C&O Family Chess Center
217 West Diamond Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20877-2106
B. Ross Pancoast, Director
Pancoast, Senior Coach
PRIVATE CHESS INSTRUCTION
On the Internet
by Zoom and on Chess.com
Mattie Stepanek & Ben Miller in class
at Lakeforest Mall, July 2003 C&O-FCC
Parents and new players are encouraged to print out our .pdf download "Chess Basics for New Players," as well as
.pdf "tutorials" (found in the left margins).
Players may register for private instructiom at the Chess
Center, or by Zoom class (see below), once they know the basic
rules and how the chessmen (pawns & pieces) move. "Center-Members"
are provided with a free account on
Chess.com, our official
online practice site.
Saturday Morning Chess Club (below) has been suspended
indefinitely, due to the shutdown.
FREE "Beginner" Downloads:
New Player Evaluation & Introductory Lesson: by appointment only).
Now by Zoom meeting or at the Chess Center (
(Schedule in advance by
Chess.com (C.c) "message" (after
Chess.com registration), or by
C&O Online Membership or
Online Class Registration, others $20
Private Online Instruction
further notice, on Zoom, by appointment only)
Click here to schedule a private lesson
Single students, children & adults:
Monday thru Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
60 minute session $35
Private 'New-Player' Instruction:
Learning the basic rules and moves may be
done for 'free' on-line (on various websites) and from our C&O
'downloads. Parents who wish to teach very young children are
encouraged to use our 'free' resources. Therefore
we don't usually
recommend private instruction for new beginners.
However, if you really want individual instruction for new
players, regular rates apply. New players under the age of six
'must' be acompanied by an adult (supervised when on Zoom).
parents who wish to teach their own children may take
individual lessons for themselves to aid in this.
The Chess.com Website
(C&O inter-active on-line lessons)
The C&O Family Chess Center currently has a number of
member and student groups available on
Chess.com (C.c) at no extra charge if you are enrolled in one of our
Programs" or are a "Center Member" (Online-Membership Application). We receive no money from Chess.com, but
a C.c account is required if students are taking lessons or classes with us. While it is not necessary to register through the
Center there are several benefits to following our
(especially if you are enrolled in one of our programs). Students
enrolled in our programs have access to a wide variety of lessons and other activities (which supplement our
available online materials and instruction) including 24/7 unlimited play against
our students and other C.c members, computers (at different strengths), and our own coaches. Our coaches, in turn, will have access to
students' C.c games and ratings, and can direct
them to specific exercises and areas of study if requested.
Students are encouraged to practice three, or more, times a
week for an hour or more (younger students for shorter
periods). We offer frequent C&O student tournament
competitions on C.c, in addition to the regular C.c
tournaments. Progress in various Chess.com ratings is
easily monitored and may
eventually translate into USCF and/or international ratings.
Saturday Morning Chess Club (SMCC) SUSPENDED
9:00 - 10:45 a.m. at Lakeforest Mall -
Suspended due to shut-down.
Drop-In: Members $15 Non-Members $20/evaluation & class session
10 Class Pass (no time limit):
Individual $100 Family: $170
15 Class Pass (no time limit):
Individual $140 Family: $230
20 Class Pass (no time limit):
Individual $180 Family: $290
The club will NOT meet on
a few Saturdays, including major holiday weekends such as New
Year's, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day,
Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Saturday Morning Chess Club (SMCC) is held at Lakeforest Mall (LFM), in Gaithersburg. SMCC is open to Center members, both children and adults (Membership Application). Due to popular request memberships are offered in 10-, 15-, and 20-session groups (registration form) with no time limit on attendance.
Students should supply their own equipment but a few "loaner
sets" are usually available. Each
of these 'group
sessions' may include individual mentoring as well as the group practice
and review of recorded or internet games. This
depends on each student's practice record and the availability
of their recorded games from class or Chess.com (C.c). Individual
mentoring is tailored to each student's level of experience from beginners through experienced tournament players,
and may be provided by staff or student CITs.
An individual program includes everything from basic concepts and tactics through analysis, computer use, and tournament strategy.
The SMCC is not
intended to replace 'private lessons'. Check
with the coach to determine if 'private instruction would be
beneficial for your student (most beginners do not require
practice' is expected two or three times a week (more is even
better) and so free membership on
Chess.com (C.c, our online
"club practice site") is included
for all C&O members.
We also maintain a "club presence" for all C&O Family Chess Center programs, members,
and former members on Chess.com. Students are encouraged to create a "Chess Journal" (a loose-leaf binder
in which to keep printed lesson notes, game records and other instructional materials).
For maximum benefit, parents should plan for children to spend an hour, or more, on practice
two or three (or more) times each week in addition to the weekly
This may include practice with a computer program, with
siblings, friends, or parents, and should include
playing online at Chess.com (C.c), where our staff may monitor their games.
Parental encouragement and supervision in setting up a
'regular' practice schedule is essential to meaningful student
progress. Parents need not stay in the food court during the class but are welcome to do so. Parents are requested not to remain directly in the chess area during the class unless
as a student or volunteering as a club aide under club guidelines,
and should return for students by 10:45 a.m.
The coach must often leave by 11:00 a.m. for private lessons.
students may remain to play in the regular Lakeforest Mall club,
but our coaches, staff, and/or mall employees are not respolsible for
students who remain after the SMCC is over.
Registration in SMCC includes at least ten classes. Longer registrations are available
with greater discounts. Students are also welcome to remain at
the mall after SMCC, for practice and play during the regular LFM chess club, if they wish.
The regular LFM club members meet even when there is no SMCC.
Unlimited free-play is available until the mall closes, seven-days-a-week.
We suggest you bring your own set and board. The mall
management has provided chess tables as of late 2013.