Online Classes

Registration for 2021-2022 Online Chess Classes (Fall & Spring Semesters) is now open. 
The Fall 2021 Semester will begin the week of September 27, 2021.

For students in grades 2 – 6.  The U.S. Chess Center offers online classes for elementary school students (grades 2-6) in two 15-week semesters each year.  The fall semester of chess classes runs from late September 2021 through January 2022 and the spring semester of classes runs from February 2022 through early June 2022.

Our online classes are live and interactive with a nationally certified chess coach; we do not use videos.  We stratify students by ability so that everyone is challenged but nobody is mystified.  Lessons are designed to help students develop confidence without boring them, and students are encouraged to share their ideas and questions with their group.  Our teachers observe and listen to the students to ensure that nobody is left behind.

Online classes are 60 minutes, once each week from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm ET (UTC -5).  Each class has 20-30 minutes of instruction and 30-40 minutes of supervised play.  We use a proprietary rating system to track student progress. 

The U.S. Chess Center has found that students learn best if challenged appropriately.  If we discover that a child is finding things too difficult, or not difficult enough, we’ll speak to the student and parents about changing to a more appropriate group.  Once a student is enrolled in our program, there is no charge for moving from one class to another.

After-School Chess Clubs

Since 1993, the U.S. Chess Center has been running chess clubs in elementary schools throughout the national capital region.

We are planning to resume in-person after-school clubs for the 2021-2022 school year.
Check our list of active/upcoming after-school clubs here; or ask your PTA/PTO to contact us about starting a club at your school.
Registration for most after-school chess clubs opens in September 2021.

For students in grades 2 – 6.  Membership in an after-school club includes:

  • One after-school meeting each week at the school with instruction and supervised play
  • Opportunity to participate in our Elementary Team League


Elementary Team League:
This fun competition takes place on eight Saturdays at 1:30 pm. Students in our clubs represent their schools in friendly matches with students from other schools.

During-School Classes

As part of our charitable mission, we work with Title I schools in the District of Columbia to teach chess during school hours as a compulsory class.  In this way, we are better able to reach students who can benefit the most from chess instruction—those students least likely to volunteer for an after-school chess club.

Saturday Chess Kids

Registration now open!

For students in grades K – 6.  Chess Kids, which has been operating since the U.S. Chess Center’s founding, is an individualized, highly structured program for students in Grades K – 6 that meets on Saturdays from 10:00 am – 11:30 am over four-weeks per session.  It is designed to foster an interest in chess among those who may be too young to be able to handle the complex abstract concepts involved with serious chess, and to generate enthusiasm for those who are ready for the full game.  We want kids to grow with others of the same age and have them form friendships as they improve their skills.  They learn that improving at the game is the fun part, not winning.  So long as they are trying to do their best they will improve (win or lose).  Chess Kids students are placed in groups based on their ability and everyone plays games each week and receives lessons.  Students are welcome to register for multiple sessions as lessons for each group build from the previous lessons.  Through Chess Kids, we make learning chess fun!  

Sunday Chess

Registration for 2021-2022 Sunday Chess is now open.
The Spring 2022 Semester will begin February 6, 2022.

For students in grades 7 – 12.  Sunday Chess is a weekly class on Sunday from 1:30pm – 5:00pm ET.  The class meets in-person in the basement of 1340 Old Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA 22101 (Map) or students may participate online via Zoom. 

Our teachers provide instruction to beginners and help more advanced players improve their strategy.  Lessons are challenging and informative for all students. 

Sometimes we play with other students from across the country and around the world. We have had online matches with students from China, Czech Republic, Iceland, Montenegro, Norway, Spain, Ukraine, and Zambia.  We have hosted teams visiting Washington from a variety of states. Some of our students have played in the World Amateur Team Championships (winning prizes for three years in a row) and we took several students on a great chess trip to Cuba

Adult Classes

Registration for Online Adult Classes is now open. 
Classes begin on a rolling basis as soon as there are sufficient students.

For Adults Only.  Our experienced chess teachers help adults in the beginner/novice ranges advance to play a confident game of chess.  Classes meet online for 60 minutes once each week for four weeks.  Lessons are live and interactive with one of our experienced and nationally certified chess coaches; we do not use videos. 

This class is especially great for parents or teachers who wish to develop a solid foundation in the basic strategy of chess and/or improve their ability to play competitively with their children or students; but it’s also open to any adult who wishes to learn how to play chess properly.  Our goal is to put you on the path toward a lifelong love of the game.  New classes begin on a rolling basis as soon as we have a minimum of four students registered.