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Chess Mates

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Does your child like to play chess? Are they interested in learning to play this timeless game? Exercise their mind muscles at Chess Mates! As VDM remains closed for general admission due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff has transitioned our multi-week chess classes to a virtual format. Chess Mates focuses on building an understanding of chess and having fun while developing creativity, executive function, and math skills. Virtual Chess Mates is led by guest instructors John Teixeira, a two-time Albemarle and Charlottesville area chess champion with 45 years of experience playing and coaching, and Aaron Osborne, the current No. 1 Class C player in Virginia.

Program Details  |  Upcoming  |  FAQs  |  Contact

5-Week Classes

Friday Afternoons
3:00-6:00 p.m.

Students Divided into 1-Hour Sessions by Age & Skill Level


Children 6 & Up
Live Instructor via Zoom

This Program Requires Internet Access & a Webcam


Program: $100/Child
Annual Members: 15% Off

Registrants Will Create a Free User Account on Lichess

Upcoming Virtual Classes

Fall Chess Mates - SIGN-UP CLOSED

Fridays (Oct. 2-30)  |  3:00-6:00 p.m.  |  Deadline: Sep. 28

Chess Mates is suitable for players ages 6 and older of all skill levels. The class features two instructors, and students will be divided into three 1-hour Zoom sessions (3:00-4:00 p.m., 4:00-5:00 p.m., or 5:00-6:00 p.m.) based on age and skill level. Beginners will have the opportunity to work on basic mechanics and gameplay while more experienced players work on skills development; all students will have the opportunity to play against each other using the free Lichess platform. The instructors will follow up with all registrants ahead of the first class with session rosters.


Program: $100/Child. Space: 15 Kids.

Frequently Asked Questions

My child has never played chess before / My child is an experienced chess player. Is this class suitable for them?

Virtual classes are divided into three 1-hour Zoom sessions based on age and skill level, so beginners will have the opportunity to work on basic mechanics and gameplay while more experienced players work on skills development. All students will have the opportunity to play against each other using the free Lichess platform.

How do we access the weekly virtual Zoom sessions and create a free Lichess account?

The Chess Mates instructors will follow up by email with all registrants before the first class with details about the Zoom calls and instructions on how to create a free Lichess account and join the VDM team.

How do I apply my 15% annual member discount?

Due to our closure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, VDM is honoring the 15% annual member discount for all current annual memberships as well as for those annual memberships that were active as of March 13, 2020, but have since expired. This benefit extension continues through Dec. 31, 2020. To apply this discount to virtual program registrations made online, you will need to create a Website User Account and link it to your membership record by following these instructions. If you have already created a Website User Account, click the registration link for the program you wish to register for and sign in using the link at the top of the registration page. If you are unsure if your annual membership was active as of March 13 and whether you qualify for this benefit extension or if you need help applying your 15% discount when using our online order forms, please contact Marketing Manager Matt Berman at

Does VDM offer scholarships or financial assistance for Chess Mates?

Unfortunately, the Museum does not offer scholarships for Chess Mates. However, VDM does offer financial assistance on a limited basis for select educational programs, including Tot Boxes, Discovery Workshops, and STEAM Series.

How do I set up my Website User Account?

You can follow the instructions here or contact Marketing Manager Matt Berman at

Did I successfully link my Website User Account and membership record?

Contact Marketing Manager Matt Berman at, and we’ll make sure everything is all set.

Contact Us

Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? To learn more about Chess Mates classes, contact Director of Operations Lindsay Jones at