Frequently Asked Questions
Does Common Sense Chess run only during the school year?
Common Sense Chess meets year round, winter and summer!
My child doesn’t know how to play, but wants to learn. Is he/she eligible for the program?
Yes. Many of our students learn chess for the very first time with us!
Can my child join at any time, or do we have to wait for the next “registration cycle?”
It all depends on what you are signing up for! Most groups run on a registration cycle, however private lessons can be arranged at any time throughout the year!
How old should my child be to join Common Sense Chess?
CSC accepts students ages 7-14, although exceptions will be made for other ages on a case-by-case basis. The most important factor in all such decisions is that the child has a desire to learn chess and the maturity to accomplish that goal.
Is there a free trial period for Common Sense Chess?
Yes. Location permitting, we offer the first lesson free to every new student!
How does Common Sense Chess teach?
We offer a variety of teaching methods, allowing each student to play to their strengths. Meetings may feature group instruction, individual instruction, and/or a club-style atmosphere for experiential learners. Our goal is to ensure the students have a great time with chess, so that an evening of fun becomes a lifetime of play!
Students move between different activities as the need takes them—shifting from analyzing the great games in chess history to playing both standard chess and educational variations that promote key game concepts, to chess-based "trivia" reviewing essential ideas and expanding the student's chess vocabulary. We also encourage experienced students to begin teaching others at home or in the program, reinforcing their own knowledge of the game while sharing their insights with new players. All activities are voluntary, allowing students to follow their interests and instincts throughout the class.
Common Sense Chess also features a reward system for students in our larger groups. Students are awarded points for teaching new skills, learning new skills, unusual checkmates, strong analysis of positions, successfully defeating multiple friends at once and more at staff discretion. Points may be traded in for various prizes raging from keychains to tournament quality chess equipment!