Introducing: Online Autumn Chess Clubs
From Autumn 2020 the UK Chess Challenge are launching CLUB – a termly membership where players get access to weekly online competitions and lessons which are banded into five ability levels. There are four membership types so you can choose the features and budget that is right for you. The start date is the 7th of September.
We are passionate about giving children the opportunity to “Learn, Practise and Play” and our clubs have all three of these elements in abundance mixed in of course with that vital ingredient – fun!
Basic: £ FREE!
That’s right – this plan is completely free! This is a good option if you want to perhaps try out online chess before you buy and might be particularly suited to beginners. A weekly activity sheet is emailed out so that children can tackle ability appropriate puzzles and tasks designed to entertain and educate. Children also get to take part in a week competition (in one of 5 ability groups).
This membership level includes
- Weekly activity and answer video
- 1 x weekly “friendly tournament” (no prizes or ongoing leaderboards)
- Access to beginner resource library
Compete: Now £19 (<£3 per week)
Compete is for those players who want to experience the thrill of competitive tournament chess alongside peers of a similar ability group and get to track their progress in the weekly leaderboards. Not only does Compete plan feature a wider array of tournaments but there are also competitions held at weekend. All players will receive a certificate of participation at the end of term and access to the “New Year Finale” on 2nd January 2021.
This membership level includes everything in “Basic” PLUS
- Participation in the weekly leaderboard and eligibility for prizes (performance and effort based)
- 2 x weekend events per week (Saturday and Sunday)
- Access to the “New Year Finale” on 2nd January 20201
- Certificate of participation
- Access to WhatsApp help and support group and email support
Achieve: Now £49 (<£6 per week) – MOST POPULAR
Achieve is for those players who are keen to improve and want the excitement of a weekly live online session with our Head Coach WFM Sarah Longson (plus guests)! This is our CORE product and we have invested a lot of time and research into crafting exciting and interactive sessions for our members. The sessions are 45 minutes in length with a core chess theme – the content is a mix of quiz, polls, fun videos and brief to the point examples. Achieve members will also get access to our full resource library including pdfs, videos and interactive puzzles.
This membership level includes everything in “Compete” PLUS
- Weekly Zoom Lesson
- Access to full resource library (pdfs, videos and interactive puzzles)
- End of Term graded assessment
VIP: Now £99 (<£12 per week)
VIP is for those who want the personal touch. Being a VIP entails access to Sarah’s inner circle where we can offer phone support and individual feedback on top of the regular weekly sessions and competitions that the children enjoy. Members also receive exclusive access to simuls (think challenge match) against titled players and a welcome pack (including initial assessment call). Due to the nature of this product numbers are strictly limited.
This membership level includes everything in “Achieve” PLUS
- Welcome Pack and initial assessment call
- Individual feedback and tailored end of term report
- Access to simuls (challenge the coach matches)
- Phone support
Fantastic weekends of chess – very well organised. Sophie enjoyed them immensely. A big thank you to Sarah, Alex and Pauline and all the coaches for giving up so much of their time to make it such a success.Rafik Filobbos
This has been a really good pair of weekends Sarah and Alex, it’s obvious you’ve both put loads of effort into making it interactive. In fact so good that in some ways it’s actually better than a normal academy weekend. I’d be quite happy to keep some of the weekends like this after lockdown returns to normal. ??Neil Jackson
Dear Team, I’d like to congratulate you all on the fantastic megafinals and gigafinals that you’ve organised. I can only imagine what a logistical challenge this must have been! My son, Sammy, really enjoyed playing in both tournaments and it was a really exciting and educational experience for him. I’m sure all the children learnt a lot from this wonderful opportunity and experience.
Many thanks, and well done again on organising this fabulous competition.My Anh
Hi Alex and Sarah – Niamh absolutely loved her prize in the post today. We had no idea that she had one until she opened the letter so it was a lovely surprise. It made her day. The chess sessions have been brilliant. I am at work 3 days each week and my husband works from home so the chess camp has kept all three children occupied on the days that I am at work and has really improved their chess.
When you join the UKCC Online Club you are fully protected by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you don’t feel like you’ve received value and you decide you want to cancel any time within the next 14 days, just let us know what the problem is by email. If we genuinely can’t resolve your problem then we’ll send you a prompt refund. No hassles, headaches or hoops to jump through.
We’re confident that you and your child will enjoy the Club and we won’t make you beg or invoke any silly rules or conditions – if you’re not satisfied within your first 14 days then we’ll refund you without any fuss.
Levels and Lesson Times
Whichever membership level you select you will then be placed into an experience level category. We will do this automatically but we can change this in consultation with the parents. The idea is players can move up and down these levels term to term depending on how they are finding things.
- Deca Club – for beginners who don’t yet have a full grasp of the rules (or maybe know nothing at all about chess)!
- Mega Club – players who know the rules but little to no tournament experience (graded 0 – 59 approximately)
- Giga Club – players with some tournament experience looking to “level up” (graded 60 – 99 approximately)
- Tera Club – more experienced players who have won or placed high in competitions (graded 100 – 129 approximately)
- Exa Club – very experienced players with success at National level (graded 130 – 159 approximately)
The timings of the Club are:
1715 – 1800 Lesson
1800 – 1845 Competition
1400 – 1530 Competition
The days of the week are:
Monday – Deca Club
Tuesday – Mega Club
Wednesday – Giga Club
Thursday – Tera club
Friday – Exa Club
Saturday – All Clubs
Sunday – All Clubs
Please note that whilst the competitions and weekly activities will take place every week the weekly lessons will NOT take place on the following weeks:
W/C 26th October
W/C 14th December
W/C 21st December
W/C 28th December
The “New Year Finale” will take place on Saturday 2nd January 2021
Q: When does it start?
The first week of teaching and competitions is the week commencing the 7th of September.
Q: How do we take part in the competitions
A: The competitions all take place on lichess.org, the best place on the internet to play chess. If you haven’t already you will need to create a FREE account and join the UKCC Autumn 2020 Team
Q: What is the difference between “membership level” and “experience level”
A: The “membership level” (ie ‘Basic’, ‘Compete’, ‘Achieve’ and ‘VIP’) is independent of experience level and includes different features at different price points. So decide what features are important to you and what you are willing to pay. The experience levels (Deca, Mega, Giga, Tera, Exa) represent the player’s current experience / ability level. We will estimate this based on what we know of the player, though we may need some further information from the parent. The level is supposed to be an estimate and isn’t binding.
Q: What software are your lessons run on?
A: We use Zoom, the market leader in online video conferencing. The software is secure and full of features that help bring interactive online chess clubs to life. If you haven’t used Zoom before we will send you full video instructions explaining the features. You will also be sent the meeting IDs and Passwords in your joining instructions post purchase.
Q: Do you offer sibling discounts?
A: Yes we do! We offer a 25% discount for the 2nd child and 50% for the 3rd and subsequent children. We can’t (yet) apply the discount on our online checkout so you will need to complete the purchase at full price and email us notifying us of the sibling purchase and we will immediately refund the difference to your card. Please note that if different membership types are purchased then the discount/s will apply to the lowest priced products.
Q: What if I can’t attend the day of the week that my level is scheduled for?
A: It may be suitable for you to join one level up or down – ie the day before or after. If not then a good option for you might be the ‘Compete’ membership where you will receive the content of the lessons and can study it in your own pace.
Q: Is the 100% money back guarantee really guaranteed?
A: Yes though you must notify us of your intention to reclaim the money within 14 days of the purchase. We’d like to hear from you why we’re not meeting your expectations and if there is anything we can do to improve.
Q: Who leads the lessons?
A: Our Head Coach and Founding Director WFM Sarah Longson leads the lessons and is assisted by a panel of teaching assistants including Jonny Bennett who fans of our twitch channel will recognise. Sarah has many years experience of teaching chess from beginner level to international level and many of her students have represented their country at international level. Sarah was the 2013 British Ladies Champion so has experience of competing at a high level herself though is currently less active due to the arrival of Isabelle Longson in February 2020!
Q: What makes your lessons different?
A: As players, organisers and parents we feel like we’ve got a pretty good idea why children enjoy playing chess and why parents are happy to see their children playing chess. We’ve got a lot of experience in experimenting with different formats and we know what’s good and also what doesn’t work! By giving us the opportunity to help your child discover their passion for the game we can promise you:
- Active participation is standard and feedback sought throughout the term
- Classes and competitions split by ability levels and material specifically tailored to that group
- Weekly tournaments, quizzes and fun activities gives plenty of scope to practise what has been learnt
- Innovative use of technology to keep things fun and fresh
- We’ll keep things as simple as possible for you the parents – technical assistance with Zoom, tips on what tournaments to play…whatever you need!