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This TournaParty is the granddaddy of them all! With 18 wacky events, 32 medals, and non-stop festivities, this is a chess olympiad with our usual crazy-fun Knight School twist!

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WHO

You! You and all the great TKS kids from across the USA. Meet Dr. Brooks and his Chess Dogs! And then meet all 30+ National TKS Chess Coaches! Plus…make many new friends and “Pin Pals (get it?)” from across the USA!

QUICK LINKS

Enrollment Options

Parent Information Letter

WHAT
It's our annual National Tournaparty and Chess Olympics! With 32 cool, heavy medals awarded and 18 thrilling, nonstop activities, we keep the excitement going all weekend long. Sit in The Knight School’s huge royal chess throne, compete for the national Bughouse, Simul Promotion, Puzzler Showdown championships, “tour” Dr. Brooks’s rook-shaped Bouncy House Office, play for a medal on our giant chess set, and join in the fun with countless other medal activities including Chess Tourneys, ChessMaster Says, Joke Time, JunkFood Mountain, Chess Ninja, Dance Contest, and a National Championship medal for each grade! 

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THE VIBE
We take silliness and happiness and kindness and kid-centered fun to the highest level in human history and hold that for every minute of Nationals Weekend!

WHEN
Friday, May 30th 2025 at 1 pm through Sunday, June 1st 2025 at noon sharp.

WHERE
Hosted by TKS Denver Colorado in the beautiful Rockies! Stay extra days!

Image by Acton Crawford
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WHY

​To laugh, grow, play, and crown more than 40 TKS National Champions in 32 categories!

ENROLLMENT OPTIONS

NATIONAL TOURNAPARTY ONLY - $300

Includes entry for all 32+ activities and competitions from 1 PM Saturday to Noon Sunday and our Saturday-night Denver Kids Gala. You'll make your own lodging arrangements.

THE KNIGHT SCHOOL BUNDLE - $700

Guaranteed only for the first 50 enrollees, TKS Bundle includes everything above, plus a two-night stay in the TKS bloc of rooms at a nearby hotel (TBD), a TKS National TournaParty Chess Clock to keep forever, a photo-op wearing the TKS “Shining Armor,” a Saturday breakfast picnic with Dr. Brooks and the chess dogs, and our Saturday-night Denver Kids Gala!

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No thanks, I want to enroll for the National TournaParty only.

FUN ACTIVITIES NEAR DENVER

PARENT INFORMATION LETTER

Hi Parents—

 

Thanks for coming to the National Tournaparty! Wow, this will be a very fun weekend and we are so honored to host your genius.

 

Here is all the information you need to know:

 

Dr. Brooks is in charge, and his number is (205) 332-5233, but as a true educator, he basically never checks his phone during class time. The front office switchboard is checked and manned at all times during the weekend by Coach Donna and that number is (205) 746-4953. Call or text anytime!

 

Wear a TKS shirt every day, but do not bring a chess set to Nationals. We will use pristine new TKS chess sets.

 

Consider coming with a chess friend from your home city if possible. But keep in mind that only kids who were enrolled in 2024-2025 TKS chess classes or a child who has already enrolled in fall 2025-2026 chess classes may attend the National Tournaparty.

 

When you enroll, your information automatically populates our attendance phone app and roll will be taken each day right as we start; if your child is absent or late, we are going to call you to be sure your genius is safe!

 

The National Tournaparty is a drop-and-go event. However, parents are welcome to stay for all five weekend sessions, but please stay back as to not communicate with your child/invalidate a national championship tournament chess game, which will result in your child calmly tipping their king over, shaking hands with their opponent, giving the opponent all their beads, walking away with you, and then giving you a very upset and very stern lesson that you never understood until right that second about the strictness of chess tournament rules!

 

Also, all our coaches are background-checked many times over in their home cities, by the TKSA front office and also by multiple school districts, but we are very aware that parents are not background-checked, so that is another reason for parents to be sure to either drop and go (preferred) or to hang way back. Our 30 City Coaches from across the nation will be in attendance and are extremely protective of our students, so be ready for that!

 

There will be eight Awards Ceremonies scattered throughout the weekend for our various tournaments. If a child wins a medal, they should wear that medal at all times throughout the weekend. The final Awards Ceremony will occur at 11:50 Sunday morning, and parents are welcome to attend that standing in the back.

 

Our rook-shaped Bouncy House will be in operation from 10 am Saturday until Sunday noon. Coaches will be assigned 20-minute shifts to supervise the bouncing as we rotate the kids through, always by grade so that our bouncing kids are somewhat the same size.

 

If your family purchased the TKS Bundle, your child will be invited to spend 15 minutes in our “knight in shining armor” suit, playing chess in the tournaments looking exactly like a knight. The times for your 15 minutes will be posted the week before Nationals. Photo opportunity! Fun!

 

Sunday morning will be our final and biggest tournament, the one that crowns the Overall National Champion. At that Sunday-morning National Grade-level TournaParty event, parents are asked to please bring one contribution for “JunkFood Mountain.” Typically, parents bring one bag of chips, one box of donuts, one pack of Capri Suns, one plate of cookies, etc. Whether you are that parent who brings “a wheelbarrow full of Skittles” or that parent who brings “a carrot,” we welcome your contribution! So, if you are going to need a bowl, etc., please pack that in your suitcase. Many parents make chess-themed treats, and there is--noT kidding--a weighty, impressive national championship JunkFood Mountain medal presented at the final Award Ceremony to the parent who makes the most impressive chess contribution to JunkFood Mountain. Go for it! The kids love this.

 

For the safety of all the children, no child can enroll/attend without a parent/guardian reading and agreeing to the following:

 

I agree that the supervision of my child at all times during Nationals weekend will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

 

The Knight School will supervise children in exactly three, and only three, designated chess spaces:

 

  1. Inside our coach-attended Tournament Hall Friday 1-4, Saturday 9-4, and Sunday 9-noon.

  2. Outside at our coach-attended bouncy house at specifically-scheduled times.

  3. Outside at our coach-attended giant chess set at specifically-scheduled times.

 

Parents/guardians are fully responsible for children at all other times, including:

 

The Friday, Saturday, and Sunday walk from the parking lot to the check-in table inside the Tournament Hall. Please remain with your child until you see them physically touch the check-in table. Then, TKS staff will be responsible for your child until we see you at that same table after camp: Friday and Saturday at 4pm, and Sunday at noon.

 

The Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after-camp walk from the parent area inside the Tournament Hall to the parked car in the parking lot.

 

Any activity at the hotel pool. The Friday night pool gathering from 7-9 is just a suggestion, not a sanctioned event that is scheduled and supervised by The Knight School. No TKS Coaches will attend this event.

 

Any activity in the greater Denver area, including airports, major league ballparks, or any other Denver-area attractions. Exploring beautiful Denver is unscheduled and unsupervised by The Knight School. The Saturday-night ballgame/gala is just a suggestion, and while TKS kids’ seats are all in one block, every child should be accompanied and supervised by a parent/guardian at all times. No TKS Coaches will be involved in the Saturday-night gala.

 

By signing this document, you are agreeing to all the above terms.

 

Thanks! We are excited to see you in Denver!

 

Dr. Brooks

National Executive Director

The Knight School

28 CITIES FROM ACROSS THE U.S.A.

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DETAILED WEEKEND ITINERARY

Saturday Afternoon

1:00 PM - Opening Ceremonies

Welcome, roll-call, and fun chess movies on the giant jumbotron screen! We’ll present all the weighty medals, displayed on our huge, fun chess peg board., along with the crown, scepter, and ermine-fur coat the Overall National Champion will receive at high noon on Sunday as they sit triumphantly on their throne.

1:20 PM - Weekend-Long Competitions Begin

These competitions will be going on continuously throughout the weekend, with winners named on Sunday morning: Chess Ninja Championship, CoachMaster Championships, Tactician Champion, Knight in Shining Armor Dress-Up (TKS Bundle Kids Only), Coaches' Tournament, Giant Chess Race Championships

1:30 PM - Blue Piece Challenge Tournament

The official warmup for Nationals Weekend! Hours 1 and 2 are challenge games for the kids to self-rank through winning games. Blue Piece challenge games are a part of the opening “Ruby” red-bead tourney; kids will win a national championship medal if you win the Ruby Tournament. All 8 Party Sessions, include this one on Friday, will end with an Awards Ceremony where medals are conferred.

2:30 PM - ReChess & Parent Chess Lessons

Outdoor recess for the kids to run around and blow off some energy. Meanwhile, any parents that are tired of getting crushed by Junior on the chessboard are invited to a no-kids-allowed tactical chess lesson lead by Kansas City's Coach Brian and Cleveland's Coach Ben.

3:00 PM - Super-Tourney

We use chess pieces painted blue with a number written on the bottom and kids during the previous two hours have been challenging each other and swapping blue pieces if they lost and thus sorting themselves by chess ability. In other words, advanced kids play advanced kids, intermediate players play intermediate kids, and beginners play beginners. Win two rounds and win a medal!

3:50 PM - Friday Awards Ceremony

4:00 PM - Dismissal

Friday Night

Pool time! Feel free to visit the chess hotel pool, since many other TKS kids from across the USA will no-doubt be at that same pool. This is not an official TKS event and no TKS coaches or staff will be present. Parents are 100% in charge of their children at this event.

Saturday Morning

8:00 AM - Choice Time
Choose between a sample Little Geniuses preschool chess class lead by Dallas's Coach Delaurence, the Parent & Me BugHouse Tournament, or sleep in!

9:00 AM - Promotion Game Championships & Meet Chess Dogs Check & Mate

TKS Atlanta's Coach Davis leads the National Championship Silver-bead Promotion Games. Kids “bid” the most opponents they can beat simultaneously to see who gets to be the five Promoters. Beat your promoter? Purple belt. Lose to your Promoter? He gets your silver beads. Promoter with the most silver beads/wins will win the Simul Promotion national championship medal. This is subsumed within the Ruby or new “Emerald” green bead tourney (occupies/engrosses those who finish Promotion); Win a national championship medal if you win the Ruby or Emerald bead tourney. National Chess Dogs Check and Mate (upper left of pic on left), who appear in every single TKS tactics video lesson, visit Nationals! All TKS kids are intimately familiar with these chess-playing pooches and have watched videos of them playing.    As always, the doggy-greeting will be outside and optional so that any kids who are allergic or uncomfortable with sweety-hounds can pass. Not every kid likes climbing on top of German Shepherds who are very sweet, very well-trained, and very used to this. But if yours does, Check and Mate would love to meet them!

10:00 AM - Bouncy Castle

Kids begin taking 20 minute turns in the bouncy castle, AKA Dr. Brooks’s office and TKS National Headquarters. Kids rotate through by grade, with assigned Coaches supervising the bouncing in 20-minute shifts.

10:00 AM - Bouncy Castle

Kids begin taking 20 minute turns in the bouncy castle, AKA Dr. Brooks’s office and TKS National Headquarters. Kids rotate through by grade, with assigned Coaches supervising the bouncing in 20-minute shifts.

10:30 AM - ReChess & "ChessMaster Says" Championship

Dr. Brooks leads a multi-coach "ChessMaster Says" championship. Win a national championship medal if you win.

11:00 AM - BugHouse Championships

Our host, TKS Denver's Coach Caleb, leads two BugHouse Tournaments simultaneously: the Standard BugHouse Tournament, in which the most advanced kids are partnered with the newest kids, and the “Bestie Bughouse Championship.” Bestie Bughouse is our TKS BugHouse variety in which there are no team restrictions and friends, siblings, and advanced players are welcome to partner together. Each player wins a national championship medal if their team wins. Once out of the purple-bead Standard BugHouse, kids then find their Bestie partner, or TKS assigns one for them, and kids play in the white-bead Bestie Bughouse Tourney. Once that finishes, kids resume the Ruby or Emerald bead tourney. Win a national championship medal if you win the Ruby or Emerald bead tourney.

12:00 PM - Pizza Banquet AKA "Dinner & a Show"

Fort Worth North City Coach Jeff leads this with his Flava Flav clock necklace and all the magic a chess coach can contain. Festivities include pizza and Capri Suns, our very best zany chess movies, a Joke Time National Championship, a Talent Show National Championship (any talent; bring your tuba), a Fashion Show National Champion (most different shirts owned and modeled by the contestant), a Staring/Not Smiling National Championship, and a Dance Contest National Championship. Coaches are the judges. Pizza and Capri Suns provided by TKS.

Saturday Afternoon

1:00 PM - Puzzler National Championship

Austin's Coach Sal leads the “Puzzler National Championship!” It is a pink-bead, sudden-death, optional, timed single-elimination competition with buzzers; winner gets a medal! Everyone gets entertained!

1:30 PM - National SplatterDay Championship

Austin's Coach Ed begins the “Annual Nationals Splatterday Tourney.” When kids finish the gold-bead Splatterday Tourney, they resume the Ruby or Emerald or new “Sapphire” blue bead tourney; win a national championship medal if you win the Splatterday or Ruby or Emerald or Sapphire bead tourney national championship medal if you win.

2:30 - ReChess

3:00 PM - National SplatterDay Championship Continues

Coach Ed continues the Splatterday National Championship, and that live in-Denver winner is dismissed to a soundproof booth and plays on a device against the online Splatterday champion at 3:30 while Coach Ed analyzes this game live in front of the entire Nationals group. Win a national championship medal if you win. This is subsumed within the Ruby or Emerald or new Sapphire tourney; Win a national championship medal if you win the Ruby or Emerald or Sapphire bead tourney.

3:50 PM - Saturday Awards Ceremony

4:00 PM - Dismissal & Coach Justin Eats Pie

Houston's Coach Justin takes a pie in the face from the city that won the Fall-season SplatterDay DanceOff!

Saturday Night

6:00 PM - Go Rockies! Sit in a block of seats reserved just for TKS! Wear your TKS shirt for sure. This is not an official TKS event. Parents are 100% in charge of their kids.

Sunday Morning

8:00 AM - Choice Time

Choose between a sample TKS Elementary chess class lead by Dallas's Coach Delaurence, the adults-only Parent Section Tournament, or sleep in!

9:00 AM - Coaches' Finals and Giant Chess Race Marathon Finals

Washington DC's Coach Clay leads as everyone files outside and watches the Marathon Championship and then inside to the Coaches’ Tourney final, Clay commentating on both.

9:30 AM - National TournaParty (round 1) & Junkfood Mountain

Next Coach Clay will launch round one of National Grade-Level Tournaparty. All parents are asked to bring one item for Junkfood Mountain, for which the winning parent receives a national championship medal. Kids snack on all morning long Sunday.

10:15 AM - ReChess (time permitting)

10:30 AM - National TournaParty (championship rounds)

Pittsburgh's Coach Jack O leads the second half of the main event: The (ongoing) National Championship Tournaparty-style Grade level, rainbow, and individual championship tourney. Win a national championship medal if you win grade level, rainbow, and individual championship. Overall winner also wins a crown and a scepter-shaped trophy and sits in the throne at noon.

11:50 AM - Awards Ceremony

Please stand as we recognize all of our campions! All earlier medal winners and awarding Ninja, Drama, Coaches’, JunkFood, rainbow, CoachMaster, Grade-Level medals, and then the final act of the weekend: the coronation of the national champion by Dr. Brooks.   Main Rule: All kids may sit in the throne any time during the three-day National TournaParty, but NO kid may touch/wear the weighty crown or touch the weighty trophy or touch a weighty medal until they win it!

12:00 PM - Dismissal and Dr. Brooks Eats Pie

Dr. Brooks dismisses Nationals and simultaneously takes a pie in the face from the city that won the Spring-season 2025 SplatterDay DanceOff!

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