UPDATED VERSION 1 January 2018
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 stratedically 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?
A chess clinic is like a camp in any other sport. Training in a small group will be given that cover broad chess topics 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.
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 1,000HKD a month, roughly 4 lessons of 60 minutes.
The fee structure for private and semi-private lessons will be as follows per 1 January 2018:
Semi-private lessons (2-4 students) cost 275HKD per student for 60 minutes at one of our chess clubs. For other locations 100HKD is added to the total.
Private lessons at one of our centers cost 450HKD for 60 minutes and for other locations 100HKD is added.
Private lessons by IM at one of our centers cost 550HKD for 60 minutes and for other locations 100HKD is added.
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: we have not risen our fees for 6 years - and we aim to keep it like that in 2018. However, lessons need to be paid minimal a month in advance. If the fee remains unpaid while classes were taken, there will be a 10% late payment surcharge for the whole month. If the monthly fee paid in time was e.g., 1,000HK$ the fee to be paid with late charge will be 1,100HK$.
8. YGP - Youth Grand Prix. Has changed name in 2017 into CGP - Caissa Grand Prix. I hear that full sponsorship to participate in an overseas prestigious tournament is available?
We make sponsorship available to our best scoring CGP players, youth and adults alike, to qualify and become part of our team to represent Caissa Hong Kong Chess Club in a high quality and youth friendly overseas tournament – fully sponsored, flying with Cathay Pacific!
By joining our qualifying Standard chess, Rapid chess and Blitz chess events players can collect grand prix points. Ranking in each of the tournaments will determine how many grand prix points players will get. Not all tournaments are equal. For Standard chess events each player brings in 5 CGP points and for a Rapid and Blitz event each player brings in 3 CGP points.The winner of an event will get 30% of the total points, 2nd place will get 25%, 3rd place 20%, 4th place 15% and 5th place 10%. If for example in a Standard chess event we have 10 players, then the CGP point pool is 10×5=50 CGP points. The champion will then earn 0.3×50=15 points, 2nd place will get 0.25×50=12.5 points and so on.
After all qualifying CGP events are finished the top performers can qualify to play fully sponsored in an International Open event.
9. What are the benefits of chess?
We have compiled an info pack that will tell you all about it.
10. 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 at least a year away. More information is here.
11. What happens in case of typhoon or rainstorm?
All our centres will be closed and activities cancelled during typhoon 8 or higher and black rain period as follows:
T8 or above or black rain hoisted or still in force 7am, all morning classes until 1pm cancelled. One day tournaments that start in the morning fully cancelled. If tournament was to be held in our own Sheung Wan centre, the tournament will be rescheduled and the fee will be applied for the new date. Refund is also possible in that case but there will be no refund if the tournament was to take place at other venue.
If T8 or above or black rain hoisted or still in force 12 noon, all afternoon and evening classes cancelled. One day afternoon tournament also cancelled and rescheduling and refund of fees as per above. In case of a Standard chess multiple afternoon tournament, the round is cancelled and we play one round less.
If hoisted or in force at 5pm evening classes cancelled. In case of a Standard chess multiple evening tournament, handling per above.
In case of Co-Curricular Activities or Extra-Curricular Activities at school, we will follow the school protocol.
12. Are lessons refunded when missed due to typhoon or rainstorm?
Lessons are not refunded but we do allow make-up class for all our students, regular and ECA/CCA, within a month at any of our centres in classes that are not full yet.