CCYC Levels for Self-Identification


Newbie: The student has no knowledge about the chess pieces, how they move/capture, how to win the game using check and checkmate, how to castle, and how promotion works.

Beginner: The student knows how the pieces move and knows the basic rules of chess, but plays without understanding the opening principles like activation of pieces in the right order, being safe with the king, and control of the center.

Intermediate: The student knows the basic rules of chess, understands basic opening principles and knows about a few basic tactics like forks and pins. However, the student doesn’t know about discovered attacks, distraction/destruction of defender, or most medium tactics. Student doesn’t know the 5 types of draws, and hasn’t learned about basic endgame rules like the rule of the square.

Advanced: The student has a good grasp of chess rules, knows basic and medium tactics such as forks, pins, and discovered attacks, but is yet to learn about attacking principles in chess. For example, the local piece majority, sacrifices on the castled king, the concept of gambits, and advanced tactics like decoys and x-rays. Students can checkmate with both an extra queen and an extra rook, but don’t know about how to win up a pawn in a multi-pawn endgame.

Advanced 2: Students have a good grasp of chess rules, attacking principles, opening principles, can sacrifice material when needed, and know some endgame principles/can win a multi-pawn endgame up a pawn. Also knows some basic openings. At the same time, student doesn’t have a good grasp on defensive principles, concept of prophylaxis, a good grasp on opening variations, positional understanding (knights vs. bishops, how to use a space advantage, minority attacks, creating and attacking weaknesses). Doesn’t know the Philidor/Bridge position in endgames.


If you think you’re any level above, please see a teacher for an evaluation