Hamden Chess Club


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  • Studio Chess Classes for Kids

    2020 Studio Class Schedule:
    (Note: Studio Classes and Individual lessons are currently offered only online (not in-person) due to the risks of COVID-19 transmission.


    Intermediate I - Knight
    Intermediate II - Bishop
    Advanced I - Rook

    Description: These classes meet once per week and are one hour in length. They integrate topical lessons, short video tutorials, puzzles, examples from grandmaster games and other activities in a proven learning curriculum aligned with US Chess Federation recommendations.

    Personalized instruction and an achievement chart make it easy for students to sign up for a class at any time during the year. Progress is tracked as proficiency is achieved on 30 topics within each level.
    Each student charts his or her progress on a range of topics covered in each level and can move at his or her own pace within the level.

    Students can progress through Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced levels of classes. These classes are able to go more in-depth than after-school programs and other chess clubs. They have a guaranteed class enrollment of ten students or less. If unsure about which class to register for, please feel email with any questions and set up a one-time 45 minute Assessment lesson to evaluate the most appropriate class for your child's chess level.

    The curriculum for studio classes draws on a variety of workbooks and resources. Students in Pawn through Rook levels must purchase appropriate workbook for that level at the first class meeting.

    Location: Play More Chess Academy is located at 1227 Whitney Ave. Hamden, CT 06517. Parents/guardians have the option to stay in the adjacent waiting room area during class if desired.

    Instruction: All classes are taught by a US Chess Federation Certified Chess Coach.

    Payment: Payment can be made by cash, check, Paypal or Venmo at the first class meeting each month. New students can begin in the middle of the month. Initial payment is for a minimum of four weeks plus workbook. You are welcome to register for additional class sessions in sets of four. Registration is month-to-month; however we offer an autopay option for your convenience.

    What if I Miss a Class?
    Notice of an absence (by phone or email) must be given by the night before the class will occur in order to be eligible for a makeup. An exception can be made for an illness that begins the same day as the class. Up to one absence for illness or pretty much any reason, can be excused per month. Makeup classes can be taken on a different day of the week when we offer another class at the student's level. As with absences, makeups must be scheduled by the night before and cannot exceed class capacity (10 students max).

    If makeup class days do not suit student's schedule it is also possible to receive a credit of up to one week (one class) per month, if the class has been paid for in advance.

    An enrolled student must pay for a minimum of three classes per month to maintain their enrollment spot in the class. Makeups are not redeemable as store credit.

    Sign up: A new student may join a class at any point during the month and pay for four weeks. After the initial four week period, students can choose to continue on a month-to-month basis. Each student's achievement chart allows for easy tracking of the topics to which he or she has been introduced, reviewed and completed. To see current available classes and to sign up please go to the Sign up page.

    Additional Info: Students can work through each level at their own pace. Each week one or more topics will be introduced/reviewed. Completed topics are tracked on individual achievement charts. Payments are made monthly and there is no obligation to continue more than one month at a time.

Sample Curriculum Topics for Beginning and Intermediate Chess Classes. Classes draw from a variety of resources, including various chess puzzles and curriculum topics in the Chess-Steps Method and Chess4Life.


Pawn Level Topics Include:
Chess Foundation, The King, Rook, Bishop, Queen, Knight, Pawn, Pawn Promotion, Capture, Threat, Retreat, Block, Safe Squares, Illegal Moves, Check, Checkmate, Major Mate, Defend, Undefended Pieces, Castling, Pawn Shields, The Chess Board, Development, Advance, Trade, Super Attack, Exchange, Overpower, Scoring, Tournament Skills I
Knight Level Topics Include:
Magic Square Mate, The Center, Active Moves, Opening Principles, Scholar's Mate, Major Mate II, Defensive Moves, Tactics Foundation, Pins, Skewer, Discovered Attacks, Forks, Remove the Defender, Battery, Interference, Back-Rank Mate, X-Ray, Checkmate II, Find the Best Move, Draws, King and Queen Mate, King and Pawn Endgames, En Passant, Algebraic Notation, Using Rooks, Using Pawns, Chess Variants, Convert the Advantage, Attack the King, Tournament Skills II
Bishop Level Topics Include:
Planning, Attraction & Deflection, Using Rooks II, Pins II, Discovery II, Fork II, Remove the Defender II, Interference II, Back Rank Mate II, X-Ray II, Trap, Checkmate III, Zwischenzug, Desperado, Draws II, Zugswang, King & Rook Mate, King & Pawn Endgames II, Smothered Mate, Under-Promotion, King & Pawn Endgames III, Outpost, Chess Variants II, King & Two Bishop Mate, Know Your Board, Convert the Advantage II, Calculating Variations, Defensive Resources, How to Study, Tournament Skills III
Rook Level Topics Include:
Pins III, Discovery III, Forks III, Overload, Interference III, Back-Rank Mate III, X-Ray III, Checkmate IV, King and Pawn Endgames IV, King and Pawn Endgames V, King and Pawn Endgames VI, King and Pawn Endgames VII, Imbalance Foundation, Material Imbalance, Space Imbalance, Pawn Structure Imbalance, Key Squares Imbalance, Superior Minor Piece Imbalance, Development Imbalance, Initiative Imbalance, King Safety Imbalance, Pawn Chains I, Attacking the Castled King, Opposite Side Castling Attack I, Combinations, Rook versus Pawns, Minor Piece Endgames, Chess Variants III, Tournament Skills IV, Blindfold Chess I

  • After-School Chess Clubs for Kids

    Description: The after-school chess program provides a fun opportunity to learn the game of chess and improve chess skills. We have a positive, relaxed environment where students of all skill levels are welcome. Playing chess encourages students to develop good sportsmanship, decision making, patience, planning, and the ability to learn from mistakes. Chess has also been shown to improve critical thinking skills, math competency, concentration, and spatial reasoning. Each class includes: a lesson on chess strategy and tactics, examples and puzzles illustrating the topic, free play chess games with classmates, and reviewing the material learned. (Topics for after school classes are mostly drawn from the Pawn Level above). After-school clubs usually range in size from 10 to 14 students.

    Play More Chess Academy offers After-School Chess Programs at Bear Path School, Spring Glen School and other schools in Hamden, New Haven and North Haven, CT.

Please e-mail to inquire about upcoming after-school chess programs at these or other schools.

  • Hamden Adult Education (Winter/Spring 2020 Chess Courses):

    Course Title: Chess 101 - Beginning Chess
    Description: This class is designed for true beginners to the game of chess. You will learn/review all the basics, from the names of the pieces,how they move, how they capture, how to keep pieces safe, and of course, the ultimate object of the game - checkmate! A complete description is listed in the HAE course catalog.
    Course #2819 - Register at Five weeks, (Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, beginning Monday, February 3, 2020).

    Course Title: Chess 102 - Chess Tactics
    Description: This class is designed for students who are familiar with chess basic rules and ready to take ther game to the next level by focusing on tactics. A complete description is listed in the HAE course catalog.
    Course #2841 - Register at Five weeks, (Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm, beginning Monday, March 23, 2020).

    Class Location: Play More Chess Academy, 1227 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06517

  • Chess Classes at Southern Connecticut Chinese School

    Over 28 students take Play More Chess Academy Chess Classes through the Southern Connecticut Chinese School. For more information please go to the SCCS web site.


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Email: | Phone: 203.680.0657 | Hamden, CT