Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  Where are your chess classes offered?
A.  Pacific Chess Academy offers chess classes to various schools in Bay Area including San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda, San Mateo , Santa Clara and Monterey counties.
Q.  What's the best age to start learning chess?
A.   Our program is offered to elementary and middle schools students from 6 to 14 years old.  We have special programs for Kindergartners, so students can start learning chess from age 6 if they are able to read. 
Q.  Could you describe a chess lesson?
A.  Our lessons last 60 minutes;students are given instructions, then they play tournament games, and our teachers analyze games at the end of each lesson.
Q.  What chess levels do you teach?
A.  We have programs for 3 levels: beginners(those who have never played chess), intermediate (with basic knowledge of the game), and advanced (students able to understand and implement chess strategies).
Q.  Do students receive any trophies?
A.  All students receive trophies at the end of the year; we also provide transitional trophies for winners of tournament games, and master trophies for those who have earned enough points.
Q.  How long is a chess semester?
A.  The standard chess semester normally  consists of 12 sessions (lessons).
There are 3 semesters (Fall, Winter, and Spring).  Some schools prefer having
only 2 semesters (Fall and Spring).
Q.  What  level of chess knowledge will our child have by the end of the first semester?
A.  Beginners will be able to understand basic chess tactics and start playing serious games.  Intermediate students will become more knowledgeable about chess strategies and play at higher level.  Advanced players will be able to challenge any opponent at chess tournaments.

Q.  Do you provide students with boards and other chess equipment?
A.  We do provide our students with all necessary equipment including chess boards, pieces and demonstration tools.
Q.  Who are your teachers?
A.   Most of our chess instructors are professional teachers.  All chess instructors working for Pacific Chess Academy MUST pass the background check.
Q.  How can chess help a child to improve his/her social and communication skills?
A.  It is a known fact that chess can help children to gain self-confidence, enhance social skills, and improve their communication skills.  William John Barrow,
a 19-year old chess expert from Virginia, was diagnosed with autism at age two.
At age 8, William learned to play chess, became fascinating with the game, and his abilities skyrocketed. His chess prowess enabled him to overcome many of the social stigmas attached to autism. His ever-growing skills helped him gain self-confidence, earn the respect and friendship of his peers, and score in the top 3% on his national college entrance exams.
Q. How to get rating points?
A.There are different ways to get points: winning tournament games and turn in homework. Additional points are given to kids who attend our Chess Summer Camp
and participate in regional tournaments.