How to Play Chess

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Taught by Ian West

Ian has taught chess for the last ten years, to students from every grade level, K-12, all over New York City. He currently serves as the full-time chess instructor & coach at an elementary school in Ditmas Park, where he lives.

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We're going to make chess fun. 

The average adult who doesn’t play chess usually wants to know but has one of several classic impediments to learning: (1) dad tried to teach me, but he wasn’t so patient; (2) chess is for nerdlingers & old Russian dudes; (3) chess requires a superhuman Zen patience, which I don’t possess; or (4) the game functions on the level of quantum theory in terms of its complexity. These things can all be true in certain contexts – but none of them needs prevent anyone from learning to enjoy the benefits of chess.

My years teaching kids have taught me to get to the heart of the matter quickly, and when it comes to play, this will be the objective: we'll learn the rules of chess through easy and fun structured activities. If you can keep yourself from getting run over by the city bus when crossing the street, then you have all the rational power required to get a kick out of this game!

(class size: 16)

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