Learn to Play Chess Workshop — Winter 2020

Starting January 24th, Sahan Karunaratne, who was the External Events Coordinator in 2018-2019, will be hosting a 8-lesson workshop sequel to his Fall Beginner Workshop to introduce beginners totally new to the game or with very little training to the wonderful world of chess! Join Sahan and your fellow chess club members on Friday evenings, 5-6 pm in the Reading Room (please see below for details and a tentative syllabus) as you explore the rules, and learn about chess notation, game analysis, strategy and tactics!


Tentative Syllabus
Jan 24th – How to Stop Making Blunders!

Jan 31st – Learning Chess Notation and Analyzing the Game Move by Move

Feb 7th – Mating Techniques, King and Queen V. King and King and Rook V. King

Feb 14th – Mating Patterns

Feb 21st – The Skewer and the Pin

Feb 28th – The Double Attack

Mar 6th – Basic Endgame Theory

Mar 13th – Basic Opening and Middlegame Theory

Where: Hart House Reading Room
When: Friday evenings, 5:00 – 6:00 PM

Free entry for Hart House Chess Club Members!*

*A student membership costs only $25 and is valid for the entire year.


For whom is the Beginners Workshop intended?
The Beginners Workshop is for players who are either new to the game or else have
little to no training game.

What will you be able to do after completing all the workshops?

At the end of the workshop, you will be able to employ simple methods of evaluating positions; you will be able to apply common tactics such as forks, skewers and pins while thinking multiple moves ahead. Most importantly, you will drastically reduce the number of blunders you make (which will take your game to a new level!) and be able to defend against a considerable number of dubious traps. On the strategic side, you will be able to utilize opening principles to further strengthen both your attacks and defenses. You will also have developed the basic skills necessary in pawn endgames at their disposal and have knowledge of other key endgames.

What can you expect from each workshop?

The lessons are designed to train students in using multiple different recurring themes in chess to their advantage. This workshops are structured in such a way that reinforces past material and foreshadows upcoming topics. Each workshop will be mostly comprised of puzzles that are designed so as to allow the instructor to highlight the key patterns and ideas. Most lessons will incorporate a discussion of a real game to illustrate concepts in action.

Finally, please note that the motivation for providing these chess lessons is not just to make you better chess players but also to give you a sense of community at the Hart House Chess Club. We intend to make you confident in saying that you are a part of the chess community at large! We are trying our best to ensure that after these workshops are over, you will be able to read chess books, ask specific questions of your peers and thus rapidly improve. You can expect, if nothing else, that the workshops will demystify a lot of what is going on in the club, and any trepidation you feel will disappear!