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5 Days of Chess

This summer we are offering four FREE chess workshops and a FREE chess tournament at City Hall Plaza funded by a grant from the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture. A US Chess Federation titled player will guide you at each workshop covering elements of the opening, the middle game and endgame. Each workshop starts at 2pm and lasts 1 to 1.5 hours followed by casual chess until 5pm. Then, once you've improved your chess, enter the blitz tournament in early August. 


NM Ryan Young is an experienced chess player and coach. He attained the title of National Master in 2017 and has been coaching for over a decade. He has experience teaching private lessons, group classes, workshops, and Scholastic Nationals teams.

Target Audience

Workshops are for players who have mastered the basics of chess and are now seeking to get to intermediate level. Suitable for those with ratings between 1,000 and 1,400. Adults and juniors ages 10 and up. The tournament is open to everyone regardless of their rating.


The Civic Pavillion at Boston City Hall Plaza, Downtown Boston. The closest T stop is Government Center.

Workshop Details, Dates & Times

1. Unfamiliar Waters (Sunday, July 2, 2pm) 

In the first workshop, we will explore a problem that is common for many beginners in the opening: what to do in the opening when our opponent makes an unexpected move. 

2. Pawn Structure, the Key to Planning in Chess (Sunday, July 9, 2pm) 

Andre Philidor once said, “Pawns are the soul of chess.” In week 2, we will use the pawn structure to create a plan and explore pawn breaks in a variety of situations. 

3. The Battle of Knights and Bishops (Sunday, July 16, 2pm) 

Students will learn about the subtle battle of the minor pieces. In which positions is the knight better than the bishop? Or vice versa? 

4. Endgame Basics - Rook and Pawn (Sunday, July 23, 2pm) 

Rook and pawn endings occur more often than any other endgame. We will learn some basic tactical and strategic themes as well as a few key positions and how to work your way towards them. 


On Sunday, August 6th from 2-5pm there will be a five or six round blitz tournament with SWISS pairing. The tournament is open to everyone, regardless of rating. Time controls are five minutes and no increment. Players play two games in each round. Games are unrated. The tournament may be split into two categories based on ability – Upper and Lower (max 20-25 players per category) with prizes awarded for first place and highest performing junior. Players are requested to register in advance for the tournament with spare spots also available on the day. 


To register for the workshops and/or tournament click here. Note that the workshops and tournament capacity is limited to 40 people. If registration is full then spots may become available on the day. For the list of entrants (updated weekly) click here


As mentioned, this is FREE. This program is supported in part by a grant from the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.

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