Dr. Stephen Pomeranz taught his three sons, Corbin, Jory, and Cody Pomeranz, how to play chess at a young age. The three brothers quickly became avid chess players. While leaving a Bengals game in the fall of 2001, they had the idea that Paul Brown Stadium would be a great venue for a chess tournament.
Having attended numerous chess tournaments, they felt confident they could improve tournament experience for both players and parents. Their mother, Penny Pomeranz, fully supported their goal of hosting the best tournament in the history of chess tournaments.
The first event was held in the spring of 2002 in Paul Brown Stadium’s Club West Suites, where the annual event remains today. The founders expected 50-100 students to show up to play in the tournament. When 350 children arrived, they knew they were on to something much bigger than they had anticipated.
On March 20-21st, the 14th Annual Queen City Classic Chess Tournament sold out at 700 students. The growth of the tournament inspired the founders to expand the chess branch of the Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund and create a program that would provide chess instruction in local schools.
Launched in 2013, the Queen City Classic Chess in Schools Program now teaches nearly 40 hours of chess per week to almost 400 local students.