Hamden Chess Club

Kids Team


Live Games

Summer Program




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Kids Classes (Offered year-round, grades K-8):

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Classes Schedule and Descriptions:







Advanced I - Rook+

Currently offered as individual lessons

These classes meet one hour per week (year-round) and provide engaging topical chess lessons, short video tutorials, puzzles, examples from grandmaster games and other fun activities in a proven learning curriculum aligned with US Chess Federation recommendations. Enrollment is ongoing throughout the year. Choose a day/time above. Initial sign up is for one month/four weeks (one hour class per week).

Personalized instruction and tracking of curriculum topics 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. Students move at their own pace through a range of curriculum topics covered in each level.

Students can progress through Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced levels of classes. These classes are able to go more in-depth than after-school and other chess clubs.

The curriculum for studio classes draws on a variety of workbooks and resources. Students in Beginning and Intermediate classes can purchase the appropriate workbook for that level at the first class meeting. Online students can purchase Chess4Life workbooks at Workbooks range in cost from $10-14.

Students enrolled in classes are included as Hamden Chess Club members during their period of enrollment and have the option to participate in in-person tournaments at a reduced rate and weekly online tournaments with at no additional entry fee. Enrolled students also can join the private PMCA Online Chess Club (for Scholastic students only) and challenge classmates and fellow enrolled students to casual online chess games during the week, outside of class.

Class 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.

Class Instruction: All classes are taught by an experienced US Chess Federation Certified Chess Coach.

Sign up and Payment for Classes: Sign up for a class using the form above (Choose Day/Time/Level) If unsure which level, please review sample curriculum topics below. Feel free to email or call with any questions regarding chess level. Payment for classes is made in advance, on a monthly basis. Enrollment is ongoing throughout the year, and new students can begin at any point during a month. A spot in the class is reserved for that month once your payment has been received. Students choosing to continue beyond initial four weeks do so on a month-to-month basis. Payment is automatic once per month ensuring enrollment for that month of classes. The monthly classes fee can be canceled at any time.

Workbook curriculum: 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 individually for each student.

Curriculum Topics for Kids Classes (Beginning and Intermediate Chess Classes). Classes draw from a variety of resources, including various chess puzzles and curriculum topics in the Chess-Steps Method, Chess4Life and select books by IM Jeremy Silman, Yasser Seirawan and John Nunn.

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

Upcoming Adult Chess Classes in partnership with Hamden Adult Education (Offered in Fall, Winter and Spring):

FALL 2024 (will be posted mid-summer)
  • Sign up for Adult Chess Classes at Hamden Adult Education web site at the course links above or in-person at PMCA. The entire catalog of Enrichment courses is at:

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

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Email: | Phone: 203.680.8456 | Hamden, CT