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Play More Chess Academy

Play More Chess Academy was founded in 2011 to promote the game of chess and provide chess instruction to students of all ages. We are based in Hamden, Connecticut but we have students who live around the world. Students can choose either in-person or online chess instruction.

Our programs offer students from kindergarten through adult a chance to learn chess and improve their chess skills. We teach all ability levels, from beginners to advanced players. Since 2011, we have offered after-school and in-school enrichment chess programs at schools in New Haven County.

Over 11,000 children and adults have participated in classes, private lessons and chess events offered by Play More Chess Academy since it was founded. As of 2023, PMCA has over 90 enrolled students taking classes and lessons each week. The Hamden Chess Club has 130 club members who participate in adult casual play, USCF tournaments and weekly online tournaments.

Play More Chess Academy was founded by Rod Groff, a USCF Certified Chess Coach and Certified Club Tournament Director with the United States Chess Federation.

PMCA Affiliated Coaches/Instructors

Rod Groff,
PMCA Founder, Lead Instructor


Lead instructor for Beginner & Intermediate Kids Classes and Adult Beginning Chess and Chess Tactics Classes (In-Person)


Yassamin Ehsani,
National Master
Currently enrolled University of Chicago student with 3+ years of chess coaching experience is currently accepting new lessons students for online lessons only
Jordan Groff,
National Master
2022 grad of Connecticut College with 4+ years of chess coaching experience is currently accepting new lessons students for either in-person lessons at PMCA or online lessons. Instructor for two new Adult classes offered in Fall 2023: Chess Openings-King Pawn; and Chess Openings-Queen Pawn (In-Person) See Lesson Schedule Availability

Hamden Chess Club

Hamden Chess Club is an official affiliate of US Chess. The club has a permanent home at Play More Chess Academy and meets weekly for casual play. Tournaments and special events for kids and adults are held each month. In addition to scheduled events, HCC members can meet up with friends and play chess during open hours.


Day of Week


2:00PM - 8:30PM
12:00PM - 6:30PM

12:00PM - 6:30PM, plus evening adult classes as scheduled

2:00PM - 8:30PM
By Appointment Only and Scheduled Tournaments/Events

*Store Hours-if coming to purchase an item, please try to come outside of class times (i.e. come either before 4PM or after 6:15PM)

*Please confirm store hours or item availability by calling 203-680-8456 or emailing:

Holiday Schedule/Closures as noted

-Jan 1, 2023 New Year's Day
-Jan 16, 2023 Martin Luther King Day
-Feb 20, 2023 President's Day
(no classes or store hours but OPEN for Presidents Day Action Quads Tournament at 6:30PM Advance Registration required.
-May 29, 2023 Memorial Day
-Jul 4, 2023 Independence Day
-Sep 4, 2023 Labor Day
-Oct 9, 2023 Indigenous Peoples' Day
-Nov 23, 2023 Thanksgiving
-Dec 22-29, 2023 Christmas/New Years Winter Break

Weather Closures announced on WTNH Channel 8 Storm Closings and

Play More Chess Academy
Home of the Hamden Chess Club
1227 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06517



Local Area Establishments (Food, Coffee Shops, Bookstores)
-Books and Co (adjacent to PMCA)
-Legal Grounds Coffee Shop (adjacent to PMCA)
-Whitneyville Food Store (across the street)
-The Playwright (restaurant and Irish pub - across the street)
-The Soup Girl (soup) and Scoop Girl (ice cream; across the street)
-Paul and Eddy's Pizza (1 mile North)
-Cumin India (restaurant - 1.9 miles North)
-Starbucks coffee (2.1 miles Northwest)
-Hamden's Miller (Main) Library (2.9 miles North)

Space Rental for Private Events
Facility: Our facility (1928 square feet) is available for rent for parties and events involving chess, table tennis and foosball. Eight tournament-quality chess sets and clocks, Stiga table tennis equipment and a Tornado foosball table are available for your group. Six tables and plenty of chairs are available for serving food and eating. A kitchen with refrigerator, microwave other appliances are available for your use.

You may bring any food or drink you like, play music from your playlist through the built-in sound system. Parking on the premises with additional public/street parking available.

For Further Information or to Request a Party Date:
Email: or call 203-680-8456.

We have over 200 chess books for kids and adults, chess sets, clocks, gifts and supplies. We have a full selection of affordable chess sets, clocks and books that make excellent gifts for chess players.

News Archive:

  • 2023-01-07 Kushagra Bhargava (former PMCA classes student) is CT State Champion (Elementary K-5 Section) at 2023 Connecticut Scholastic Championships
  • 2022-12-31, Open House with Casual Play Chess, Cookies and Hot Chocolate. Over 50 chess players of all ages attended.
  • 2022-09-10, GM Alex Fishbein came to Play More Chess Academy and Hamden Chess Club, in partnership with the CT State Chess Association, and gave a lecture and simultaneous exhibition Flyer (PDF)

GM Alex Fishbein at 2020 National Invitationals, where he won the Senior title. (photo courtesy of US Chess)


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Email: | Phone: 203.680.8456 | Hamden, CT