Fundamental Chess Syllabus

Age of Students: 8 and up

Class Fee: $10

Prerequisite: Good sportsmanship is a must! Students must have a willingness to win, to lose, and to learn with a good attitude.

Class Length: One Semester

Teacher: Matt Bailey

Class Description

Fundamental Chess provides new or beginning students of chess a strong foundation in the rules and strategies needed to play the game of chess. The class is designed for students with little to no experience with chess. We begin with a brief history of the game of Chess. Then, we introduce the student to the board and pieces, explaining through interactive lessons, quizzes, videos and games how each piece moves. The course ends with general tactics and strategies to improve the student’s game. In addition to learning the fundamentals of chess, this class will promote the growth and development of skills in concentration, logic, decision making, planning, time management and self-discipline.

Upon successful completion of the class, students will be able to:

  • Correctly place pieces on the board to set up a game of chess and know the legal moves of each piece.
  • Use a chess clock and efficiently utilize time during a game.
  • Read and write the algebraic notation for chess moves.
  • Understand and explain how a game of chess can end in either checkmate or stalemate.
  • Understand and perform the strategies for basic openings and endgames.
  • Competently attack the opponent’s king while defending their own king.

Who knows? Maybe your son or daughter will be the next Bobby Fischer!

Homework Requirements

In addition to in class instruction, we will be utilizing an online Chess Learning Management System (LMS) in order for the students to rapidly increase their Chess IQ through interactive lessons at home. The LMS will also allow the coach to keep track of each student’s personal development. On the first day of class, the coach will provide each student with a login to the LMS, which can be found here: LearningChess.net. Homework assignments can be found on the class website HERE and will be due the following Friday.

Outside Tournament Experience Opportunity

The Tournament Chess class regularly participates in one scholastic tournament per month during each semester. These are USCF rated tournaments that require an annual USCF membership fee. However, each tournament also offers “unrated” sections for each grade level. Since the object of this class is to teach the fundamentals of chess and the rules of tournament play, it only makes sense to participate in these “unrated” sections for the purpose of exercising this knowledge in a practical way.

While it is mandatory for the Tournament Chess class to participate in the rated section, the “unrated” section is open to you if you would like to participate with us. This would allow your student to practice what they have learned without the cost and stress of maintaining a national rating. And, it will give your student an opportunity to decide if our Tournament Chess class is something they would like to join in the future.

Chess tournament entry fees are typically $15 per student and will be optional for this class. If you would like to participate, then please let Mr. Matt know in advance.

In-class Swiss Tournament

During the last 5 weeks of each semester we will conduct our Semi-Annual Swiss Tournament for all class members. Since age is not necessarily a factor in chess, the teacher will analyze each student’s chess ability throughout the first 7 weeks to decide a beginning level for initial tournament pairing. At the end of the Fall semester, the top 3 in each section will be awarded a certificate, a photo-op, and a round of applause during the morning announcements (or Open House) on the final Friday before break.

Chess Curriculum

Week 1 – (VIDEO) Chess for Kids: Learn How to Play & Have Fun!

  1. Introduction
  2. The Board
  3. The Pieces
  4. Chess Etiquette & Sportsmanship
  5. Special Moves
  6. Check & Draw
  7. 4 Strategies
  8. 10 Golden Moves
  9. Fool’s Mate
  10. Scholar’s Mate
  11. Conclusion

Week 2 – Endgame Study (Part 1)

  1. The Staircase: King & 2 Queens vs. Lone King
  2. The Staircase: King & 2 Rooks vs. Lone King
  3. Using a chess clock
  4. Algebraic Notation

Week 3 – Endgame Study (Part 2)

  1. The Box: King & Queen vs. Lone King
  2. The Box: King & Rook vs. Lone King
  3. Touch Move Rule
  4. Using a chess clock
  5. Algebraic Notation

Week 4 – Endgame Study (Part 3)

  1. Stalemate Alert!
  2. More Checkmates
  3. Using a chess clock
  4. Algebraic Notation

Week 5 – Endgame Study (Part 4)

  1. Other Draws in Addition to Stalemate
  2. King & Bishop vs. Lone King
  3. King & Knight vs. Lone King
  4. Using a chess clock
  5. Algebraic Notation

Week 6 – Middlegame Basics (Part 1)

  1. Counting Attackers & Defenders
  2. Trades
  3. Other Middle Game Basics
  4. Using a chess clock
  5. Algebraic Notation

Week 7 – Middlegame Basics (Part 2)

  1. Basic Tactics:
  2. Forks
  3. Pins
  4. Skewers
  5. Discovery
  6. Overload
  7. Mixed Tactics

Week 8

Round Robin Tournament: Day 1

Week 9

Round Robin Tournament: Day 2

Week 10

Round Robin Tournament: Day 3

Week 11

Round Robin Tournament: Day 4

Week 12

Round Robin Tournament: Day 5

Award Top 3 Players!