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Part 3: Choosing Location, Meeting Times & Equipment!

by John Bain

Choosing the right chess club location, the right meeting times, and quality chess equipment will foster enthusiastic student chess club participation.


Central Location. First, secure a centrally located, well-equipped classroom or multi-purpose room for the chess club meetings. Be sure the chess club is centrally and conveniently located among the elementary, middle and high schools. Search for a classroom, multi-purpose room or library that has tables with individual chairs.

Kids playing chess at tournament.

Tables & Chairs and Meeting Times

Tables and Chairs.  Be sure the chess sets fit nicely on the tables with space for chess clocks and score books--and be sure that students can easily reach across the board while seated in their chairs. Avoid using individual desks where the boards do not fit well and where no space is available for chess clocks and score books on the desktop. Avoid round tables where students will have difficulty reaching across the table to make moves. If tables with individual chairs are not available, then cafeteria-type tables with benches will work.

Meeting Times. Plan the chess club to meet for 1 ½ to 2 hours per meeting. Plan meetings once a week in the early fall during September, October, and November, then increase the meetings to twice a week for the scholastic chess season during December, January, February and March. Fewer than 2 hours per meeting is not sufficient time to include all the activities that make a chess club fun and attractive: problem solving contests, lectures & discussions, ladder competitions, quad tournaments and scholastic tournaments. In late March, after the county, state and national tournaments, plan an award ceremony and nice pizza party, then close the club and enjoy the spring and summer!


Girl at chess board with digital chess clock.

Chess Equipment. Sacrifice to buy quality scholastic chess equipment. Demonstration chess boards, chess sets, chess clocks and score books are essential to foster enthusiastic student participation. Purchase good scholastic chess sets, chess clocks, and at least two demonstration chessboards. Excellent scholastic chess sets ($14.00/each), digital chess clocks ($24.95/each), chess scorebooks ($3.95) and  demonstration chess boards ($39.00/each) for teachers, coaches and parents  can be found at ChessForStudents. Quality chess equipment will foster enthusiastic student participation.

Scholastic Chess Set

Scholastic Chess Sets ($14.00). The chess set includes nearly indestructible weighted and balanced plastic pieces, colored ''low luster'' cream and black, with a durable fabric-backed vinyl board which resists wrinkles and stains. The chess board is green and buff with algebraic notation on all four sides. This chess set is the recommended standard for scholastic chess tournaments in the United States.

Digital Chess Clock For Students

Digital Chess Clock ($24.95). The DGT 1001 Chess Clock is perfect for school, club or home use. It has a crystal clear display, is extremely easy to use, very durable and affordable. It's a chess clock without all the sometimes confusing fancy features that many more expensive clocks offer.

Demonstration Chess Board

Demonstration Chess Boards ($39.00). Begin each chess club meeting with two problems displayed on the demonstration chessboards--one checkmate problem, one middle game tactics problem. Label them Problem 1 and Problem 2. On one, display a simple problem like a checkmate in one move, and the other display a more difficult problem like a checkmate in two or three moves--or a problem like, "White/Black to move and win the Black/White Queen for a Bishop in three moves." Have the students write their answers in algebraic notation on a chess score sheet and put the answers into boxes labeled Problem 1 or Problem 2, respectively.

Scholastic Chess Scorebook For Students

Scholastic Chess Scorebook ($3.95). The Scholastic Chess Scorebook contains 50 double-sided pages, each with room for 60 moves and one diagram to record a key position. The spaces to record the moves are large enough to accommodate the needs of younger students.

Chess Pencils

Chess Pencil Pack ($2.50). Each Chess Pencil Pack contains five pencils embossed with chess pieces in five exciting, sparkling colors! Gold! Silver! Blue! Red! Green! Kids absolutely love these pencils. Great for awards, prizes or special treats! (Five pencils per package!)

What Makes "Chess Clubs For Students" Work?

Parts 1-6

by John Bain

Intro: What Makes "Chess Clubs For Students" Work? outlines practices for building a well-attended, successful chess club.

Part 1 - Basic Chess Skills and Psychology For Students emphasizes how learning the Chess Rules and Three Psychological Practices enable students to become stronger players.

Part 2 - Basic Endgame Checkmate Patterns For Students covers Four Basic Endgame Checkmate Patterns that will yield collateral benefits to all aspects of a student's games.

Part 3  - Choosing Location, Meeting Times & Equipment demonstrates that the right location, the right meeting times, and quality chess equipment will foster enthusiastic student chess club participation.

Part 4 - Chess Club Activities For Students shows that activities that are fun--and that improve chess knowledge and skills--are the lifeblood of a well-run, great chess club!

Part 5 - How to Promote Chess Clubs in Schools presents the very best, promising practices for promoting school chess clubs.

Part 6 - What Chess Teaches Kids About Life notes the virtues, lessons and life skills that chess teaches!

NEXT> Part 4-1: Chess Club Activities For Students - Puzzles! will cover fun and instructive activities that will improve students' chess knowledge and skills!