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Open to: Students in grades 4 and up
Eligibility: CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level math or verbal score required
Course Format: Individually Paced
Course Length: Typically 3 months
Course Code: CHE
Introduction to Chess provides new or beginning students of chess a strong foundation in the rules and strategies needed to play the game of chess. The course is designed for students with little to no experience with chess.
The course begins with a brief history of the game of Chess. It then introduces the student to the board and pieces, explaining through interactive lessons, quizzes, videos and games how each piece moves. A full chess game is built up through the nine chapters, with students trying to defeat a computerized Johns Hopkins Blue Jay in chess at the end of every chapter. The last two chapters have the students play against the computer (the JHU Blue Jay) in full chess games of varying difficulty. The course ends with general tactics and strategies to improve the student’s game.
The course teaches the rules of the game, basic strategy, important opening concepts, recognition of tactical themes, calculation of material exchanges, and elementary endgame knowledge. Students can also participate in training games by participating in CTY's weekly online chess clubs.
In addition to learning the fundamentals of chess, this course will promote the growth and development of skills in concentration, logic, decision making, planning, and self-discipline.
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
For a detailed list of topics, click the List of Topics tab.
While no materials are needed for the course, it is recommended that the student have a real chess board to play and practice on at home.
Click on the image below to view examples of the virtual classroom sessions.
Click on the image below to play a sample video lecture.
The CTY Chess Club is a time where all of our CTY Online Programs chess students (former and current) can get together once a week on our virtual chess environment and enjoy playing structured games as well as tournaments.
The Chess Club is monitored by our highly trained staff of chess instructors and meets every Monday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. EST.
This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.
Zoom online virtual classroom
This course uses an online virtual classroom for discussions with the instructor. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client and also tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Students who are unable to attend live sessions will need a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed to watch recorded meetings. The Zoom desktop client and Zoom Mobile App are both available for free download.