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Does anyone know of a chess instructor/class for adults? I want to learn, but don't
think a book will do it for me.
Alameda would be my preference.
Hi Chess Fan,
I would suggest that you contact the Berkeley Chess School -
could google them for the contact info. The Berkeley Chess
School is primarily a non-profit that teaches chess to children
(and an award-winning one at that!) but from time to time they
have adult classes - I think they had one for a while aimed at
boosting memory and adaptive thinking for (baby)''boomers'',
know they host a weekly adult chess tournament on Friday
They do really great outreach throughout the Bay Area, and
have been around for decades, so if they aren't actually having
an adult class right now, they might be able to make a
recommendation. I agree that learning by yourself from a book
might be overwhelming (there are *so* many chess books); the
Berkeley Chess School's approach to teaching chess emphasizes
learning strategy and the basic principles of the game in order
to develop your own playing style, instead of memorizing a
of positions, or getting lost in the analysis of a single game.
(If you have ever had a lesson from a chess master who was out
touch with the beginner's perspective, you know what I mean!)
Good luck! It's addicting!
Another poster recommended the Berkeley Chess School, which I
second. There also is the Chess Room at the Mechanics Institute
in San Francisco. www.chessclub.org They run local tournaments
and hold classes (Saturday mornings) and lectures (Tuesday
evenings). The classes, like those at BCS, are mostly for kids,
but there might be some adult students too. And there are
players (adults and kids) who play both in Berkeley and at
Mechanics who would be happy to be paid to teach you privately.
My son teaches chess; he won't take on a beginner, but he may
have some ideas for you.
Our eighth grader would enjoy participating in an after-school chess
club. We can no longer find any info (website, etc) for the
Berkeley Chess Club. Wondering whether anyone knows of an
equivalent or another way to find said club. We're in North
Berkeley and school is in El Cerrito. Many thanks.
The Berkeley Chess School is alive and well, and has classes and
The Mechanics Institute also has a chess club, with classes for kids
and frequent tournaments. http://www.chessclub.org
The practical challenge for your child will be that most of the
classes are oriented towards grade-school kids. There is relatively
little casual/recreational chess for older kids: By the time they
are in middle school, kids are either serious chess players (i.e.,
playing with/against adults), or they have moved on to other
We are looking for a nice set of chess pieces for a 2nd
grade graduation gift for our son who loves to play chess,
something less than $75 and probably carved wooden
pieces (sans board, just the pieces). Are there any stores in
the east bay that sell such items? Is this a reasonable
amount to assume or will what we want cost much more?
We've bought our set of tournament chess pieces at
They are not works of arts, but ... what the pros use!
For a nice chess set, try End Game on Washington in downtown
Oakland/Old Oakland (http://www.endgameoakland.com/). We found
a beautiful, portable wooden chess set for my 1st grader for
about $30, if I remember correctly.
Try Games of Berkeley at Shattuck and Center (southeast
corner). I've never bought a chess set there, but I have been
in the store many times and seen they have a large selection of
Try Games of Berkeley on Shattuck. They should have a wide
variety. As someone who also has a chess enthusiast son, and who
has bought and received as gifts several chess sets (many of
which have been virtually unplayable) here's what I think you
should look for:
* inexpensive (so it can go to a friend's house, the park,
wherever if desired with no worry.)
* large board (there is nothing more frustrating than knocking
down other pieces when trying to move one.)
* resonably large pieces
* set where black and white can cleary be told apart (this has
been a problem with two sets people have brought us back from
abroad that were made of wood or stone.)
* traditional piece design, where which piece is which can
cleary be identified (no star wars or animal themes...)
Enjoy the game! If he likes it, you'll be buying several more
over the years. Also check out the Berkeley Chess School.
I have two children (5 and 7) who love to play chess....I play
with them, but I wish I actually *liked* the game myself. Our
local public elementary does not have a chess club so we are
looking for children who are interested in playing. We'll travel
to pretty much anywhere in the East Bay to play.
Berkeley Chess School has Friday night classes for kids of all levels in
Berkeley and Walnut Creek.
Berkeley Chess School provides chess classes to children in various
schools and they may be able to help you. Also, they hold tournaments
for kids and I am sure that your children will meet lots of other kids
who are interested in chess as well:
My daughter has recently taken to chess, and I would like to get her a set for her birthday. Does anyone know of any cool chess sets made especially to appeal to girls? (i.e., pink/purple, or fairy characters, or...just something cool.) She will be six.
Thanks for any leads.
I bought my son a beautiful chess set at one of my favorite local artisans'
workshops: Fellowship Foundry Pewtersmiths, just a short & easy drive
down the freeway in San Leandro. In fact, whenever I want to find a
special gift for a child or anyone else for that matter, I like to check
Fellowship Foundry first. They have unique and beautiful handmade
gifts, many of which are practical (check out their cake servers, under
wedding accessories, and their fairy baby cups under ''new items'' -- too
They have a great website (www.fellowshipfoundry.com) and if you call
them, they'll give you easy driving directions to their foundry/shop. I
decided to buy my son their chess set because it was simply the most
beautiful one I'd ever seen (you have to see their little characters, so
delightfully detailed). I recommend against getting a chess set that
might seem too age-appropriate for a little kid, because if you're lucky,
they'll keep playing chess all their lives, and it's nice to have a chess set
that they can keep. Just my two cents' worth. Anyway, my son loves his
Fellowship Foundry chess set.
Have you checked Games of Berkeley? They have a nice variety of chess sets,
some sure to please your daughter.
I want to give my husband a chess set for Christmas. Where can I
find a nice one? I am hoping he'll play with our child, so I
want a traditional style - not too abstract - that is, the
knights should look like horses and the castles like castles...?
Games of Berkeley on Shattuck across from Berkeley BART. They
have all kinds.
Have you tried Games of Berkeley, on Shattuck & Center? anon
Try Games of Berkeley across the street from the downtown Berkeley BART. Parking may be a challenge. Anon
If you're in Oakland, try Endgame on Lakeshore Ave. Their phone
is 465-3637. I bought a chess set there a couple months ago.
Given the season, I'll also mention that they carry Cheapass
games -- games that cost only $6 because they don't include the
money, dice, etc. Fun! Cheap! Imaginative! We
love ''Unexploded Cow.''
You may wish to consider a chess set from the Berkeley
Chess School (843-0150). Their sets are reasonably priced and of
Does anyone know of a good chess school, club or tutor in
Berkeley or Oakland? My 10 year old son has loved chess since
he was 3 and has a natural talent for the game (despite the fact
it does less than nothing for his parents). After years of
playing pick up games with whoever walks in the door, he very
much wants to learn more advanced stuff (openings, gambits, etc)
and meet other kids who play. His school does not have a chess
club. He needs interaction as he wouldn't study it out of a
book on his own.
I checked the archives and couldn't find anything. Does anyone
have any specific recommendations? Thanks.
Out of Depth (as to chess) Mom
The Berkeley Chess School is the best.
Check out their website berkeleychessschool.org
and a telephone number 510-843-0150
All sorts of great chess learning opportunities for kids of all
ages and skill levels. My kids (7 and 10yrs now) have
followed their programs - summer camps, afterschool
classes, tutors, chess club and competitive local team for 4
years with great success and joy.
i don't have a specific answer, but my brother (age 8) is a
member of some chess club in ohio that has sites across the
country--i went to their webstite, http://www.uschess.org/--and
they do list at least one club in berkeley. you might want to
check it out! good for other chess info too.
The Berkeley Chess School is a good place to start. Visit
berkeleychesschool.org. They run chess classes at bay area
schools but also offer a friday night session and summer school.
Best place to start is the berkeley chess school. Phone number
is 843-0150, or for private tutor Ben Russack was good working
with our son who is now 7. He is USCF rated and has taught for 5
years. 510-665-6074 or email benjamin_russack AT hotmail.com.
Two things in Albany: 1. The Community Center offers kids'
chess classes. 2. The Albany library has FREE drop-in chess
for all levels on Tuesday evenings.
Albany Library has good quality chess class, which I think is
free on tuesday or wednsday. Good place to meet other kid
players with very good instruction. Class starts with teacher
going over some facit of the game followed by open play
with teacher support. Berkeley has chess club, Im pretty
sure. Dont have contact.
Hello, I am trying to find out a gentleman named 'Ed' who
taught Chess as a hobby class at the Montessori Family School.
My son really bonded well with him and wanted to continue
learning the game. It would be great if anyone can give me his
Ed the chess teacher's last name is Hirsch. He teaches at
Madera elementary school after school, so you could
probably get a phone number for him from Madera's flyer for
afterschool programs; ask at the school's office.
Alternatively, the school's afterschool coordinator, Sandy
Thacker, should know his number. My son took chess
classes from Ed; he was a great teacher.
My 6 and 8 year old boys have discovered chess, and I would like
them to learn and play with others more skilled than I am and to
provide opportunities for them to play with others their own
ages. Does anyone know of any chess instructors or groups for
kids their ages?
The Berkeley Chess School is great. They have summer camps this
summer, teach classes in many of the local schools as well as
their own Friday evening class, and run a VERY low key US Chess
Federation kids' chess tournament every Friday night (except in
the summer; they start again on Sept. 6). The Director,
Elizabeth Shaughnessy, is a former Irish National Champion, and
a wonderful, colorful character. Check out their web site:
Berkeley Chess Club is an excellent resource for chess for all
ages. They have a web site. They have a 'tournament' for
children and adults every Friday night at Epworth Church in
North Berkeley. My 6 year old enjoyed it the one time we were
able to make it. They also have a summer camp which we will be
trying out later this summer; and they teach a lot of the after
school chess classes at various schools. Hope this helps.
Our 6 year old son started with The Berkeley Chess School at
Berkeley Montessori when he was 4. We moved to Washington School
this year and he continued with the afterschool program (even
though the minimum age was supposed to be 1st grade). He played
kids up through 5th grade. He enjoyed it for the first semester,
then felt that they weren't learning anything new. He started
tournament chess with kids his age in December or so, played in
three tournaments and then has taken a break from the whole
scene. I think the Berkeley Chess School is great. The
tournaments were pretty intense (some ''stage dads'' evident and
it was almost entirely boys). He won his first game and felt
very positive about it. Then he lost and drew on his next two
games and at age 6, I think that bummed him out. We play with
him at home so I am sure he will pick it up again. The after
school club is pretty low key and available at many of the
Berkeley Public Schools. The number for the Chess School is 843-
0150. The Chess School is also running summer camps.
There is a free Chess Club at the Albany Public library every
Tuesday night from 6:00 - 8:00. The young man who runs it is
David Pruess. It is for all ages, but there are many who are your
children's ages. There is also the Berkeley Chess Club, and they
are listed in the phone book. It is not just in Berkeley. They
have chess club every Friday night I think, at the Northbrae
Community Church (?) on The Alameda near Solano Avenue. There are
private instructors in this area, as well. If none of that pans
out, you can contact the US Chess Foundation. They have an
internet site (http:.//www.uschess.org/) and have been helpful to
us in finding instructors for our 15 year old. Feel free to
contact me via e-mail,
and I could give you some phone numbers. Good luck.
The Berkeley Chess School runs a summer chess camp for children.
It also runs programs during the school year at many of the
public schools in Berkeley and around the bay area. Phone
510-843-0150 for information.
The Berkeley Chess School offered chess classes for children in
the past, so you might call them: 843-0150
this page was last updated: Nov 21, 2009
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