Two decades of experience teaches us there are four elements of a great chess club:
Recreational play with friends
Skill-building exercises of various kinds
Chess Odyssey clubs meet for 90-minutes to allow us to effectively incorporate all these elements. For practical reasons, most instruction is done in a group setting. However, our coaches constantly watch for "teachable moments" with individual students (or small groups of them.) Our skill building exercises include paper-based puzzles, positions to play out, and visualization exercises. Chess Odyssey clubs are run by trained, professional chess coaches. Students will, as much as possible, be divided into appropriate groups depending on their age, experience and playing strength. This year, we’re excited about a major addition we’re making to our teaching resources: we’re partnering with the folks at Think Like A King to implement a powerful online chess management and training system.
Teaching/skill building: Our goal is to give our students access to engaging and effective chess learning tools. Chess Odyssey coaches will use these online materials to augment their normal in-club instruction. Students will have 24/7 online access, using any internet-connected web browser. (There’s no software to install at home.) This means they can reinforce lessons learned at chess club, and build stronger playing skills even more quickly. Even more importantly, the process is designed to develop the critical thinking and executive function skills key to success in school and in life.
A note regarding online safety: Privacy and child safety are major concerns for all of us. This is a “closed” system which does not expose your child to any contact with strangers over the internet. Their only online activity is using the learning materials. There is no way for them to chat with other people through the Think Like A King System.
Club Management: The online system also goes well beyond instruction and training. It also gives our coaches access to organizational and motivational tools to maintain high levels of student excitement and interest.
Parental Involvement: The system is set up so that you can log in and monitor your student’s learning progress. You can even access the learning materials yourself, at no additional cost, and make learning and enjoying chess a truly shared family activity.
After registering your student for a Chess Odyssey club, you will receive a separate email invitation to register him/her in the online system. Please keep an eye out for this invitation!