May 3, 2015


About Images


Teaching Chess to Groups, a downloadable (PDF) handbook for youth coaches.ccf_teaching-chess_handbook_cover_2015_148x196


Many good chess players are interested in coaching but have not previously taught chess to groups. This may include parents, community residents, high school players, members of local chess clubs, and serious competitive players. If you are such a person, this handbook is for you. It does not teach chess, but instead lays out a method of teaching it.


There are many ways to teach chess, and another approach may work better in your setting. But this downloadable handbook, prepared and reviewed by experienced coaches, is one place to start.


Teaching Chess to Groups (PDF)

Beginner & Intermediate Chess, a downloadable (PDF) curriculum with diagrams (available for download as PGN) for youth coaches.ccf_beginning-intermediate_curriculum_cover_2015_148x196


This curriculum is the second of two publications designed to help new chess coaches who play a solid game and are willing to teach but aren’t sure exactly where to start. In this 50 page document we address the substance of the game with topics arranged in what we believe to be a sensible sequence.


We include approximately 150 board diagrams, which comprise about half the length of the curriculum. The source files for all diagrams are provided below as one PGN file. Use the chess database software of your choice to utilize the file. Brief instructions are included at the end of the curriculum. Additional software is required to make use of the PGN.

Beginner & Intermediate Chess (PDF)

Beginner & Intermediate Chess Chess Diagrams (PGN)  (right-click, select Save link as…, select download destination, select Save)

CCF Coach Marketplace, which lists coaches in the Chicagoland area available for group or private lessons

CCF is using a growing number of coaches in our own programs, and schools and parents are more frequently looking for good candidates for both group instruction and private tutoring.

We have set up an online marketplace designed to list interested coaches. The database, which appears here, includes a photo of each coach and data on his or her background, experience, references, and pricing.

Being listed does not imply an endorsement from CCF. Those interested may submit their listing at this form


CCF Fellows Program, beginning in the fall of 2017, will provide high school and college students to schools, libraries and community centers interested in building or strengthening chess programs. Fellows are highly motivated individuals with a commitment to public service and who enjoy working with children. Their participation can be used to fulfill service learning or community service requirements.

The application is available here.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.


Chess score sheet, a downloadable (PDF) 100 move chess score sheet for recording games at home, school or tournaments.
ccf chess score sheet 2015

This score sheet is a two-page document, meant to be printed on both sides of a 8.5″x11″ (Letter size) sheet of paper and cut in half to provide two score sheets per piece of paper. The document is meant to be printed in gray-scale.





Chess score sheet (PDF) is the Illinois Chess Association’s (ICA) website. They are the Illinois state affiliate of the USCF (see below). In their “Youth Resources” section they have an extensive knowledge base of chess information relevant to parents and coaches including a detailed discussion on how to start a chess program. They also have the state’s most extensive listing of tournaments, camps and other chess events.
sportsactivities/chess is the chess section of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) website. If you want to know about high school chess events in Illinois, this is the place to go.[ is the United States Chess Federation’s (USCF) website. They are the regulatory oversight for rated tournaments in the USA. They provide information in the form of online and printed publications along with sponsorship of chess events. is an excellent resource for students, coaches and parents. Developed and maintained by, this site, also has a free membership. Paid memberships provide additional tools. This site provides a free curriculum to coaches and parents to utilize when mapping out their student(s) development. The tools provided to coaches and parents allow for a more protected environment for students than most other tools.[ is the biggest name website for the chess community. It has a free membership option that allows users to play games against other users, access to several tactical exercises and a daily puzzle. Paid memberships provide access to additional tools that will help students, who consistently use them to improve their game. Their Chess Mentor is a powerful enabling tool for students who are willing, patient skilled enough to go through the lessons. Members are comprised of a wide range of ages and the conversations are not always kid-friendly. This website is a better resource for coaches and intermediate+ students than beginners., aka Internet Chess Club, offers a widely used chess playing environment. They offer a one-month free membership. It is a direct competitor with They may not be as full-featured, but their services are solid and they offer kid-safe accounts. is the best resource for finding out what is happening in the chess world. News and announcements have an international bent. is an excellent resource for the serious student and coach. There is a broad range of specific topics for the videos and a plethora of tools, such as a diagram generator, to prepare a learning experience. is a wonderful resource for intermediate+ students to browse historic games and coaches to create collections of games to support a lesson plan. They have a free membership that allows for robust access to their tools.