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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


Score Sheets
for players
(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


C&O Student
Chess Journal

downloads (.pdf)

Chess Basics

Newly revised first section of the C&O Student Chess Journal. It is now 34 pages, including  "How to Read and Write Chess Notation," and "Basic Checkmates."  

Tips for Good Recording
of Chess Moves

Do these and you won't mess up.

Ten Move Games
(2 pages). Registration Instructions

All C&O students should be registered on to access additional instruction, and regular practice with other students and staff.


 ESSENTIAL CHESS CURRICULUM SUMMARIES (Students should all have these print-outs.)

Chess Notation

Opening Basics

10 Bad Moves

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Chess Students

Chess Secrets of
the Ancients!

7 Things To Do in
the First 10 Moves

...the full text document (10 pages).

The 10 Bad Moves
...the full text document (11 pages).

Four Move Checkmate, etc.
The "Four-Move Checkmate" & Other Opening Traps...  illustrates common themes often used by beginners to achieve a quick win. (4 pages)

Chess Analysis Symbols
This guide to chess analysis symbols is recommended to beginner and intermediate players.

Pawn & Piece Tutorials

General Instructions
& Pawn Tutors (1-4)

Do this first. (10 pages)

Rook Tutors (1-4)
(8 pages)

Bishop & Queen

(4 pages)

Knight Tutors &
Knight & Bishop

(4 pages)






C&O Family Chess Center
Student Page I
(Including Home-School Students)
(Under Reconstruction -- Updated 2/10/21)

B. Ross Pancoast, Director
Omar Pancoast III, Senior Chess Coach

    Welcome scholastic players!  This page is especially for new players and those whose club rating is Level 5 or under.  However, there is plenty here for intermediate and advanced players as well, particularly if you are new to our C&O Chess Center programs.  On this page you will find our basic Chess Journal downloads and other materials to help you become a better chess player.  We will add more as they become available.  Most of you are enrolled in one, or more, of our chess programs.  If you are not you are still welcome to use any of the materials presented here.  Also feel free to use the Students II page, or any other of our web-pages.  If you ever have any questions about your program, or to discuss any other chess matter, please send us an E-mail.

"Next time don't move so fast!"                                                                      Cedar Grove E.S., 2005     C&O FCC

    Chess may be played and enjoyed at several levels.  The first is that of the casual players, for whom chess is essentially a lighthearted "pastime." Then comes the "club-player" who may actually try to learn some strategy and tactics.  He enjoys chess even more than the casual player and may even play in some local tournaments.  When that happens he is on the road to becoming a "serious player."  Such players want to practice and improve, both to increase their enjoyment and to compete at higher levels.  They find in chess an activity which has the power engage the mind on creative and emotional levels similar to music, art, mathematics and the highest levels of sport. 

Student Responsibilities:

    Even if you just want to "play for fun" there are certain things that you will be expected to do as a member of one of our clubs.  The following list is to remind you of your responsibilities, as well as to help you get the most fun from your chess.

1.     Come to class on time.  Coaches often try to make pairings in advance.  Being late means keeping your opponent waiting or causing the coach to make alternate pairings that may not be even.  If your class is in the morning take the responsibility to get up, eat breakfast, and get ready for the day on time.

2.     Come to class prepared to play.  Know all the rules, including "touch-move," "castling," and "en-passant."  They apply to "friendly" and "just for fun" games as well as club-rated games.  Each student playing for club-ratings should bring his own scoresheets (download at left), and pencils or pens.  Eventually, your "Live/Standard" rating will become your official club-rating.

3.     Play quietly and courteously.  Know all the rules of "chess etiquette."  They apply to "friendly" and "just for fun" games as well as club-rated games.  Thank your opponent if you win and congratulate him if you lose.  Shake hands before and after playing.

4.     Record your results, win, lose, or draw, rated or unrated.  Your results are used to make fair, but challenging, pairings.  Club-rating points are only awarded for properly recorded scoresheets and results.  "Live/Standard" ratings and "Online" ratings on are updated automatically, every time you play.

5.     If you finish early find something constructive to do for the remaining time.  You may play another game, an alternative game (like "giveaway chess"), get a coach to analyze your game (you may bring one from or listen-in on a coach doing analysis of another game, help a beginner, etc.  You may clean up your set but do NOT start packing up your other stuff early.

6.     Help clean up after class.  Class is not officially over until everything is cleaned up and put away! You should help until it's ALL put away, even other people's stuff.  Then listen quietly for any announcements and only then put away any handouts to take home and pack up your stuff.

"Recording the moves"                                                                                       Fields Road E.S., 2005     C&O FCC

    For some time we have been linking all of our classroom study materials to this website. This means that our entire Chess Journal and supplementary materials will eventually be available to you for direct download right here (in the left-hand borders). Additional materials will be added as they are published. We are no longer making them available as in-class handouts so you should become familiar with the process of opening and printing these publications. These materials are copyrighted and intended for personal student use only.  If you have trouble viewing the PDF files please contact us so that we can help you fix the problem.

New Players

New players who read may learn the basic moves and rules from our downloads (at left) or directly from the Chess Magnet School website (in cooperation with the USCF) or on  Chess Magnet School will allow novice players to learn the basics using 20 short lessons with exercises.  Click this link to try it out:

Basic Chess Rules and Practice  
Problems accessing site? click here Help Site

Although not as complete as our classroom and Chess Journal materials it is a great way to start learning the basics and some chess terminology, and to review classroom lessons.  Pre-schoolers, and students who don't read well yet, will need an adult, or other reader, to help them.  When ready, students can even practice against a computer opponent.  This computer opponent can give a variety of "odds" games (computer handicaps) and "Shuffle Chess" (similar to Fischer Random Chess).  All of our students can also benefit from the "Practice Checkmate" exercises on this site.

How to Be A Winner!

Many people (sometimes even parents and coaches) confuse "being a winner" with winning games.  They are two entirely different things!  Winning (or losing, or drawing) a game is simply a "result."  Almost everything you do in life produces a result.  Sometimes the result is what you want, sometimes it is not... but being a "winner" is never about your results!  Rather it is about what you "choose" to do with those results.  That's correct, "being a winner" is an attitude, and it's always a matter of your choice!   

A "Winner" chooses to accept responsibility for his (or her) actions and results!  

A "Winner" chooses to direct his own progress as much as possible!                    

A "Winner" chooses to use his results as a means to further learning and growth!

A "Winner" seeks to identify mistakes and views them as lessons to be learned!    

A "Winner" understands that sometimes progress is slow... but that it will come! 

A "Winner" understands that a loss is an opportunity for personal improvement!

What will you "choose" to be today?

The Website
(inter-active on-line play & lessons)

The C&O Family Chess Center currently has a number of groups available on at no extra charge if you are enrolled in one of our programs or are a Center member (Membership Application). We receive no money from, but it is very useful if students are taking lessons or classes with us.  While it is not necessary to register through the center there are several benefits to doing so, especially if you are enrolled in one of our programs.   Students have access to a wide variety of lessons and other activities (which supplement our classroom materials and instruction) including unlimited play against other members and computers (at different strengths.  Our coaches will have access to your games and ratings, and can direct you to specific exercises and areas of study if you ask.  While their initial ratings are somewhat inflated, progress in ratings will translate into rating points on your club or USCF rating. Registration Guide


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