Teaching children life skills through chess
Bringing chess to life
Beginner Weekly Classes are quick, introductory chess classes where fun is rule number one. They are filled with group activities where children laugh and learn, making friends while absorbing the basics of chess.
$19 per class
Playful Pawns – 1 term of 4 weeks
Rookie Rooks – 3 terms of 6 weeks
New terms start every six weeks.
Playful Pawns classes are for 5-and-6-year-old children just beginning their chess journey. Students will have a ball making friends in group activities as they learn to name the pieces and move them about the board. After this 4-class club, your little one will be ready for Rookie Rooks!
Rookie Rooks classes are for 5-to-7-year-old children continuing their chess journey. Children are perfect for Rookie Rooks if they can name all the pieces but need more practice before they’re comfortable using them all in a game. There are three Rookie Rooks terms, 6 weeks each, that will take your child from excited beginner to confident player.
Weekly Class Terms
Rookie Rooks 1: Safe Movements
In Rookie Rooks 1, children learn about the game of chess through interactive activities. They enjoy Name that Square to learn the coordinate system, dance around during Queen Says to practice their piece movements, and compete in Blue Team/Red Team to distinguish between safe and unsafe moves – among many other activities. With these basics in hand, they will be ready for Rookie Rooks 2.
Prerequisites: Playful Pawns or, The ability to name the pieces and how they move.
Rookie Rooks 2: Check and Checkmate
In Rookie Rooks 2, children are introduced to Lichess and begin to challenge each other to full games of chess! This term is deep dive into Check and Checkmate – how to get one and how to escape one. By the end of Rooke Rooks 2, students will be more confident going after that win!
Prerequisites: Rookie Rooks 1
Rookie Rooks 3: King Safety
Rookie Rooks 3 will introduce children to the world of basic king-safety priorities. They will tell stories about the sleepy king, compete in a quiz show to explain the rules of castling, and act out superhero dramas to explain the need to control the centre of the board. These fun and interactive games will leave your child excited about chess and eager to move up to Noble Knights 1.
Prerequisites: Rookie Rooks 2
Intermediate Weekly Classes, also known as Noble Knights, are for children who know how to play to checkmate and wish to elevate their game. These students are called Noble Knights.
They may start knowing only the basics, but as they progress through each term of Noble Knights, they will learn the fundamental tactics and strategies of chess.
$21 per class
Noble Knights – 6 terms of 8 weeks
Weekly Class Terms
Noble Knights 1 – Theory I: Safe Development
This term begins a player’s journey into chess theory. The most important, fundamental principle of chess is Safe Development. This involves piece valuation with an eye on safe exchanges, how to consistently open safely, and how to safely respond to challenges. By the end of this term, students will be able to consistently develop their pieces safely and recite multiple methods of keeping them safe throughout the game.
Prerequisites: Rookie Rooks 3 or, knowledge of all piece names, movements, and the rules of chess, and the ability to play the game from beginning to checkmate.
Noble Knights 2 – Endgames I: Elementary Checkmates
This term offers beginner students a chance to practice their checkmating skills from many different angles. Starting with King Activity, the term progresses through draws, multiple back-rank checkmates, basic pawn endgames, and both the smothered and scholar’s mates. By the end of this term, students will be able to use these checkmating patterns to win their own games!
Noble Knights 3 – Tactics 1: Attacks
Sun Tzu may have said to avoid strength and attack weakness, but how, exactly, can we know when to do that? This term, students will learn to identify the three different target types in chess, multiple methods of attacking each of them, and when each method is appropriate. By the end of this term, students will be able to employ pins, skewers, discovered attacks, three types of forks.
Noble Knights 4 – Tactics 2: Position
There is more to tactics than rushing into an attack. The positioning of one’s pieces to control the board and protect the King are of paramount importance. This term, students will learn to recognize certain situations where pieces might gain advantage. Paired Bishops, Knight Outposts, and Open Files for Rooks are some examples. By the end of this term, students will be able to identify and execute multiple positioning tactics.
Prerequisites: NK1, NK3
Noble Knights 5 – Combinations
Previously, tactical concepts were considered individually, in isolation, for clarity of understanding. This term will combine the tactical concepts of previous terms and employ them in the achievement of specific goals. Students will employ multiple tactics to eliminate defenders, divert attackers, and make the best of a desperate situation.
Noble Knights 6 – Pawn Tactics
This term delves into the surgical precision necessary to employ endgame pawn tactics. Key Squares, Square of the Pawn, and Passed Pawn tactics are explored in detail and drilled relentlessly with the expectation that they will be adopted into ever-more proficient playing habits of students.
In these Future Masters classes, students add to their foundational knowledge of chess a more sophisticated understanding of the strategic and tactical elements of play from opening gambits to practical endgames. Students apply chess concepts to the analysis of instructive top-level games.
$33 per class
8 week terms of non-set curriculum, changing each term until a CFC rating of 1400 is achieved.
Completion of the full Intermediate curriculum, or
In these Elite clubs, more serious players train to compete in junior tournaments. The classes include advanced chess lessons, tournament games, and other interactive learning activities. Students learn post-mortem analysis of their own games with the help of the instructor.
$39 per class
8 week terms of custom curriculum, changing each term.
Completion of the full Intermediate curriculum, or
March break camps
Holiday Chess Camps are fun and unique chess adventures for your child. Each day will be different, filled with puzzles, activities, and games.
Camps are offered at three ability levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and advanced. They run on non-statutory holiday weekdays and can be purchased one week at a time.
The Winter Holiday Chess Camps run Tuesdays through Fridays over the break. Join for one or both weeks.
Keep them busy this winter holiday season with Chess Institute of Canada chess camps! See you there!
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
1 – 1.5 hours
$19 – $29 per class
1 week terms during school breaks (Spring, Summer, Winter), skipping statutory holidays.
Same as Online classes above.
Chess Institute of Canada is proud to host many different types of events for your chess-event needs!
Our most popular event is the Swiss Tournament, where a large group of people gather to play in a multi-round, timed, and rated chess tournament.
It’s 3½ hours of camaraderie, excitement, and bragging rights.
Seriously, how many people can say they’ve competed in a chess tournament?
The ability to play chess to checkmate. Also, it is recommended that the participant be comfortable playing TIMED games. All Swiss tournaments use game clocks.