In the years that it took him to achieve the national master title, Elliott Neff learned that chess is more than just a game. He found that math competency, critical thinking, spatial reasoning, and other essential skills are honed as one plays. So, when he sits down to give one of his students a lesson, he thinks of it not as a diversion but, as his company's motto puts it, as "teaching life skills through chess." To help him expand the reach of his philosophy, Elliott has assembled a team of more than 35 local and national chess champions. During group classes and private lessons, these coaches motivate students to exercise their mental agility while learning the correct way to outsmart kings.