Various Chess Classes & Tournaments for Adults | Mechanics' Institute

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Various Chess Classes & Tournaments for Adults
Check out the Chess Department offerings

Online Classes, Events & Tournaments, and Services


Class Schedule for Adults & Advanced Scholastic players
Day & Time Class
Monday 4:00 - 5:30PM PT Ongoing: Chess Cafe
Monday 6:00 - 7:00PM PT Jun 14 - Jul 26: Middle Game Strategy Through the Lens of the TNM by GM Nick de Firmian
Wednesday 5:00 - 6:00PM PT

Jun 9 - Jul 28: Free Adult Beginner Class for Mechanics' Members

New session: Aug 11 - Sep 29:l

Wednesday 6:30 - 8:00PM PT Next course: June 30 - Aug 4: Endgame Lab by FM Paul Whitehead
Wednesday 7:00 - 8:00PM PT Jun 23 - Aug 25: Introduction to Openings for Developing Players
Sunday 10:00AM - 12:00PM PT Free Women's Class by Sophie Adams

Classes are 90 minutes long and conducted via zoom meeting. Details ofthe class are sent via email.
If registering for multiple classes, registration can be used anytime within the next 2 months.


Special Summer Camp

July 19-23 12:30PM - 3:30PM Advanced
for adults & kids
with GM Nick de Firmian & 
FM Paul Whitehead
In-Person @ MI


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 - Middle Game Strategy Through the Lens of the TNM
Course Dates: June 14 to July 26. (Jul 5 off)

Middle games can be very complex, trying to formulate plans, spot weaknesses, and developing instincts that guide when to initiate aggression or hold things static. These are just some of the topics as we discuss middle game strategy using game resources from a Mechanics' Institute tradition, the Tuesday Night Marathon (TNM). Using real games from our flagship event, we will look at concepts in middle game management to improve our game. Class will be taught by 3-time US Champion Nick de Firmian with support from FM Paul Whitehead. Relive the fun and action of the TNM, with games from our local players while learning to play better chess.

3) Mondays 6:30-8PM - Game Review Class with FM Paul Whitehead
Course Dates: - Please check in with us to see if the class is being held this week or not!

Celebrate your finest victories, and learn from your worst mistakes! The key to success in chess lies in understanding your own games.
Where did I go wrong? Was that a good move/idea? What should I have done?
By correcting mistakes and incorrect thinking, and by developing a personal style and good chess habits, we can all improve our game. Each week we will go over participants' games sent in for review, turning the microscope on, advising in all aspects of your game: from the opening choices you make, to the endgame knowledge you should have. Join the class and discussion every Monday from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.
More Information:


4) Wednesdays 5-PM - Free Adult Beginner Class for Mechanics' Members
Current Session: June 9 - July 28, 2021
New 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:

New session: Aug 11 - Sep 29: registration:

5) Wednesdays 6:30-8PM - Endgame Lab by FM Paul Whitehead -- Course Dates: Jun 30 through Aug 4 (6 classes)

For tournament players looking to solve some of the toughest situations they face, here is the class to help you learn the essentials to work out and win or save games. FM Paul Whitehead’s Endgame Lab Class will focus solely on endgame techniques and will teach you the essentials in a 6-week course meant to build endgame skills you need to get your chess to the next level. Syllabus is on the class page.


6) Wednesdays 7-8PM - Introduction to Openings for Developing Players by IM Elliott Winslow

Course Dates: June 23 through August 25 (10 classes)

Opening theory in chess is a big subject! But of course there's no avoiding it, you have to step forward, and you might as well make those important first moves count. In this course, we'll look into this world, sampling the various openings, with more than a bit of history of their development, plus we'll learn the basic principles of opening play as we go: Development, the Center, King Safety, Initiative, and Stopping the Opponent (from all those). We'll see a number of standard deployments and their counters, and maybe even find out what (and why!) is happening in the games of the best players (and how it could help our games). Lastly, this dynamic class will give players the opportunity to discuss their own choices of openings, obstacles and receive advice on how to get past them.
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].


Members may join free or for a registration fee.
Most are open for public for a registration fee.

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