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Founded in 2012, Common Sense Chess knows that chess is intuitive, fun, and great for mental development!

Our educational techniques are designed to encourage students to explore their own strengths while still keeping pace with their friends, and enjoy a custom-fit education guaranteed to make chess lessons both challenging and exciting!

No matter your child's interest or experience level, Common Sense Chess will provide an unmatched experience guaranteed to stay with them the rest of their lives!

Our Coach

Joe Martin, founder 

A chess coach for nearly twenty years, Joe Martin is heir to a dynasty of passionate, engaged chess players.  His grandfather, Albert C. Martin, served as Rhode Island State Champion sixteen times, while his father, Stephen A. Martin, tied for 8th at the 1970 U.S. Open.

     This family bond informed Joe's earliest memories, as he grew up in a home steeped in chess culture and tradition. Determined to make his own mark in the chess world, Joe started his first chess club at the tender age of 13, and by 17 had grown it into one of the largest and strongest scholastic clubs and teams in Rhode Island. At 22, he made the decision to go professional, and never looked back.

     In the years since, chess education has become Joe's life’s work, melding the traditions of a dynasty with a knack for fostering the same enthusiasm and passion in the next generation.  Joe is committed to continuing his family's legacy of enthusiasm and passion for chess, grounding his students in solid theory and practice while fostering a lifelong love of the game.​

    In recent years, Joe has been at the epicenter of the chess explosion in Sharon, MA and the surrounding area, and his company, Common Sense Chess, has become a byword for chess fun and education in the region. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Joe has transitioned from the classroom to online teaching, and now works with children across the United States, as well as the occasional international student.

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