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CHESS
OUR CLASSES
About
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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

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 for Young Beginners (from 4 years old)

Our chess classes for young beginners introduce children to the world of chess through storytelling, games and interactive activities. Children learn pieces names, movement and capture, as well as basic chess strategies.  Equally important, children learn such critical skills as patience, persistence, logic and reasoning skills. 

Chess - Beginners (I-III) Level

Our full Beginners course is typically completed within one school year (approximately 32-34 lessons).

Beginners I 

Our Chess for Beginners I course introduces 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. Equally important, children learn such critical skills as patience, persistence, logic and reasoning skills.  
Part of the class is board demonstrations and part practical interaction (playing chess).  


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 movements or know how to checkmate or castle

Beginners II-III

Our Chess Beginners II course is designed for children who have learned all the basic skills that we cover in our Beginners I course (pieces names, value, movement, board setup and capture).  It evolves into more comprehensive concepts such as good trades vs. bad trades, concepts of check, checkmate, stalemate and castling.  By the end of the course, students should be able to play a full game without any assistance!

Part of the class is board demonstrations and part practical interaction (playing chess).   

Please ensure this is the correct level for your child:  this class is for children who know all the basic chess rules (see above) but cannot yet play a complete game.

Young Beginners
Beginners
Chess - Intermediate I Level

This course is designed for students who have a general comprehensive understanding of the game of chess - how to move the pieces, put the king in check and checkmate and are able to calculate moves tactically to formulate a plan during the course of a game.
Children will be introduced to important chess tactics, as well as basic openings, middle game and endings.   This course is a perfect fit for a student ready to take the challenge of preparing for tournament level chess. Students learn over the board chess principles such as chess etiquette, rules such as touch move, how to take chess notation to record their moves during a game and much more!

Part of the class is board demonstrations and part practical interaction. 

 

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

Intermediate I
Chess - Intermediate II Level

This course is for children who know all the rules and have already had an introduction to theoretical chess concepts and have had at least minimum exposure to tactics training. This class works on final preparations for children to begin USCF-rated club-level play, and teaches all the rules of the game at a tournament level. The en passant rule is covered and becomes part of regular games. Chess notation is reviewed and used with the aim of having children write down all the moves of their games properly. Opening, middle, and endgame theory is covered, including advanced tactics and further insights into sound overall principles of chess strategy. They will also study the "immortal" games of world champions, as well as games of today's strongest grandmasters. Part of the class is board demonstrations and part practical interaction.

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

Intermediate II
Advanced Level II
Chess - Advanced/Tournament Level

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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