UPDATED VERSION 1 January 2020
1. I read about becoming a student on the site – what is that exactly about?
By becoming a student, in addition to getting chess instruction, you can also play in our end of the month competitions on the last Saturday (in DB) or last Sunday (in Sheung Wan). It is meant for practice purposes and testing out what has been learned.
2. What other benefits come from being a student?
As a student you will also have first priority in matches organized between Caissa and other clubs, teams, including overseas matches and also first priority to attend clinics and seminars given by our high caliber visiting guest lecturers up until Grandmaster level. For tournaments organized by Caissa you get discount on registration fees.
3. How do I know which course is right for me or my child?
For complete or very beginners we start with Stepping Stones (young children) or Step 1. Only after these courses players will be able to enjoy playing a chess game.
If you have more experience, got previous training or played in a tournament already, you can visit our center on the club meeting days and we will do an entry test assessment which will indicate the proper course level to take.
4. Step method – does that cover openings, middle game, tactics, calculation etc?
It is a misconception that the Step method is about doing puzzles and linear progress. The Step method is a platform, didactically well thought through, from which to teach or learn chess. The materials cannot be used in isolation of, e.g., analyzing games played by students. The Step method supports understanding opening ideas that lead to middle game structures and end games types - and how to tactically and strategically respond tho those.
Cor van Wijgerden, who with Rob Brunia created the system, was awarded the prestigious Max Euwe Ring, given only once in 5 years to people with extraordinary contributions to chess. An entire Dutch generation of current Grand Masters grew up with the system – see what they have to say.
5. And what are clinics or camps?
A chess clinic or camp is a 3 to 5 days consecutive training event of 2 to 3 hours per day. Training is given in a small group covering broad chess topics that are taught in a variety of ways, like puzzles, mini-tournaments, simultane chess, analysis of own games and so on. Clinics are typically held during school holidays and they reflect a fun and holiday mood. Participants typically pick up a lot due to the length of the sessions and little time to forget in between them
6. What are the private lessons about?
Private lessons make most sense for players who are at least Step 3 and wish to develop a personalized opening repertoire, understand specific chess strategies or prepare for a tournament. In other instances private lessons can be helpful to accelerate learning of specific topics at any of the Step levels.
Private lessons need to be useful to our students. We do not compromise our chess methodology for commercial gain. Just like at Primary or Secondary school with math or when studying piano, a 10 year old is not in need of a Ph.D. mathematician or a concert pianist to improve at his/her level. Although many parents think that for chess the best way forward for their 8, 10 or 12 years old child is to be trained by chess Masters, we will not give in to that unless we see a promising way forward.
7. How much does it cost?
Small group lessons with up to 8 students per teacher cost 275 HKD per class, payable in a full month basis (some months will have 4 classes, some months 5).
The fee structure for private and semi-private lessons will be as follows per 1 January 2020:
Private lessons at one of our centers cost 490HKD/hour and for other locations 100HKD is added. If an IM Coach is requested, 100 HKD/hour will be added.
For 2 students, the base fee will be 590 HKD/hour. For 3 students, 890 HKD/hour. For 4 students, 1190 HKD/hour. Transport Fee and IM Fee to be added on top if applicable.
NOTE 1: for semi-private and private lessons cancellation needs to take place 24 hours before the lesson otherwise the full fee will be charged.
NOTE 2: for group classes, if one class is missed for any circunstance, 1 make-up class allowed to be taken in the same month (no carrying over) and only if the class size of the make-up class is not at full capacity
8. What are the benefits of chess?
We have compiled an info pack that will tell you all about it.
9. EGTP - Elite Group Training. What is that?
To prepare and to aim for a top spot in a reputable (international) tournament, focused training is required. Such training must take into account current strengths and weaknesses of the player, both chess technical as well as along a more personal dimension like personality, mindset, style preferences etc.
It is unlikely to amalgamate all these effectively in a few weeks before a major tournament, let alone if spread out over an-hour-a-week lesson.
Through the Elite Group Training Program (EGTP), by invitation only, we offer selected players rigorous preparation for a major event about a year away. Classes are three hours in a row in the weekends and are heavily discounted. This is our investment in our best talents ... but only if they are ready to put their skin in the game too by doing weekly homework and participate in several tournaments. More information is here.
10. I see a lot of photos on the site - can we refuse our photos to be published?
Of course we will not publish any photo against your wishes. The photos we use are never for commercial purpose and more reflect a genuine club magazine that celebrates both in text and visuals the results of a tournament or of some of our players achievements, or a team that went abroad etc., presented as a casual news article. Our photo album dates back to 2012, right when we started. In case you do not want us to use a photo you are on, just let us know via our contact mail!