge. The STLCC designed workshops provide a dynamic program of learning and adventure that builds critical thinking, forward thinking, and proper sportsmanship in young people.


  • Free
  • Virtual Learning
  • For scouts ages 11 - 17
  • Must have basic knowledge of chess rules
  • Must have access to computer with microphone.



February 6th to 17th, 2023

Monday - Friday, 7 - 8 PM

April 17th to 28th, 2023

Monday - Friday, 7 - 8 PM

September 4th to 15th, 2023

Monday - Friday, 7 - 8 PM

November 6th to 17th, 2023

Monday - Friday, 7 - 8 PM



Chess Merit Badge Requirements:


  1. Discuss with your merit badge counselor the history of chess. Explain why it is considered a game of planning and strategy.
    • Discuss with your counselor the following:
      • The benefits of chess, including developing critical thinking skills, concentration skills, and decision-making skills.
      • Sportsmanship and chess etiquette.
    • Demonstrate to your counselor that you know each of the following:
      • The name of each chess piece.
      • How to set up a chess board.
      • How each chess piece moves, including castling and en passant.
    • Do the following:
      • Demonstrate score keeping using algebraic chess notation.
      • Discuss the differences between the opening, middle game, and endgame.
      • Explain four opening principles.
      • Explain the rules for castling.
      • Demonstrate a "scholar's mate" and "fool's mate."
      • Demonstrate four ways a chess games can end in a draw
    • Do the following:
      • Explain four of the following elements of chess strategy: exploiting weaknesses, force, king safety, pawn structure, space, tempo, time.
      • Explain any five of these chess tactics: clearance sacrifice, decoy, discovered attack, double attack, fork, interposing, overloading, overprotecting, pin, remove the defender, skewer, zwischenzug.
      • Set up a chessboard with the white king on e1, the white rooks on a1 and h1, and the black king on e5. With White to move first, demonstrate how to force checkmate on the black king.
      • Set up and solve five direct-mate problems provided by your merit badge counselor.
    • Do ONE of the following:
      • Play at least three games of chess with other Scouts and/or your merit badge counselor. Replay the games from your score sheets and discuss with your counselor how you might have played each game differently.
      • Play in a scholastic (youth) chess tournament and use your score sheets from that tournament to replay your games with your merit badge counselor. Discuss with your counselor how you might have played each game differently.
      • Organize and run a chess tournament with at least four players, plus you. Have each competitor play at least two games.


    For any inquiries, please contact the Scholastics Department at: