Hamden Chess Club


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Chess Lessons

Individual Lessons cover a structured curriculum that takes a student from Beginning to Intermediate and Advanced levels of play. Progress is tracked as proficiency is achieved on 30 topics within each level. (Please see the description of topics covered in the curriculum on the Classes page). Lessons are offered both in-person and online via Skype. Both types of lessons utilize the same curriculum.

Availability: Lessons are available throughout the year, purchased month-to-month.
Please see the Sign Up page or email for available time slots.

Note: Studio Classes and Individual lessons are currently offered only online (not in-person) due to COVID-19, until public schools re-open.

Students usually have one lesson a week. Beginning students (at the Pawn and Knight levels), as well as younger students, usually do best with lessons that are 30 minutes in length.

Intermediate students (at the Bishop level and above), as well as adult students, may prefer lessons that are 45 minutes or an hour in length. Each week chess topics are reviewed and new topics are learned and assigned for the week ahead. Students usually move forward with one or two new topics each week, though the pace is customized for each student. An achievement chart is also maintained for each student to track his or her progress. Upon completion of a workbook level, each student receives a Certificate of Achievement.

Beginning and Intermediate students follow established curriculum and chess topics and tactics outlined in the Chess-Steps Method, as well as in the various books and resources such as Chess4Life workbooks, The Chess Tactics Workbook and books by IM Jeremy Silman listed below:

  • Chess4Life Workbook(s) - Please see descriptions of these workbooks on the Classes web page. Beginning lessons with this curriculum also allows for an easy transition from private lessons to one of the classes, which follow a similar curriculum.
  • The Chess Tactics Workbook, 4th Edition, by Al Woolum; (for beginner/advanced beginner/intermediate players) (avail. from instructor or online). Further instruction can be provided using advanced books by authors such as Jeremy Silman, John Nunn, or Irving Chernev.

Chess Tactics Workbook, 4th Edition, by Al Woolum

Chess Tactics Workbook description: A best seller on the scholastic market, with over 25,000 copies sold. It has been the "chess problem" book of choice for the CHESS IN THE SCHOOLS Program of NY, and school districts nationwide. It features 870 problems in a structured format, 6 diagrams per page, answer keys in the back. 160 pages.

Advanced students can also choose from the following books as lesson guides (depending on their areas of interest):

  • Complete Book of Chess Strategy by IM Jeremy Silman

  • How to Reassess Your Chess by IM Jeremy Silman

Additional Information:
Lessons are purchased in advance on a month-to-month basis (in sets of four). A lesson time-slot is guaranteed as long as monthly payments are current.

What if I Need to Miss a Lesson?
Notice of an absence (by phone or email) must be given by the night before the lesson in order to be eligible for a lesson makeup. An exception is made for illness that occurs earlier in the same day as the lesson.

"No shows" for individual lessons will be charged for their lesson time. If notice of an absence (for illness or any reason) is communicated in advance, your payment for the set of four weeks (four lessons) will be extended to include a fifth week at your regular day and time. (We will not try to find a different day/lesson time as that is usually too difficult to arrange).

Makeups are not redeemable as store credit.


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Questions? Email: | Phone: 203.680.0657 | Hamden, CT