Online offerings for Adults & Advanced Juniors | Mechanics' Institute

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Online offerings for Adults & Advanced Juniors

Online Classes, Events & Tournaments, and Services


Class Schedule for Adults & Advanced Scholastic players

Day & Time (all in PT)


Monday 4:00 - 5:30PM

Chess Cafe -- Ongoing

Monday 6:00 - 7:00PM

ZugZwang by GM Nick de Firmian -- Sept 24 - Oct 18
Next course: Modern Chess Openings (11/1 - 12/13): Information -- Register

Wednesday 5:00 - 6:00PM

Free Adult Beginner Class for Mechanics' Members -- Aug 11 - Sep 29
Next session: Oct 13 - Nov 17: Information -- Register

Wednesday 6:30 - 8:00PM

The Art of Defense -- Sep 15 - Oct 20
Next course: The Art of Attack (10/27 - 12/8): Information -- Register

Wednesday 7:00 - 8:00PM

Chess Tactics for Developing Players -- Sep 15 - Nov 17 

Sunday 10:00AM - 12:00PM

Free Women's Class by Sophie Adams - ongoing

Classes are 60 or 90 minutes long and conducted via zoom meeting. Details of the class, including the link to the zoom meeting, are sent via email prior to the first class, and reminder emails are sent before each class in the session.

1) Mondays 4:00-5:30PM PT --- Chess Cafe
Course Dates: Ongoing

Casual meeting to talk about chess, life and everything. Join 3-time US Champion GM Nick de Firmian and FM Paul Whitehead as they give a lecture and class in a fun casual atmosphere where you can discuss games, learn strategy, discuss chess current events and interact in a fun casual atmosphere. Enter our Monday chess café for the pure love of the game. Class suitable for ALL level of players and FREE for MI members.
More information:


2) Mondays 6:00-7:00PM - Zugzwang by GM Nick de Firmian
Course Dates: Sept 27 through Oct 18 (4 weeks)

Zugzwang is a special situation in chess in which the person who is on the move is at a decisive disadvantage. Some of the most dramatic moments in chess have occurred during a zugzwang, forcing a dramatic win. In this class we will explain in detail the nature of a zugzwang with examples and reinforce learning and seeing critical moments of games in which a zugzwang turned the tide of the game. 3-time US Champion GM Nick de Firmian will guide students through some of the most famous zugwangs in chess in this short 4-week course. Improve your endgame learning and watch fortunes change, sign up today!

3) Wednesdays 5-PM - Free Adult Beginner Class for Mechanics' Members
Current session: August 11 - September 29, 2021

Are you an adult who wants to put learning chess on top of your New Year's resolution! Get a head start with us at the Mechanics' Institute! This virtual class is open to any MI member who has no knowledge of the game or who knows the very basics and wants to improve. Taught by MI Chess Director Abel Talamantez along with Judit Sztaray and other MI staff, we will patiently walk through all the basics at a pace suitable for our class. Our goal is to teach piece movement basics, checkmate patterns, importance of development, and general strategy. We will also show students how to play online so they may practice. The goal of the class is to open a new world of fun and joy through the magic and beauty of chess, from one of the oldest and proudest chess clubs in the world. 
More information:
Registere here:


5) Wednesdays 6:30-8PM - The Art of Defense by FM Paul Whitehead -- Course Dates: Sept 15 through Oct 20 (6 classes)

We all want to attack, but to be comfortable and skillful at defense is just as important.
Learn how to safeguard your king and drum up counterplay using chapters and examples taken from The Art of Defense in Chess, by Polugaevsky and Damsky (1988).
 Stalemate, Blockade, Trench Warfare, Counterattack, Traps: these are just a few of the concepts we will take up in this six-week course.  Be prepared for a little homework - and become a chess player who's hard to beat!


6) Wednesdays 7-8PM - Chess Tactics for Developing Players by Coach Colin Schober

Course Dates: September 15 through November 15 (10 classes)

Tactics are the magic of chess. The study of tactics involves applying your knowledge of chess to unlock mysteries on the chessboard for a material or winning advantage. What's more, they are a lot of fun to learn, producing an equivalent excitement to any Sudoku or New York Times crossword puzzle. In this class for new and developing players, we will cover elementary tactics such as pins, forks, skewers, and discoveries and then move on to combinations. We will move at a smooth pace to ensure understanding and provide resources for additional practice away from the class. Students will be challenged while having fun in this continuation class for any chess enthusiast and participants from our beginner class.
More information:


7) Free Women's Online Chess Class by FIDE trainer Sophie Adams
Sundays 10AM - 12PM - ongoing

Come join us on Sundays as we are offering a free class for women from 10am-12pm(noon) online.
Coached by FIDE Trainer Sophie Adams, this class is for women and girls looking to develop their chess skills with a community of women. Knowledge of piece movements and mates is expected. Registration is required so we may send the links for players to join. Zoom will be required to participate, and we will include optional links to participate in online platforms like if players would like to play with each other online.

Be sure to be a part of the Mechanics' Women's Chess Club on

If you haven't already joined, please click request to JOIN and please put your full name when requesting.
If you are not yet part of the club, you can also choose to send your username to us, and we can send you an invite.
We are proud to offer this opportunity to bring communities together through chess. 

More information:
Class is free, but must register to receive class information:



Testimonials about our classes

" It was fascinating to me and a wonderful challenge. Now I have many directions to follow in my studies, and I am newly interested in the history of many of these World Champions. Paul had obviously done a great deal of research, and I can't believe how much I learned in speeding through so many games. I enjoyed both Part I and Part II very much. I've done more reading about chess and chess history than I have playing chess. " Terri C.
"I continue to be impressed by the level of service the Chess Team provide to chess players. I believe that "The Queen's Gambit" is having an impact comparable to Bobby Fischer in the '70's!" Larry S.


Game Annotation and Analysis from 3-Time US Champion GM Nick de Firmian

Players can now have any game analyzed and annotated by GM Nick de Firmian, Mechanics' Institute Grandmaster in Residence. Gain insights into your game from a world class player. Submitted games can be from over the board or online play.  
PGN game submission: $20/game
Scoresheet submission: $25/game

Games will be submitted to players via email within 5 days of submission. Please also indicate if you have a preference for a particular part of the game to be analyzed. Completed annotated games will be submitted via email as a PGN file.
To submit games and for any questions, please send email to: [email protected].