ACC Chess Classes

Annex Chess Club (ACC) has in-person chess classes running most Monday nights downstairs at the 918 Bathurst Centre. ACC’s online chess classes are typically held on other nights, e.g. Thursdays. We have separate classes for kids and adults.

Note: Our classes are currently stopped for summer recess. but will resume in September. See our updated Fall 2022 Schedule for details.

Intermediate classes for both kids and adults will be taught by David Filipovich, National Master (NM). David works for Chess Institute of Canada (CIC), a partner organization and registered charity that runs and manages our chess classes (see below for additional details about CIC).

New advanced classes for both kids and adults are planned starting in September 2022. These will be taught by Michael Humphreys, an ACC titled member who also works for Chess Institute of Canada (CIC).

Students (and parents/guardians) may sign up for individual classes (at a single drop-in rate) or for a series of classes (e.g. 6 or 7 classes at a discounted group rate). For Fall 2022, all of ACC’s chess classes are priced at the per student rate of $25 per hr. (for a bundle of classes). This is half of the going market rate for private chess instruction in Toronto of $50 per hr.

Note: Due to the birth of his child, Michael Humphrey’s Fall 2022 in-person advanced classes will be initially covered by David Filipovich. David’s Fall 2022 intermediate classes will be covered by another CIC Instructor TBD.

The Nature of our Classes

Our chess classes are divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. This is true whether the teaching format is in-person or online, or whether the students are kids or adults. Classes include a mixture of lecture, discussion and play. Problem-solving and review of historical games also plays an important part.

Once the rules and basic conventions of chess are understood, beginner, intermediate and advanced classes move on to deal with the major chess instruction categories of openings, strategy, tactics, endgames and other miscellaneous topics—with increasing levels of complexity over time. Each category may have numerous subcategories.

For example, the category of tactics in chess typically includes a number of subcategories (or tactical techniques) including: attack and defence; annihilation or elimination; back rank combinations; blocking or interception; clearance; decoy; deflection; discovered attack; discovered check; forks; mating patterns; overloaded pieces; pin and skewer; restriction; x-ray attack; zugswang; etc. Instruction about these different tactics might be spread out over any number of classes depending on the objectives of the Instructor/course.

Our classes emphasize steady chess improvement for all students, and class sizes are controlled so that instructors can properly attend to all students. Students interact with each other and the instructor through an open exchange of ideas and through puzzles and test games. Building resilience (an ability to rebound from losses) and growth mindset (a willingness to try new things and not be overly afraid to risk rating points) are important objectives for ACC students.

In-person or online classes may also be taken in conjunction with some tournament or casual play at the Club, so that the student can “test the waters” using the new information learned. Chess is a highly incremental learning activity that builds on experience and self-evaluation. Chess engines are used as a tool to evaluate alternatives and our students learn how to use that tool effectively.

The ACC/CIC Partnership

Annex Chess Club (ACC) chess classes are run through a partnership with Chess Institute of Canada (CIC), a registered Canadian charity that delivers both chess and life skills education programs to children and other learners.

Logo: Chess Institute of Canada

There are a number of reasons for both ACC and CIC (“the Partners”) continuing to support this partnership:

  • Both organizations were founded by Ted Winick. They also share a long history which goes back to ACC’s start in 2010.
  • The two organizations share some physical resources—an office, a library of donated chess books and some chess equipment.
  • CIC’s registration website is used to process ACC student registrations and payments.
  • CIC has an established chess curriculum and its instructors are experienced and well-trained from working in the public and private school systems, and in special learning situations. CIC’s instructor core includes both women and chess masters. CIC instructors often play at our Club and in our special events.
  • By having CIC as the professional manager of our classes, ACC Board members have more time to promote the Club, run weekly tournaments and manage other special events.
  • ACC maintains content approval of its CIC-run classes.

Chess for everyone