Four years ago, in the dining room of his North Raleigh house, engineer Bill Clausen started teaching chess to some neighborhood children. Today, that informal Raleigh Chess Academy has evolved into Chess Achieves, a nonprofit that uses the game as a tool to help kids develop confidence and learning skills.

Operating with an annual budget of $85,000, Chess Achieves serves roughly 90 children at six schools in Wake County, most of them private elementary schools.

And next month, Chess Achieves will serve as host to the annual North Carolina Scholastic Chess Tournament, an event expected to attract 500 kids from …

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