Offerings for Adults & Advanced Juniors | Mechanics' Institute

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Offerings for Adults & Advanced Juniors


Class Schedule for Adults & Advanced Scholastic players

Day & Time (all in PT)


Mondays, ongoing from 4:00-5:30 pm

Chess Cafe

          Mondays, October 16-November 20 from 6:00-7:00 pm

         Intermediate Online Chess with Ako Heidari

Wednesdays, January 10-February 14 from 5:00-6:00 pm

Introduction to Chess - Free Class for Mechanics' Members

Sundays, ongoing from 10:00 am-12:00 pm

Free Women's, Girls', and Gender Expansive Individuals Class by Sophie Adams

Thursdays, September 7-October 26 from 5:30-6:30 pm

Game Analysis Series with FM Paul Whitehead

Thursdays, November 2-December 14 from 5:30-6:30 pm

Endgame Lab with FM Paul Whitehead

Thursdays, August 10-31 from 5:30-6:30 pm

Chess and Computers with IM Elliott Winslow

First Friday of Every Month from 5:00-6:00 pm

Chess Socials


Chess Cafe
Dates: Ongoing Mondays
Time: 4:00-5:30 pm
Location: Zoom
Cost: FREE for all
Register here.

The Chess Cafe is a meeting place to talk about chess, life, and everything in between. Join FIDE Master and Chess Room Coordinator Paul Whitehead and a revolving cast of folks from around the country in a fun and casual atmosphere to discuss the latest chess developments and for the pure love of the game. The Chess Cafe is suitable for ALL level of players and FREE for everyone.

Chess Cafe is held every Monday except on major holidays. Register to receive Zoom information to join. Additional details here.


Intermediate Online Chess - with Ako Heidari
Dates: Mondays, October 16-November 20, 2023 (six sessions)
Time: 6:00-7:00 pm
Location: On Zoom
Cost: $150 for members, $160 for non-members
Register here.


Join our engaging chess class where we delve beyond the basics and dive deeper into the enchanting realm of chess. This class is designed for players who are beyond the beginner level and looking to continue refining their game. In this class, your chess skills will be enhanced by exploring chessboard geometry and honing your visualization techniques, improving your board vision and calculations. You'll also master the art of navigating openings, middle games, and endgames with expert guidance from Coach Ako Heidari. Prepare to be inspired as we revisit iconic games from history, connecting with the brilliant minds that shaped the game we love. See you on the board! 


Introduction to Chess Class

Dates: Wednesdays, January 10-February 14, 2024 (six sessions)
Time: 5:00-6:00 pm
Location: Onsite in the Chess Room
Cost: FREE for Members
Register here.

Join us - beginner or intermediate player - and learn the fundamentals of the Royal Game with FIDE Master and Chess Room Coordinator Paul Whitehead. From the basics of how pieces move and capture, castling, and en passant; to more advanced strategy of checkmating patterns, how to think in the openings, middle-game strategy, and what to do in the endgame. This goal of the class is to open up a new world of fun and joy through the magic and beauty of chess.

Introduction to Chess Class is available for Mechanics' Institute members at no cost. Register to join the class.

Women's, Girls', and Gender Expansive Individuals Online Chess Class
Dates: Ongoing Sundays
Time: 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Location: Zoom
Cost: FREE for all
Register here.

Coached by FIDE Trainer Sophie Adams, this class is for women, girls, and gender expansive individuals 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 join the Mechanics' Institute Women's Chess Club on here.

We are proud to offer this opportunity to bring communities together through chess.

Women's, Girls', and Gender Expansive Individuals Online Chess Class is held every Sunday except on major holidays. Register to receive Zoom information to join. Additional details here.


Game Analysis Series
Dates: Thursdays, September 7-October 26, 2023 (eight sessions)
Time: 5:30-6:30 pm
Location: Onsite in the Chess Annex
Cost: Members $200, Non-Members $220 (pro-rated $30/class)
Registration here.

Celebrate your finest victories, and learn from heart-wrenching defeats. The key to success in chess lies in understanding our own games. How do I determine my path forward? Where did I go wrong? Why wasn't that the best move and what could I have done instead? By analyzing missteps, broadening strategic knowledge, and strengthening personal style and beneficial chess habits, we can all improve our game. Each session includes reviewing game theory, assessing participants' games, as well as improving tactics, strategies, and techniques for opening, middlegame, and endgame play. This class will take your game to the next level. Ideal for TNM and club players who want to improve their game and perhaps get a few plans in place for their next match. Students will be expected to send .pgns or bring in scoresheets to the class for analysis. This class is expertly facilitated by FIDE Master Paul Whitehead.


Endgame Lab
Dates: Thursdays, November 2-December 14 (six sessions)
Time: 5:30-6:30 pm
Location: Onsite in the Chess Annex
Cost: Members $150, Non-Members $175 (pro-rated $30/class)
Registration here.

The endgame is that part of the game separating the strong player from the weak. How many games are won or lost because basic knowledge of endgame is lacking? In this six-week course, FIDE Master Paul Whitehead will lead a discussion covering basic and intermediate endings, including reviewing the participant's knowledge of checkmates, principles, and terminology - opposition, centralization, and zugzwang. The class will discuss and review the theory and practice of king and pawn endings, rook endings, minor piece endings, queen endings, and various material imbalances. Participants will also be encouraged to bring in examples from their own games, and there will be plenty of take home material and examples for independent study. Take your game to the next level during Endgame Lab.


Chess and Computers
Dates: Next Session TBA!
Time: 5:30-6:30 pm
Location: Onsite in the Chess Annex
Cost: Members $100, Non-Members $110
Register here.

Using practical, historical, and anecdotal examples, International Master Elliott Winslow will guide students in the effective use of chess engines to improve their understanding of the game. This class will help familiarize students in the practical use of both dedicated software (ChessBase) and online resources (LiChess, and their associated chess engines (Stockfish, Leela). The class will use students' own games and examples from the chess canon.

Optional: Students may bring a laptop for hands-on learning.


Chess Socials
Dates: First Fridays of the month, every month
Time: 5:00-6:00 pm
Location: Onsite in the Chess Room
Cost: FREE for all
No registration necessary.

Unwind from the week with fellow chess players. We'll have rousing game replays on the big screen, snacks, and lively conversation. Wine available for purchase in the Meeting Room provided before the CinemaLit program. Stick around for CinemaLit at 6 pm!

Additional information here.



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.