Math / Computers @ Marlboro  

Chess Workshop

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WhenMondays 4:00 - 5:30pm
WhereDining hall
FacultyMatt Ollis ( and Jim Mahoney (
Credits 1, based on attendance
Level Introductory
Prereq None

Yes, that's right, you too can get course credit for hanging out with Matt and Jim and playing chess. But there's a catch: you'll have to show up and actually work on your skills. In addition to playing some games (and analyzing them), we'll also read some books, look at some chess problems, and investigate some chess software.

Grades will be based primarily on attendance.

Each week we'd like you to write down a game that you've played, in the standard modern chess notation, along with when and who you played. Keep this in a notebook of some kind, so you (and we) can look back to see how your games have progressed over the semester. You can use a game with a computer or someone online, as long as its a chess game that you played that week.

This webpage won't get much new stuff as the semester progresses, but we may post some links or other notes.

  1. for Mon September 6
    1. Send Jim ( an email telling me you're registering for this class.

  2. ongoing
    1. Attend the weekly Monday afternoon session.
    2. Annotate and save in a notebook at least one game per week.
    3. If you miss a week or two, you can make them up by annotating extra games - talk to Jim and Matt.

  3. Ladder
    1. We're starting a campus chess ladder - just for fun.
    2. Rules are here.
    3. So what are you waiting for?

  • Books
    • The Everything Chess Basics Book,
      U.S. Chess Federation and Peter Kurzdorfer, ISBN 1-58062-586-X (amazon, about $10)
    • Improve Your Endgame Play,
      Glenn Flear, ISBN 1-85744-246-6
    • There are many, many books on chess. Wanna suggest some?
  • Links
  • notes on chess sets and supplies
    • I recommend looking for a "tournament set", namely a roll-up vinyl board, weighted plastic 3" pieces, and a zippered bag to store them. There are a number of stores online that sell stuff like that. As of September 2004, I found some reasonable prices at, namely about $20 for a bag, board, and pieces, and another $20 for a clock. Your mileage may vary.

Jim Mahoney (
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