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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. Hopefully this page will help you find some answers for questions that you couldn’t find anywhere else on the site. If you feel there’s a question that should be here feel free to contact us and we’ll add it asap.

Skip down to specific sections

General Class Related Questions

Q: I have a young child; will taking chess classes online be too difficult for him/her?

A: We have had plenty of children take chess classes online, some as young as 5 years old with very good results. Your child is probably a lot more tech savvy then you imagine and might already be playing chess online! We don’t mind and actually encourage parents to sit in on the chess classes with their children.

Q: Why do you only teach chess online?

A: Plenty of reasons. First of all we don’t see much benefit of teaching in person when the Internet provides the convenience that neither the student nor the teacher has to leave home. Online chess coaching is the same exact experience as in-person coaching, perhaps even better because we don’t have to spend as much time re-setting the pieces and we can record the moves and the lessons for your future reference.

Technical Questions

Q: Can you help me get setup?

A:Yes, we can help you get setup free of charge. We ask that all students be setup beforehand so we don’t have to use precious class time getting setup. We have an easy to follow getting setup page, as well as phone support to help you get setup.

Q: What hardware requirements do I need?

A: Any computer, either PC/MAC that has an Internet connection (even a slow one) is perfectly fine. A microphone is also highly recommended for the audio portion but if your computer does not have one we can do the audio portion over the phone for a $5 charge.
Almost all laptops, even very old one’s come built with a microphone. We suggest you purchase a headset for your computer if you plan to take many lessons. You’ll be able to hear me better and I’ll be able to hear you better.

Q: Does the software you use cost any money to use?

A: No, all the software we use (FICS, Skype and/or ChessCube coaching system) is 100% free to setup and download. Skype-to-Skype calls are always 100% free.

Q: What if there are technical problems or a disconnection during the lesson? Does it still count as a full lesson?

A: As playing chess online and using Skype is a low bandwith operation we vary rarely encounter problems. However, if there are disconnects or issues we will add additional class time to make sure you get your full hour.
 Note: We understand sometimes one’s Internet goes out but it is still not an excuse for missing a class without giving us ANY notice, after all you can always call us. If you miss a class without giving us any notice, the typical rules apply no matter what the situation (missed class counts as a class)

Payments and Scheduling Questions

Q: Can I take classes first and pay you later? When should the classes by paid for?

A:All classes must be paid for at least 48 hours before the reservation to secure your class time with one of our chess coaches.

Q: What if I miss a class or can’t make a scheduled class? What are your scheduling policies?

A:As long as you reschedule at least 24 hours before the class, you can reschedule the class as many times as you’d like. If you don’t show up for a class without letting us know at all (even the same day), the 1st time we give you a pass, after this, we’ll count no-show’s without notice as your class.

Q: How do I pay for classes? Do you accept credit cards, checks or money orders?

A: All customers can pay by credit card or through PayPal. You DO NOT need a PayPal account to pay us by credit card. For our US customers we also accept checks and money orders mailed to our office address (checks must be cleared at least 48 hours before the class). Contact us for more information.

Q: Do the classes ever expire? Are the classes refundable?

A: The classes expire after 90 days after purchase or 60 days after your last class with me, whichever is greater (no matter how many you purchase). Our classes are non-refundable, though they can be transferred to somebody else.

Q: Do you do group discounts or discounts for purchasing plenty of lessons?

A: Yes, absolutely, my prices vary depending on a variety of factors but in general each additional student is $12 per hour-long class with up to 4 students at the same time. The 2-4 students can be on the same computer, or preferably be playing on a team on 2 separate computers. I also do online lectures for classroom chess clubs (through a projector). Contact me for more information.

Q: I’m in a different time-zone, what time-zone is the calendar in? How do I calculate the class time in my own time-zone?

A: Our calendar is by default set to Eastern Time (where we are usually located). When you make an account on our calendar you will get a chance to select your own time zone. See the Making a Reservation page for more information