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About Our Chess Program

Our chess classes at AlphaMinds Academy

offer children of all ages and levels a

welcoming and friendly environment

where children can learn to play chess,

continue practicing and improving their

skills and meet other children who are

passionate about the game.  Our program

is designed to take children from beginner

to tournament level and guide them

through the competitive process of becoming

a successful USCF rated chess player.

Our classes are taught in small groups, divided by skill level.  Children are placed in a particular group based on his/her level.  It is important that each child is placed into the right level group based on their level to allow them to benefit the most from our chess curriculum.  Please see each level description below.  If you are not sure which level your child should be placed, our chess coaches will assess your child during the first lesson and advise accordingly. 

In our classes, children master the basic rules and principles of chess; learn the full range of tactical skills (pins, forks, skewers, etc); are introduced to opening, middle, and endgame theory; become capable of in-depth analysis of their own and others’ games; get familiar with chess notation; Most importantly, they acquire the love and appreciation for the Game of Chess for life!

Please note: Aside from our Chess for Young Beginners classes, the rest of the classes are not age specific – i.e., any child at any age can be in any of the classes. Levels are based entirely on the children’s knowledge of the game.

AlphaMinds Academy is a registered chess club with the United States Chess Federation.


Why Teach Chess to Kids?

It is a well-known fact that chess develops intelligence.  And what is intelligence if not the ability to solve problems? In our chess classes, children learn to play the game and discover that the techniques used to analyze chess situations can also be used, sometimes quite creatively, to grapple with puzzling questions in school and real life. 

Chess can help:

  •   Raise intelligence quotient (IQ) scores

  •   Foster critical, creative, and original thinking

  •   Demonstrate the importance of concentration and self-discipline

  •   Improve problem solving skills

  •   Challenge gifted children

  •   Enhance social skills, raise self-esteem, overcome the fear of risk-taking

  •   Improve reading, memory, and math skills

More on the benefits of chess for children

Chess - Beginners 

This course is designed to teach chess to children who have none or limited prior knowledge of the game. Our chess classes for beginners introduce children to the world of chess through storytelling, games and interactive activities.

Students are introduced to the basic history of chess and learn pieces names, value,movement, and capture, good trades vs. bad trades, as well as board notation and setup.  The concepts of check, checkmate, stalemate and castling will follow.  Students will learn the key principals of the chess game as well as basic tactics and strategies.  They will be introduced to the beginner level openings. 

Equally important, children learn such critical skills as patience, persistence, logic and reasoning skills. 


Classes for younger students are taught in an interactive and playful form. Part of the class is board demonstrations and part practical interaction (playing chess). The complete Beginners course consists of 3 trimesters(Beginners I, II and III) and is typically completed within one school year (approximately 32-34 lessons).  After this course, students are ready for the more advanced tactics and strategies!

Please ensure this is the correct level for your child: This class is for children who range from having no background in chess to those who have learned how the pieces move but who still don’t have a strong, automatic command of all piece movement or know how to checkmate or castle

Young Beginners
Chess - Intermediate I

This class is designed to build on the foundational skills learned in beginner classes and further develop the knowledge and strategies necessary for playing chess at a more advanced level. In this class, children will learn more advanced tactics and strategies such as pinning, skewering, and fork attacks. They will also focus on understanding the importance of pawn structure, piece development, and controlling the center of the board. Children will also learn how to recognize and defend against common checkmate patterns.

The class will be taught by an experienced chess instructor who will guide children through practice games, puzzles, and interactive lessons to help them improve their skills. There may also be opportunities for children to participate in chess tournaments and competitions, allowing them to test their skills against other players.

Overall, the intermediate chess class for children will provide a challenging and engaging environment for children to continue to develop their skills and deepen their love for the game of chess.

Part of the class is board demonstrations and part practical interaction (playing chess matches against other students in class, under the instructor's observation). 

Please ensure this is the correct level for your child: This class is for children who have a strong command of the pieces and their movements, understand check, stalemate and know how to checkmate.  Children might be familiar with castling and en passant, and might have been introduced to some tactics and key chess principals but do not have a dominant command on using them in their games yet. 


*Our Intermediate I course is typically completed within one school year (approximately 32-34 lessons).

Intermediate I
Chess - Intermediate II

This chess class is for children who play chess at the level (or equivalent of) USCF 400-800. It is designed to build upon the fundamental skills and knowledge acquired in earlier chess classes. The class is structured to help young players develop their strategic thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities while playing the game of chess.

This class will focus on more advanced concepts such as pawn structure, opening principles, and tactical motifs.

In addition to covering theoretical concepts, the class also focuses on practical play. Students will have opportunities to participate in practice games, solve puzzles, and analyze real-life games. The class is designed to be interactive, with students encouraged to ask questions and share their ideas with the group.

Throughout the class, the instructors provide guidance and fee
dback to help each student improve their play. They may offer individualized instruction, pointing out areas for improvement and suggesting strategies for overcoming weaknesses.

By the end of the class, students should have a deeper understanding of chess strategy and be better equipped to compete in tournaments. They will have developed their analytical skills and improved their ability to make good decisions under pressure.

*Our Intermediate II course is typically completed within one school year (approximately 32-34 lessons).

Intermediate II
Advanced Level II
Chess - Advanced

This class is recommended for children with USCF 800+ or the equivalent. 

This course features weekly “slow” chess games and analysis of these games. Students will delve into complex opening, middle, and endgame concepts, like knowing when to “break” chess rules by trading one advantage for another and how to handle critical positions where it is necessary to find the correct middlegame plan. Students will become increasingly comfortable with elements of “slow” tournament games, including managing their clocks and scoresheets.  Part of the class is board demonstrations and part practical interaction.  In addition, students in this class are encouraged to play in regular tournaments and play daily matches against various opponents.


Please ensure this is the correct level for your child: This class is for children who have a strong, automatic command of checkmate, castling, and en passant, and who are fluent in chess notation. The children in this class are essentially ready to play at club level, but may still want to add to what is already a full repertoire by playing and analyzing with other children their age/level

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