Our newbie course is designed to make the rules of chess accessible for complete beginners who’ve never played the game before, regardless of age. Through stories, games, humour, and high energy instruction, students will learn how a knight takes two flips and then flops on the side, how bishops move like the letter X, and why a king needs a house. After this level, students will have enough knowledge to play a full game of chess, right until checkmate. They’ll be able to capture and trade pieces, knowing how much each one is worth. Most importantly, they will learn all this in a captivating manner, meant to keep their interest in chess for many years to come.
Our beginner course is designed to take students who already know the rules, and teach them how to use their pieces with purpose, and according to chess principles. Instead of randomly putting pieces anywhere they can legally go, students will learn where the pieces want to be, and what their roles are in the battle. Knights belong in the middle, bishops are archers that shoot arrows from afar, and pawns are a wall that helps our pieces and hurts theirs. In addition, basic tactics are covered, including forks and pins which will help students attack. Students will see the logic behind the moves, and the beauty in the best games ever played, inspiring them to create their own masterpieces.
Our medium course is designed to give students the more complex tools for attacking play including tactics such as discovered attacks, and decoys, while giving them more background into the game such as the different types of draws and the different endgame concepts required for a thorough chess understanding. For example, a student who wins a pawn and goes to the endgame will know how to use opposition to win, without falling for a draw such as a stalemate. This will show students how rich chess can be, and challenge them to master the complexities within.
Our advanced 1 course is designed for students who are already familiar with basic tactics and basic chess principles, and want to go in depth about attacking and defensive principles, such as pawn-storm attacks, sacrifices, and clearance of files. Students start to discover the elements of positional chess, such as space, and important squares. Teachers will show these ideas through exemplary games that show why we can’t just blindly attack and use brute force to get what we want. This level and higher is based on preparing students for tournament chess, helping students build good habits such as thinking before touching/moving, and looking for the best moves instead of looking for tricks.
Our advanced 2 course is aimed at developing the thinking process of a good chess player. Instead of egotistically considering only our own plans, students learn to figure out what the opponent is trying to do and how to stop them. Apart from prophylaxis, students learn about candidate moves and how we have to consider a few moves based on the demands of the position before we pick the one we think is best. Picking and analyzing moves also develops critical thinking skills, as students have to make decisions for themselves, after considering their consequences.
Our advanced 3 course is designed to give students a grasp of advanced positional concepts which will help them outmanoeuvre their opponents. Concepts such as blockades and breakthroughs will help students come up with a plan, so no student will ever scream “I don’t know what to do in this position!”. A focus on endgames will help students be more aware of pawn structures and good versus bad pawns, so that they don’t ruin their position by accident. After this course, students will be mature chess thinkers who don’t rush their moves, don’t make obvious mistakes, and have good positional understanding.
This course is aimed at experienced players who have good chess understanding already and want to do better in future tournaments/games. Through student game analysis and positional exercises, we focus on understanding the plans behind moves, and how some plans are better than others. Opening systems are thoroughly analyzed, to give students a confident start to their games, a head start on others who have to figure everything out from the first moves. Students also reflect and give feedback on each other’s games, so that learning is co-constructed. This way, the level of chess understanding goes up collectively, as each individual contributes their ideas to the community of chess players.
This course continues to focus on making tournament players stronger, through game analysis but this time with a focus on spotting advanced positional and strategical concepts in the games. For example, the class will compare the pawn structures of each side and see whose structure is healthier, while figuring out ways for both sides to seize the initiative. Students will start presenting their own games and explain the thought process behind their games, so that the thought process can be examined, including the variations calculated and assumptions made. Calculation is focused on, which will be learned through visualization, and the tree-analysis method. This way, students will learn not only how to find good moves, but how to make sure if they work or not.
Students enrolled in Public Speaking and Debate levels 1-4 will learn and improve upon the fundamentals of oral communication and critical thinking skills necessary for debate and public speaking. In the lower levels, students will work on improving their comfort and familiarity speaking in front of an audience and forming critical opinions. Later classes will improve student public speaking techniques and debate strategies. Students are assessed on form and composition of content in addition to delivery of prepared material.
Public speaking is an important skill that can help individuals advance their careers and leave a lasting social impact. However, it is often considered to be a difficult and nerve-racking activity for adults. Therefore, learning the relevant skills from a young age can make the person more comfortable with it as he/she gets older.
Debating, similar to public speaking, is a skill that enables effective communication. In addition, it enables the student to engage in critical commentary and examine two sides of a topic. By becoming a skilled debater, the student can have nuanced opinions on a variety of different topics and would know how to approach a difficult situation to convince an audience why he/she is correct. With the abundant experience of CCYC teachers, they will teach the necessary set of skills and provide useful individualized constructive feedback to help the student become an effective public speaker and debater.