Fall Programs

Registration for Fall Programs is CLOSED.  Winter Programs begin December 13th and open for registration by early to mid-November.  Check back here for updates!

Contact us for the possibility of joining one of our informal classes or clubs mid-session.


We are pleased to announce our fall lineup of in-person / hybrid and Zoom classes for Fall 2021!  In-person locations are listed below. Most in-person classes offer a hybrid option, where students can Zoom into the live classroom.  Procedures and equipment will be in place to ensure that our online students can fully participate in class.  A few classes will continue to be held on Zoom only.  In addition, we are offering a youth tournament club (HRSCC) with in-person locations in Virginia Beach and Hampton, as well as online club on our private server.  The adult / advanced youth club (HRCC) and the girls club will be held in-person only at the chess center.  Please see the individual course descriptions below.  After you have reviewed the offerings, you will find a registration link at the bottom of the page.  Fill out the registration form, and we will contact you with any questions, if necessary, and send you an electronic invoice.


HRCA membership ($10/year) is required to participate in any HRCA program or event.  US Chess membership is required for certain clubs as indicated in descriptions.

HRCA is a 501(c)(3) serving the Hampton Roads area of Southeast Virginia.  Our Hybrid (Zoom into live class) and Virtual-Only classes are open to players from out of area, whether or not you are an HRCA alumni who once resided in the area.  Note that HRSCC, even the virtual option, is NOT available to out-of-area players unless they are club alumni.  See Registration section at the bottom of this page — non-local / non-alumni student seats are based on space available as of August 31st.  Out-of-area students will be billed for postage to mail any awards earned in class.

Fall 2021 Locations

Mid-Atlantic Chess Center:  Pembroke Office Park Building 4, 291 Independence Blvd, Suite 515, Virginia Beach

Peninsula Satellite Club:  Ivy Memorial Baptist Church, 2200 Coliseum Drive, Hampton

-or- Zoom / Private Chess Server

Fall 2021 Schedule

HRCA classes and programs are now offered in 12-week sessions Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.  We will only open one session at a time for registration.  Students are guaranteed a minimum of ten face-to-face / live (in-person or via Zoom) classes with their coach, and an additional two weeks of material that may be live or recorded.

The Fall session begins September 13th and runs through December 9th.  There are no classes or clubs the week of November 22nd-26th (Thanksgiving break).

Fall 2021 Prices

CLICK HERE FOR OUR PAYMENT AND REFUND POLICY (your acknowledgement is required on the registration form)

Pay in full at the start of the session -or- Monthly payment plans available at no additional charge

Limited needs-based scholarships are available

All 12-week classes are $150

Story Time Chess also has a one-time $50 supply fee

Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club is $75 per quarterly session (includes ChessKid Gold and HRCA membership)

Hampton Roads Chess Club collects entry fees by event

HRCA Ladder Club is $15 per quarterly session

Women and Girls Chess Club is $15 per quarterly session

Veterans and active duty military members are free in adult classes with proof of service

Multi-family discount:  50% off 3rd and 4th child or adult in the same household, 5th+ free

ChessKid Gold accounts (if not already specified as included in a program) are optional $15/year

All programs require HRCA membership $10/year, which also entitles players to participate in our tournaments and other events

All programs include a free account on our private chess server for play and practice

Fall Classes – Chess Foundations

Coach Jay’s Chess Academy:  This class uses the curriculum developed by renowned chess “Coach Jay” Stallings out of California.  It is broken down into seven levels using a karate belt system (White, Yellow, Orange, Green, Purple, Blue, Black) ranging from absolute beginner to expert level.  Each level covers “five disciplines of chess” at increasingly challenging levels — Defense, Checkmates, Endgames, Tactics, and Strategy.  Students registering for this class will be assessed for placement in the proper level.  This class is offered on MONDAYS from 6:00-7:00 PM.  White, Yellow, Orange, and Green belt students will be In-Person at the Mid-Atlantic Chess Center in Virginia Beach or Virtual (Zoom into live class).  Purple, Blue, and Black belt students will be Virtual Only on Zoom.  Virtual students will receive an online account containing digital lesson books and workbooks up through Green. In-person students in all levels and virtual students in Purple+ will receive a set of paper workbooks for class.  Students must complete their digital or paper workbooks and pass an assessment in order to progress to the next level and receive a karate belt keytag with matching colored chess piece to indicate mastery of the level.  This class is appropriate for ages 7 and up.  Students younger than 7 may be admitted by exception.  With cartoon-illustrated workbooks and fun Kahoot quizzes, this class tends to work better for our younger students (but is also popular with students of all ages) than other options.

Think Like a King This class uses the curriculum developed by renowned chess coach David MacEnulty out of New York City.  Specifically designed to teach critical thinking skills through chess, it is used extensively in the NYC public school system.  It is broken down into seven levels using a “thinking belt” system (white through black).  After the First Lessons in Chess course, which provides a comprehensive beginner’s introduction to the game, including rules, opening principles, tactics, etc., each level focuses on one specific skill — Tactics, Checkmates, Endgames, or Openings, each course becoming more challenging.  New students with little to no chess background will be placed in First Lessons in Chess.  Students demonstrating sufficient knowledge of those foundations but new to our programs will begin in Tactical Thinking and progress from there.  This class is offered on WEDNESDAYS from 6:00-7:00 PM.  First Lessons in Chess, Tactical Thinking, Checkmate Thinking, and Endgame Thinking will be In-Person at the Mid-Atlantic Chess Center in Virginia Beach or Virtual (Zoom into live class).  Opening Thinking and above will be Virtual Only on Zoom from 5:30 to 6:30 PM.  All students will receive a training account to complete homework online.  Students must complete all homework to a passing level in order to progress to the next level.  This class is appropriate for ages 8 and up.  Students younger than 8 may be admitted by exception.  Online homework requires reading proficiency.

Story Time Chess  This class uses the award-winning curriculum designed to teach children ages 3 and up how to play chess by making each piece into a story book character to explain why they move and behave the way they do, as well as to teach life lessons.  The curriculum is evolving but is currently broken down into 5 levels.  We will offer only Level 1 and 2 in the Fall 2021 session.  Level 1 covers the basic piece movements through stories and exercises.  Very young children take longer to master these basic skills.  Level 2 covers playing a full game of chess, making a plan, sportsmanship / winning and losing with grace, and lessons in friendship.  This class is appropriate only for students age 4-6.  Under 4 may be admitted by exception.  Parents (or any other responsible party) are required to sit in this class with their students.  Level 1 is for new students.  Level 2 is for students who completed our summer Story Time class.  New students who have already mastered piece movements may be admitted to Level 2 by exception, but they will need to become familiar with the characters on their own time.  This class is offered on THURSDAYS In-Person ONLY at the Mid-Atlantic Chess Center in Virginia Beach.  Zoom classes are not appropriate for children this age and will only be used in the event of COVID shut-downs.  Level 1 runs from 5:30-6:15 PM and Level 2 runs from 6:30-7:15 PM.  This class includes a one time supply fee of $50 for one child and $10 for additional children in the same household for a personal copy of the board game and two workbooks for home use.  Unless a coach / parent feels it necessary to repeat a level, students need only attend classes for the session in order to progress to the next level.

Fall Classes – Informal

HRCA offers some in-person classes that do not follow a structured curriculum.  These classes may have great merit in improving critical thinking but are not guaranteed to cover a comprehensive list of topics to build a solid chess foundation.  They are not appropriate for beginners just learning the rules of the game.  These classes will NOT count for required training for tournament players in Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club (though the Director may issue a rare exception).  

Move-by-Move Youth:  In this class, students collectively play games against computer opponents on the big screen, following along with their own physical boards, with the coach guiding the students through a collective discussion of the best moves in each game.  Students may also play each other with coach guidance and instruction continuing.  Open to students in grades K-12 who already know the rules and can play a complete game of chess.  This class meets MONDAYS from 5:30-6:30 PM In-Person ONLY in Hampton -or- THURSDAYS 6:00-7:00 PM In-Person ONLY at the Mid-Atlantic Chess Center in Virginia Beach.  ***Note:  If this class has very low enrollment at the Virginia Beach location, and if HRSCC (see below) exceeds capacity, this class may be cancelled and replaced by a tournament training club for Rookie / non-rated players***

Adult / Teen Learn to Play:  Learning to play chess as a teenager or adult can be intimidating, and you certainly don’t want to sit in a classroom with a bunch of 8-year-olds.  This class will loosely follow the “Dutch Steps” method of learning chess, with paper workbooks provided to all students.  However, because students will be at various levels, the coach will use flexible methods or break students into sub-groups for instruction and practice time.  This class is suitable for non-rated players or low rated players who either want to become strong casual players or who desire to gain the skill to play in tournaments.  Ages 13 and up only.  Younger teens may find some of our foundational classes more suitable.  This class meets TUESDAYS from 7:30-8:30 PM In-Person ONLY at the Mid-Atlantic Chess Center.

Adult classes will NOT be offered via Zoom for the Fall session.  For VETERANS / MILITARY MEMBERS who are unable to attend our in-person class, however, you may sign up to be matched with a volunteer to teach you over Zoom.  Also stay tuned for specialized Veterans / Military chess classes and events in 2021-2022.

Fall Classes – Master Level Instruction

HRCA also offers classes taught by Experts and Masters for our more advanced students.  Previous completion of a comprehensive curriculum such as Think Like a King or Coach Jay’s Chess Academy, or reaching high King levels on ChessKid through serious self-study is strongly recommended to ensure your child has a solid foundation before taking a Master level class.  “Gaps / cracks” in the foundation will prevent your child from improving in chess.  Our “foundations” classes progress from basic to advanced, so even students rated up to 1000 can benefit from completing all the levels before moving on to Master level instruction.  Master coaches will assign their own homework for classes, which will be critical for your child to get the most out of the training.

Reassessing Your Chess:  Taught by reigning Virginia State Scholastic High School Champion Tyson Brady, this class is based on the book How to Reassess Your Chess:  Chess Mastery Through Imbalances by International Master and renowned chess author Jeremy Silman.  The class will focus on bettering your positional skills and learning how to make logical plans based on the needs of the position.  Students will review games by grandmasters and amateurs to help them improve their playing strength.  This class is recommended only for tournament players rated 700 and up.  This class meets on TUESDAYS from 7:30-8:30 PM In-Person at the Mid-Atlantic Chess Center or Virtual (Zoom into live class).

Prophylactic ThinkingTaught by National Master Nemanja Milanovic from Serbia, this is a critical class to overcome “sticky thinking” or one-sided planning for kids.  Most kids are determined to make their plan work despite their opponent’s moves to thwart those plans.  This camp will teach players  how to anticipate their opponent’s plans and prevent them before they happen in order to stay in control of the game.  This is an extremely important skill at a higher level and is not something that many kids naturally think about.  This class is recommended only for tournament players rated 700 and up.  This class meets on THURSDAYS from 6:30-7:30 PM In-Person at the Mid-Atlantic Chess Center or Virtual (Zoom into live class).

The Geniuses of the 1800’s:  This class is taught by six-time / reigning Virginia State Champion National Master Daniel Miller.  Fischer said in the 60’s, in which Tal, Petrosian, Kortchnoi, Spassky and others were dominating, that if Paul Morphy could teleport 100 years from the 1860s to the 1960s, he would beat anyone alive in a match. He was the greatest player ever. He had modern day understanding a century and a half ago.  Born in 1872, Harry Nelson Pillsbury was listed by chessmetrics in 2000 as the 10th greatest player of all time. He had unsurpassed understanding and talent and was practically anointed Lasker’s successor when he died prematurely in 1906.  Anderssen destroyed his opponents with Tal-like combinations. Staunton created the present design of the pieces. This class will explore the genesis of chess thought.  Both Alekhine and Fischer had encyclopedic knowledge of the great players of the past and they used this to achieve the highest ranks in chess. We will study what they studied and view chess from the lens of the great players of the 19th century, analyzing the development of chess thought in the years leading up to and contemporaneous with Steinitz and Lasker.  This class is recommended for players rated 1000 and up (lower by exception).  This class meets on MONDAYS from 6:00-7:00 PM Virtual ONLY (via Zoom), as the coach lives in Northern Virginia.  THIS CLASS IS FULL.  A second hour has been added, 7:30-8:30 PM on Mondays via Zoom.

Fall Clubs

HRCA is a US Chess Affiliate and offers rated tournament clubs, as well as unrated sections for youth training to become rated players.  New this year, we are offering some casual, unrated clubs for youth.

Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club (HRSCC):  Open to students in grades PK-12, this nationally-recognized club is only for children desiring to compete / play in chess tournaments.  Students enrolling in HRSCC are required to also enroll in a “Chess Foundations” or “Master Level” class in order to be in the club.  New this year, recognizing that many students need to take time off to play in other sports, the club will be broken down into three self-contained quarterly clubs, Fall, Winter, and Spring.  Children enrolling in one or two sessions only must take a minimum of one class during the school year.  Children enrolling in all three sessions must take a minimum of two classes during the school year.  Each night of club will consist of a tournament event, including formats such as Match, Quads, Quick and Regular Swiss, Blitz, and Bughouse.  Each quarterly session will have its own championship tournament, and the last day of each session will consist of an awards ceremony.  Students do not need to be US Chess members to start in HRSCC — a “Rookie” section is offered for training and preparing for rated tournaments — however, they should know all the rules and be able to play a complete game of chess.  We strongly recommend completion of at least one Chess Foundations course (see above) before enrolling in HRSCC.  Rated players will be broken down by ability for play — generally Novice (U400 or 500), Amateur (U800), and Elite (800+).  This club is recommended for players up to 1200 rating, at which time we recommend the children move to playing in HRCC (see below); however, PK-12 players of any rating are welcome to join.  All HRSCC members receive a ChessKid Gold account included in their fees and are eligible for awards associated with use of the account, which is strongly encouraged for supplemental training and practice.

New for 2021-2022, HRSCC is broken down into three sub-clubs.  Each club will participate in the same events, with sections determined by enrollment.  The primary club will meet on TUESDAYS from 5:30-7:15 PM at the Mid-Atlantic Chess Center in Virginia Beach.  This club is limited to 100 players.  The Peninsula Satellite Club will meet on MONDAYS from 6:30-8:00 PM in Hampton.  The Virtual Club will meet on our private chess server on TUESDAYS from 5:30-7:15 PM, with Zoom tournament director support available.  If more than 100 players enroll in for the Virginia Beach location, we may be required to eliminate the Rookie section or move it to a different night of the week.

Hampton Roads Chess Club (HRCC):  Open to any US Chess member, this club offers rated tournaments in a variety of formats, such as Match, Quads, Quick and Regular Swiss, and Blitz, as well as occasional lectures or simultaneous exhibitions.  This is the only HRCA club that is open to adults.  For players in grades PK-12, it is recommended primarily for those rated 1000+.  Parents should consider that this club can last until late at night on a school night.  There is currently no “Rookie” section at this club; all events are rated.  However, if our adult classes result in a stronger interest from beginner adults to compete, we may open a Rookie section at any time as an entry point for them.  This club meets on TUESDAYS from 7:30 PM – until complete (9:30-10:30 PM generally) at the Mid-Atlantic Chess Center in Virginia Beach.  It is In-Person ONLY with no virtual option and currently no satellite location on the peninsula.  With growing interest, we may add an adult component to the Hampton location in the future.  Unlike our other programs, there is no set session fee for this club.  Players pay entry fees per event and must maintain current HRCA and US Chess membership.  This club is NOT on the registration form.  Simply contact us if you’d like to play.

HRCA Ladder Club:  NEW this year, and due to the division of HRSCC into three separate sub-clubs, we are removing the Ladder from that club and offering it as an option for any HRCA youth (PK-12) member.  A Ladder is a way of structuring casual games in which players are randomly placed on a board from top to bottom at the beginning of the quarterly session, and rules are in place for players to challenge each other to games in order to try to climb the ladder.  At the end of each quarter, awards will be presented to top overall and ability group finishers based on how many players are on the ladder.  Players simply show up at the designated time and place to make their challenges and play their games.  They are also welcome to stay for casual games until the end of the Ladder Club time period.  Ladder games are not rated, and players of any ability are welcome, as long as they know the rules and can play a complete game of chess.  This Club meets on TUESDAYS from 7:30-8:30 PM at the Mid-Atlantic Chess Center in Virginia Beach.  This Club is limited to 50 players.

HRCA Women and Girls Chess ClubOnly about 15% of all US Chess rated players are women and girls.  Girls often find themselves the ONLY girl in their chess class or club and may drop out as a result.  NEW this year, HRCA is offering a club exclusively for women and girls, who enjoy each other’s company while playing chess.  This is a casual club where members and volunteers will teach, mentor, and guide each other.  Additional activities will be offered throughout the year, such as outings or guest speakers, with a focus on empowering women and girls through chess.  This Club meets on THURSDAYS from 6:00-7:00 PM (members are welcome to stay a little later if desired) In-Person ONLY at the Mid-Atlantic Chess Center in Virginia Beach. 

Other Offerings

ChessKid Gold:  HRCA strongly encourages all kids to actively use ChessKid.com for supplemental training, regardless of which classes you are taking, if any.  ChessKid provides over 120 structured, cartoon-based video lessons with interactive tests that will take your child from how the pieces move to advanced concepts that can help a tournament player raise their rating as high as 1400 before moving on to Chess.com.  You can also solve thousands of puzzles, play unlimited live and correspondence games, complete workouts on certain chess positions, watch more videos, read articles, and more.  We have used ChessKid for many years and find that kids who actively use the site daily and complete all the lessons, in conjunction with training from HRCA, have all risen to very high competitive levels.  ChessKid provides a solid foundation in chess for your child.  As an HRCA member, you can benefit from a steep discount off the retail $50 for a ChessKid Gold (full access) account for a year (our batch year runs September to September).  Because we own hundreds of accounts, we can offer them to our members for $15.   This is a members-only discount.  Even if ChessKid is the only thing you want from HRCA, along with the $10 HRCA membership, you are still only paying half retail price.   ChessKid Gold is included in Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club and Old Donation School program fees.  All other students must pay separately to purchase an account.  If you already have a basic account you’d like us to import to save your progress, we can do that, too!  “ChessKid Only” registrations are restricted to local and alumni kids only, though – sorry!  You can “register” for a ChessKid Gold account at the link at the bottom of the page.  We will contact you to see if you have an existing account or would like us to create one for you.

Tournaments, Workshops, Camps, and More:  Your HRCA membership, required for any of the programs above, also entitles you to play in local HRCA tournaments on the weekends, to attend Masters workshops or guest lectures in person and online, to participate in simultaneous exhibitions, camps, and any other activities we provide to our members (additional event entry costs usually apply).  Once you have joined, you will be added to our e-mail distribution / app notification list and will always receive notifications of upcoming events that may be relevant to you.

***HRCA will provide any disability accommodations necessary for any player desiring to participate in any program***


Program Name Category In-Person Location Day Time Age / Rating Format
Coach Jay’s Chess Academy Chess Foundations Class Mid-Atlantic Chess Center (VB) Monday 6:00-7:00 PM In-Person/Hybrid; 5:30-6:30 PM for Virtual Only Ages 7 and up (younger by exception), all abilities In-Person/Hybrid Zoom (White thru Green); Virtual Only (Purple+)
Think Like a King Chess Foundations Class Mid-Atlantic Chess Center (VB) Wednesday 6:00-7:00 PM Ages 8 and up (younger by exception), all abilities In-Person/Hybrid Zoom (first 4 courses); Virtual Only (upper 3 courses)
Story Time Chess Chess Foundations Class Mid-Atlantic Chess Center (VB) Thursday 5:30-6:15 PM (Level 1); 6:30-7:15 PM (Level 2) Ages 4-6 (3 by exception) In-Person only
Move-by-Move Youth (Peninsula) Informal Class Ivy Memorial (Hampton) Monday 5:30-6:30 PM All ages with basic knowledge of rules In-Person only
Move-by-Move Youth Informal Class Mid-Atlantic Chess Center (VB) Thursday 6:00-7:00 PM All ages with basic knowledge of rules In-Person only
Adult / Teen Learn to Play Informal Class Mid-Atlantic Chess Center (VB) Tuesday 7:30-8:30 PM Ages 13 and up In-Person only
Reassessing Your Chess Master Level Instruction Mid-Atlantic Chess Center (VB) Tuesday 7:30-8:30 PM 700 rated and up In-Person / Hybrid Zoom
Prophylactic Thinking Master Level Instruction Mid-Atlantic Chess Center (VB) Thursday 6:30-7:30 PM 700 rated and up In-Person / Hybrid Zoom
The Geniuses of the 1800’s Master Level Instruction NA Monday 6:00-7:00 PM 1000 rated and up (lower by exception) Virtual (Zoom) only
Hampton Roads Scholastic Chess Club (HRSCC) Tournament Club Mid-Atlantic Chess Center (VB) Tuesday 5:30-7:15 PM PK-12 all abilities with knowledge of basic rules In-Person or Virtual (private chess server with Zoom support)
HRSCC Peninsula Satellite Club Tournament Club Ivy Memorial (Hampton) Monday 6:30-8:00 PM PK-12 all abilities with knowledge of basic rules In-Person only
HRCC Tournament Club Mid-Atlantic Chess Center (VB) Tuesday 7:30-UTC (9:30-10:30 PM) Adults and Advanced Youth In-Person only
HRCA Ladder Club Structured Casual Games Mid-Atlantic Chess Center (VB) Tuesday 7:30-8:30 PM PK-12 all abilities with knowledge of basic rules In-Person only
HRCA Women and Girls Club Casual Club with Informal Instruction and Games Mid-Atlantic Chess Center (VB) Thursday 6:00-7:00 PM Women and girls only, all ages and abilities; no knowledge required In-Person only


We recommend you carefully review all the options and make notes of the programs you wish to register for.  Descriptions are not available on the registration form itself.  Once you complete the form, we will contact you with any questions we might have and will send you a Quickbooks invoice.


The firm deadline submit an application requesting a needs-based scholarship is August 30th.  No applications will be accepted after that date.

Priority Registration period is from August 13th to August 30th.  Be sure to register right away to ensure a seat in a physical classroom or on Zoom.  After August 30th, Zoom seats may be given to out-of-area students, and physical classrooms may be considered full and closed, with no additional coaches laid on.  Local and alumni students have priority of seats during this period. Non-local / non-alumni students acknowledge that even if they register during this period, their seats in Zoom classes are based on space available as of August 31st.  You will be notified on that day if you are accepted into the class.

Any registration after August 30th is considered “Late” and will be accepted only on a space available basis.  The firm deadline to register for all programs is September 6th.  Programs with low enrollment may be cancelled after this date, and we will work with students to register them in another program.  There is no guarantee of acceptance for registrations submitted between August 31st and September 6th, and registrations will be taken after September 6th only with extenuating circumstances.

Contact Tina with any questions before you register.