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

Modern Chess Openings (11/1 - 12/13)

Wednesday 5:00 - 6:00PM

Free Adult Beginner Class for Mechanics' Members -- Nov 3 - Dec 29

Wednesday 6:30 - 8:00PM

The Art of Attack (11/3 - 12/15)

Wednesday 7:00 - 8:00PM

Chess Strategies for Developing Players -- Dec 1 - Feb 9

Thursday 7:30 - 8:30PM

2021 World Chess Championship (12/2 - 12/23)

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 - Modern Chess Openings
Course Dates: Nov 1 through Dec 13 (6 weeks)

Modern Chess Openings was a revolutionary text, and it has come back to life as it was featured in The Queen's Gambit. Mechanics' Institute Grandmaster in Residence GM Nick de Firmian was the editor of several editions of that book and now it will come to life as a class!
This will be club players of various strengths and will focus on about 5 key openings. He will cover open game openings that reinforce fundamentals such as piece development, control of the center and king safety, and he will also cover more complex openings that need deeper understanding such as the Sicilian, Queen's Gambit, and Ruy Lopez. The purpose of this class is to gain a better understanding of the ideas behind playing these openings and what to look for. The class will be interactive and engaging. FM Paul Whitehead will also be on to facilitate the class. 
The class will be fluid and interaction in the class is encouraged. We hope to enlighten the student on what it means to play openings and hpw they can lay the foundation for the course of the entire game.


3) Wednesdays 5-PM - Free Adult Beginner Class for Mechanics' Members
Current session: November 3 - December 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 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 Attack by FM Paul Whitehead -- Course Dates: Nov 3 through Dec 15 (6 classes)

Learn to attack the king in this six-week class using Vladimir Vukovic's book, The Art of Attack in Chess (1963 revised 1993 by GM John Nunn), as our text.
We will take lessons from chapters such as "The classic bishop sacrifice", "The attack against the uncastled king", "Focal-points" and "The attack on the king as an integral part of the game".
Vukovic also talks about mating patterns, defense, and much more.
Join us in an investigation into one of the greatest chess books ever written, a classic enjoyed by chess players around the world.



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

Course Dates: December 1 through February 9 (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) Thursdays 7:30-8:30PM -- 2021 World Chess Championship by Coach Andrew Schley

Course Dates: December 2 through December 23 (4 classes)

Too busy to follow the games live during the day or want to have a more in depth look into the upcoming world championship? Join us for a special four week class where we review the games of the match in depth with other adult improvers from the Mechanics' Institute. This championship is building up to to be an absolute slugfest compared to recent world title matches. Class will be geared towards adult improvers from the USCF range of 1000-1500, but all are welcome. Secure your spot today!
More information:


8) 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].