Children's Chess Education Programs

Classes every Saturday

11:00 a.m. lecture
followed by friendly play


Contact Nick de Firmian for more information

Every Saturday at the Institute we have a short lecture, followed by a training position based on the lecture. We do regularly see players of all strengths participate in the class, from absolute beginners to juniors in the top 100 in the country in their age group. Some of our "graduates" have become rated masters!

Unrated and beginner players are definitely welcome; we are always excited to see new faces along with our regulars. There is always competition for you, no matter your strength.

The lecture starts at 11:00 a.m., with friendly play following the training position.

Children under the age of twelve years should not be left unattended during classes.

Why participate in chess activities?

The Mechanics' Institute Chess Club, in an effort to promote chess for youth in the Bay Area, has opened its doors for children of all ages and chess skill.

Many studies have documented improvement in problem-solving skills, development of critical thinking, notable gains in self esteem, and improved sense of responsibility among children who engage in chess activities. The Mechanics' Institute, a non-profit organization, encourages parents and children to participate in local Bay Area chess events.

A brief history of our children's programming

From August 2001 to August 2002 the Mechanics' Institute held Wednesday Afternoon Chess Class for inner-city youngsters made possible by donations from the local business community. The program, taught by well-known teacher Anthony Corrales, was open to all children from elementary school to high school.

The tradition continued in 2004 with the Thursday Afternoon Class held every week from 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. in a public school. This program is funded by the M. Wiskemann Foundation.

In March 2012 under the direction of Grand Master Nick deFirmian we expanded this program to 10 public schools as our Youth Outreach Chess Program. This expanded program is funded by Mechanics’ and several foundations. Contact Nick de Firmian for details.