C&O FCC Home
Links, etc.
Online/School Programs
Summer Programs
Private Instruction
Students I
Students II
LFM Club

For All Classes




This is our C&O
practice web site.
Basic rules, piece
names and moves,
as well as other
basics for new, or
novice, players are
covered on this free,
inter-active site from

Parent Packet
Important Information
for chess parents
(partially out-of-date for Online Programs)

(for recording
chess moves).

Large Scoresheet
for young players
(30 moves 8.5 x 11")

Medium Scoresheet
(60 moves 8.5 x 11")

Small scoresheets
(60 moves 5.5 x 8.5")
tournament size
2 per page Registration Instructions

All C&O students will be registered on when they are ready to access additional instruction, and regular practice with other students and staff.

all have these

Chess Notation

Opening Basics

The 10 Bad Moves




C&O Family Chess Center
Online & School Programs, etc.
Including Scholastic Fliers & Zoom Registration 

(Last update 12/07/23)

B. Ross Pancoast, Director

Omar Pancoast III, Senior Coach

Coach Omar at Spark Matsunaga ES                                                                                      April, 2008  C&O-FCC


Online Classes (Info. & Registration) - Winter 2024 (Sawyer)

In-School Classes (Info. & Regist.) - Winter 2024 (Sawyer)

     NOTICE - Although we have resumed classes at many of our former schools, staff shortages and MCPS restrictions have necessitated some significant restructuring of our programs.  This includes expanded opportunities for more advanced Elementary students, as well as Middle and High School (or Home schooled) students.  Advanced online registration for in-school classes is now through the 'Sawyer' portal or the 'Kiddo' program (depending on the school).  Check the fliers below for your school.  Registration for all online classes (Zoom) is through Sawyer (above).  We apologize for any confusion.

Schools at which we currently have programs:

Mon. AM - Diamond E.S. (Kiddo)
Mon. AM - Ritchie Park E.S. (Sawyer)    
Mon. PM - College Gardens E.S. (Sawyer)

Tue. AM - Darnestown E.S. (Sawyer)
Tue. PM - Fallsmead E.S.

Wed. AM - Laytonsville E.S. (Sawyer)
Wed. PM - Rachel Carson E.S.

Thu. AM - Spark Matsunaga E.S. (Sawyer)
Thu. PM - Bayard Rustin E.S.

Fri. AM - Cold Spring E.S. (Kiddo)
Fri. PM -
Wayside E.S.  (Kiddo)

Home-School Groups - TBA Online (Sawyer) Contact the Center


"Chess Makes You Smarter!"                                                                       Fields Road E.S.      C&O-FCC

   C&O Family Chess Center conducts scholastic chess programs which fit a variety of schedules.  Club programs may be scheduled both before and after school as openings allow.  Our expanded Online chess programs may also be scheduled during the day for home-school groups.  

    If you are not already registered in a program and part of our C&O information network please fill out our Information Form to ensure prompt notification of chess information and events relative to your children's scholastic chess program or individual progress.  Remember, E-mail and 'Messages' are our direct link to you.  Information sent home through the schools does not always arrive in a timely fashion.

    If you have any problems with the links or the programs, please contact us.

Program Objectives

    Our scholastic chess programs are oriented toward students of beginner and intermediate skill level.  Many parents are already aware of the variety of benefits for their children from participation in an organized chess program that includes instruction and study as well as play.  There are many free curriculum summaries and printouts on our "Students I & II" pages.  We welcome suggestions for topics of interest or questions about any aspects of our programs.

As teachers, we at C&O have several objectives:

1.     All participants should have fun.  Chess at its most basic level is simply a game to be enjoyed. This enjoyment is essential to students' continued participation in organized chess and advancement to ever higher skill levels.  

2.     All students should have the opportunity to develop their chess skills as far as they can.  Toward that end we provide study materials appropriate to different levels of understanding and mastery as well as access to a great practice site, (C.c), for informal and serious practice with coaches, classmates and other C&O chess students,.  Chess "Levels" vary and are not a function of age or grade. provides a variety of "results based," numerical ratings, to guide one's progress in different areas.

3.     Students should be made aware of their progress (or lack of) in such a way as to help correct problems or to seek more challenging competition.  This is the purpose of our estimated club-rating system and the performance-based ratings.  Club-ratings allow us to make fair pairings, challenging to both players, and to determine the kinds of individual instruction that may be needed.  Our club and C.c-ratings are loosely analogous to "official" USCF ratings and many of our students also have these.

4.     We believe parents should have access to our teaching materials and other information that will help them to understand (and assist in) their children's progress. We welcome volunteers with some basic knowledge of chess in our programs, and are always seeking coaches and/or parents interested in part-time paid positions.  Parents are encouraged to use the free Learn To Play feature on, and access our own downloads on the Students I  and Students II web-pages, here on our site. Parents are also encouraged to create their own accounts on C.c to improve their own knowledge and assist their children.  Parents should monitor their children's use of, and progress on C.c.

Student Responsibilities and

    On our student pages we list things that we expect each student to do and items they should have at home, or bring to class, each week.  While we support parent efforts to oversee this aspect of chess club we want to encourage you to help your children meet these responsibilities on their own, as much as possible. We also reqire that parents register their children on so that they may participate in regular practice when not in class. C.c accounts should have a parental E-mail as contact, NOT a school, or child's E-mail!  Each user must have a separate account with a different adult E-mail.

Teaching Materials and Other Downloads

    We link most of our classroom study materials to the "Student Pages" of this website. Portions of our Chess Journal and other supplementary materials are currently available to you and your children as .pdf files for direct download. Additional materials may be added as they are published. We will no longer make them available as in-class handouts on a regular basis since they are now available as .pdf downloads/printouts.  You should help your students become familiar with the process of opening and printing these publications. The materials are copyrighted and intended for personal use only.  Parents, teachers, and coaches are welcome use these materials, as well. We hope that teachers and coaches who find the materials useful will obtain written permission for reproduction (available from the center for a small donation). 

Requirements for registration.

    New students are required to know the basic rules and moves before attending class. This basic knowledge is available at no charge here, on our website, and on our practice site (  Students who have not yet learned these basics can not be fully involved until they have done so.  All students, including those registered in online Zoom programs, are expected to participate in regular practice outside of class.  Online students are also expected to have access to computers with full sized monitors (not smaller ipads, tablets or phones) and a mouse rather than just a touch-pad.

Contact the center if you have further questions.

Snow Days and Absences (Not applicable for Online Sessions)
     C&O Family Chess Center follows the Montgomery County Public School policy for snow days and other emergency closings. If MCPS opens late our morning programs are cancelled.  If they close early our afternoon programs are cancelled.  Under such circumstances students are requested to go online with their accounts and practice with other students. Coaches may be online, as well, for questions and other chess chat.  The same opportunities are often available on scheduled school closing days and Holidays.  Absences due to weather or illness may be made up online. See your coach for details.