Chess Club


“Chess teaches foresight, by having to plan ahead; vigilance, by having to keep watch over the whole chess board; caution, by having to restrain ourselves from making hasty moves; and finally, we learn from chess the greatest maxim in life – that even when everything seems to be going badly for us we should not lose heart, but always hoping for a change for the better, steadfastly continue searching for the solutions to our problems.” –Benjamin Franklin

Here is the main text that I use to teach from, in addition to my many decades of playing the game:



For all practice games, pieces start from regular starting positions except where otherwise noted.

March 17th: Pawn

Pawn game:

1. black and white pawns start from opening positions.

2. players get points for each pawn they capture.

3. players get points for each pawn they “promote” by reaching the opposite side of the board.

4. Game ends when 1 side can no longer make a legal move (block pawns)

March 24th: Pawn continued

Pawn vs Rook game:

1. White starts with 8 pawns, black starts with 1 pawn and 1 rook.

2. Any pawn that reaches the opposite side may be promoted to only a rook.

3. First player to eliminate the opponents pieces wins.

4. Variation: a regular game is 8 pts (8 pawns) vs 6 points (1 rook and 1 pawn). For a greater challenge, try 5 white pawns vs 1 black rook. (White’s first move should be to protect a pawn).

April 7th: Rook

April 14th: Knight and Bishop

April 21st: Knight and bishop

Checkmate game 1: rooking (direct aim: endgame)

1. White King vs 2 black rooks.

2. Game begins with white placing all 3 pieces anywhere on the board.

3.Black wins by checkmating white in 15 moves or less. White wins by surviving more than 15 moves.

4. Players switch colors each match.

Variation: try for checkmate in less than 10 moves

Checkmate game 2: King and Queen

1. Same rules s above but white king vs. black king and black queen


Other practice games:

Knight hunt

Bishop hunt

Pawn Battleship


Here’s a lesson by the author of that book, U.S. Champ Lev Alburt

More about Lev Alburt and his official website:!photostackergallery0=0

Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993 movie)

At some point during chess clubs that I run for children in grades K-12, I usually show this movie at one point or another because it communicates the reverence and elegance of Chess that I want students to understand.

This is one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies:

Searching for Bobby Fischer

Who is Bobby Fischer?

Is there a chess master in your neighborhood?

One of the world’s top chess players makes his move – to Minnetonka

Web Sites:

1. The Rules:

2.  Strategy:

Instructional Videos:

GM Susan Polgar:




Some notes on tournaments:


1. Opening Principles


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