Chess is a great activity for kids to explore. When your child learns to play chess, they can have fun while improving their working memory, cognitive flexibility, and self-monitoring skills. This classic game also teaches problem-solving, improves creative thinking, and increases concentration and memory.
The internet has made learning chess easy, and there are many websites focused on specifically teaching children. Additionally, online classes allow your children to learn at their own speed. Not to mention, courses can be conveniently tailored to your schedule.
Most of the courses are taught by FIDE-rated instructors. In case you weren’t aware of FIDE, it stands for The International Chess Federation, and the rating measures someone's abilities in chess. Here's a rundown of the best online chess classes.
Top 9 Online Chess Classes For Kids
1. Chess 4 Life
Chess is more than just a game, and Chess 4 Life recognizes this fact. They aim to teach children underlying principles useful in everyday life. This provides well-rounded instruction that happens to be centered on chess. Your child can receive lessons from a chess master and participate in chess tournaments apart from their daily classes.
Chess 4 Life makes things fun for children and provides one-on-one interaction from the start. All skill levels are welcome, from complete beginners to intermediate chess players. The students advanced through different levels at a time to ensure they’re developing at a good pace. They offer three price-tier options for chess players.
For $69, students can participate in weekly chess camps offering live lessons and daily tournament practice. Premium classes are available for $139/month and provide coaching in small groups, individual progress tracking, and a full curriculum to graduate through six levels of chess mastery. Students can also enter NWRS-rated tournaments weekly for $20.
Chess Max Academy allows students to work with a team of international chess grandmasters, all of which have incredible accolades. Students can choose how they want to learn as there is a program to suit every learning style.
The most flexible option is the online school, which includes thousands of exercises assigned individually by coaches at only $19/month. For a traditional lesson structure style, Chess Max Academy has options for every age and skill level. These range from pre-schoolers all the way up to twelve-year-olds and clock in at $350 per semester.
You can also sign up kids for one on one lessons from a true master of you’re choosing. It’s a more expensive option, with hourly rates ranging from $90 to 250, but it can provide access to individual learning. They offer in-person chess lessons for people of all ages in New York and Connecticut. They also host chess camps over the summer with half-day and full-day options.
iChessU meets students wherever they are in their journey and supplies lessons accordingly. You can start with a free trial which is a great way to assess your child’s skill level.
After the trial and assessment, players select a lesson plan suited to their commitment level and budget. All lesson plans include a clear path of progression and improvement. This is guaranteed by the master players on staff who serve as teachers and coaches.
Competition is a central focus at iChessU, and the lessons provided allow young students to compete right away with opponents of a similar skill level.
Lesson plans are priced with a set number of hours per plan and range from $180/month, which gets your child 4 hours of private instruction, all the way up to $600/month, which get 20 hours of private education. Group lessons can also be chosen if that’s the student's preference.
4. Chess At 3
Chess at 3 begins children on their chess journey as early as age 3 with their unique brand of teaching that involves storytelling. Through this blend of storytelling and tutoring, Chess at 3 engages players in a way that they find entertaining and instructional.
Children get one-on-one chess lessons through popular online communication platforms like Google Hangouts, Skype, and Zoom. The program has nearly 100 instructors who serve as chess guides and storytellers. Their interactive stories provide immersion that traditional instruction can’t.
Chess at 3 utilizes the open-source chess server Lichess for lessons and can assist students in opening a free account. From there, they use a straightforward hourly rate ranging from $80/hour for one-on-one sessions to $60/hour for group sessions. This allows kids as much or as little time as they need without any monthly commitment.
If you’re a New York City or Los Angeles resident, you can hire one of their in-person tutors for your kids.
5. Kid Chess
Kid Chess does a great job of highlighting the fun and playful aspects of chess. The programs approach chess as a whimsical game that supplies children with critical thinking, confidence, and an idea of what competition means.
They offer private, hourly lessons as well as chess camps during the summer, spring and winter months. After creating a free account, students are guided through a custom curriculum tailored to their skill level and progression. New skills are introduced, and existing skills are maintained and fostered. This allows every child the confidence and self-esteem they need to improve their game.
Hourly rates mean no monthly commitment, with no hidden fees or automatic renewals. There is a $50.00/hour a-la-carte option and a reduced rate at 5 and 10 hours of lesson time. Productive teaching at an affordable price makes Kid Chess worth checking out for your child. Despite its name, they also offer adult chess classes in case parents are interested in learning.
HobSpace provides 1:1 online chess instruction from top-notch instructors. Designed by Grandmasters Ramachandran Ramesh and Aarthie Ramaswamy, classes are intended for students ages 4-15.
Students receive instruction from FIDE-rated mentors with over a decade of experience. Instructional periods last one hour and include a variety of learning tools, including puzzles, videos, and direct instruction emphasizing attack and defense tactics.
For $864, beginner and intermediate courses offer 48 classes with 36 hours of personal chess training. Students learn game basics and signature moves and gain access to tournament play. Additionally, intermediate students acquire ratings and rankings.
For advanced players, 96 classes and 76 hours of online instruction are offered for $1728. However, currently, the course is offered at a 15% discount. All classes provide reviews, tests, practice and game analysis sessions, and lifetime access to course content.
HobSpace also offers an entire blog packed with helpful information accessible at no charge.
ChessKid provides a wealth of resources, videos, and gameplay, all free of charge. Kids learn the basics of the game and play chess against AI Bots and other children. There are various puzzles to analyze and improve your child's gameplay, and a fantastic visual trainer helps kids memorize square identity and make moves as quickly as possible.
Chess workouts help children identify checkmate arrangements and endgame strategies. There's even a classroom planner that helps you teach your child. In addition, a unique adventure app in a world of dragons and unicorns takes your kid on a fun, interactive chess-learning adventure.
ChessKid has one of the largest, kid-friendly servers to ensure your child's safety.
Even with all the free stuff, ChessKid also offers 1:1 instruction through FIDE-rated instructors. For $280, your child sits with an instructor through four different one-hour sessions utilizing an online platform. You can also sign them up for eight hours for $500.
ChessMatec is designed with younger learners in mind. Students can sign up for their free account, which limits access to the first-level curriculum. Through a series of engaging, interactive chess, young children learn essential fundamentals.
Presented without any verbal instruction, kids are provided with visual examples to mimic the moves of chessboard pieces and play strategies. Each lesson begins with a limited view of the chessboard, and the viewpoint expands as children learn and master moves.
There are a total of eight instructional areas with 8-10 levels within each area awaiting to be unlocked. Children progress through locked areas as milestones are achieved. Free resources, including worksheets and coloring pages, are also available. Kids can access the platform from any device.
For $30 a year, you get the complete version, including full-fledged lesson plans, or you can opt to pay $4 per month instead. Each lesson offers an entertaining Kingdom video that teaches game rules and how chess pieces move. Following the video, they can enjoy interactive games and exercises reinforcing the learning experience.
The Summit School of Chess focuses on a more personal approach. Touting eleven state champions in nine years, Summit School strives to help kids in grades 1st through 12th acquire a full comprehension of the game and its mechanics, as well as real-time application of skills.
For $52 a month, you can sign your child up for online group classes taught directly by US National Chessmaster Jesse Cohen. Jesse also has a YouTube channel filled with an abundance of entertaining and instructional videos.
Classes run once per week for a period of four to five weeks and begin at 5 PM. Each lesson presents 30 minutes of instruction followed by 30 minutes of gameplay. If you have a super eager learner, there's also an Unlimited Pass option for $90, which allows your child an unlimited number of classes per month. The classes run from 6:00 - 7:00 pm.
All classes are conducted via Zoom. If you live in the Colorado area, in-person classes, more coaching options, and chess tournament gameplay are additional options.