Chess Master Connections History
Chess Master Connections (CMC) was founded in 2008 by Chess Masters Jorge Sammour-Hasbun and George Sammour, along with two parents of chess-playing children, Lori DeCesaris and Carolyn Mark.
CMC was founded on the principle that Chess Masters have the knowledge and ability to most appropriately teach children the fundamentals of the game, as well as higher levels of play. Children who are taught by non-masters often find they must go through a period of unlearning before they are able to break habits that will not serve them well as they progress as players in the game.
This principle was borne out when, within the first year of its existence, Chess Master Connections students swept both the 2008 Rhode Island Interscholastic Chess League Competition as well as the Rhode Island State Scholastic Championships.
Our curriculum is based on the belief that chess can serve as an important tool for teaching a wide range of knowledge and skill, including: mathematics, spatial logic and reasoning, strategic planning, history, geography, good character and more. While some classes are geared toward beginners and others toward more advanced players, CMC instructors are well equipped to tailor instruction based on the individual needs of the child.
A BEGINNER is considered to be a child who is new to the game of chess or whose knowledge of the game is limited. Beginners will have the opportunity to:
- Learn such chess fundamentals as how to move the pieces, the numerical value of the pieces, the method for calculating game advantage, and the rules of the game;
- Develop a fundamental understanding of the chess board itself including a mathematical understanding of the board squares, and the strategic importance of the center of the board;
- Have the opportunity to practice playing chess under the supervision of a trained instructor skilled in providing encouragement and feedback.
An INTERMEDIATE player is considered to be a child who has mastered the basics of the game, and is ready to move on to more advanced concepts. A child at the intermediate level will learn:
- Basic mating concepts (eg. “Fool’s Mate” and “Smother Mate”)
- The importance of detecting patterns and threats during the course of play
- How to “develop” one’s pieces
- Understanding various opening, middle and end games
- The importance of mental discipline
- How to neutralize your opponent’s pieces
- The strategic value of pawns
- How to utilize the “battle zone”
- Spacial logic, reasoning and exceptions
- The strategic use and misuse of “simplification”
- Basic preparation for tournament play
An ADVANCED player is a child who is ready for an even higher level of play. Children at this level will:
- Learn how to develop strategic game plans;
- Become familiar with the classical players of chess (including history, styles of play, and famous games);
- Develop the discipline and appropriate psychology for competitive tournament play;
- Learn how to effectively utilize advanced computer chess programs for competitive play and game analysis.