Way of the Board

A Ridgefield (CT) chess club for kids to learn chess and play the game.

About Us

Terry Kim

chess dad

The Way of the Board chess club has club meetings every Saturday morning for kindergarten, beginner and intermediate players to learn chess and play the game, and is a program offered by the Way of the Sword Fencing, Archery, and Chess Club.  Terry Kim leads all club meetings.

The club usually has a tournament once a month on Sunday afternoons for advanced beginner or intermediate players. Private lessons available on weekends at $45/hour, discounted rate available for club members.

The required workbook for all beginner and intermediate players is "Everyone's First Chess Workbook" by Peter Giannatos.  It is available via Amazon, or can be purchased at the club.  Intermediate players who have finished this book should begin the more challenging workbook "The Chess Tactics Workbook" by Al Woolum, but are also welcome to borrow a book from the club library to explore more advanced topics.

See program description for details.

"My dad has no idea how I beat him in a chess game."

Overheard at a club meeting.


Why chess for my child?  Because ...

- chess teaches children how to win and lose.

- chess helps children realize the consequences of their actions.

- chess helps children focus.

- chess helps develop creativity.

- chess builds confidence.

- chess helps develop problem-solving skills.

- chess exercises both sides of the brain.

- chess helps children learn how to be calm under pressure.

(Summarized from chess.com).  Last but certainly not least, once you know how to play, chess is a lot of fun!

How much are club dues?

Club dues are $80/month, and ensure the ongoing development and operations of the club.  First visit to our club is free!

What age is appropriate for a kid to join the chess club?

Currently we have intermediate players in grades 1 to 7 who are actively learning and participating in our weekly club meetings.  Beginner players range from grades 2 to 4.  Young beginners range from grades Kindergarten to 1st grade.  Age is just one of many factors to be considered when deciding when is the right time to begin learning the game; others include a kid's interest, whether there are other chess players in the family, etc.  Kids should be able to write in their workbooks, and are expected to spend some time every week independently solving chess puzzles/reading as self-learning is an important component of the game.  If unsure, feel free to visit one of our Saturday club meetings.

When should a player begin playing in tournaments?

See blog post for suggestions. 

Are private lessons required?

If a player is having difficulty in either the beginner or intermediate program, private lessons are recommended so that they can fully participate at club meetings.  Private lessons are also helpful for a player to receive feedback on their game play and explore intermediate tactics and strategies, as most young chess players (and adult beginners) cannot self-analyze their games effectively.

How to contact Terry directly?

Send an email to hello[at]wayoftheboard.org, and include mention of the age of your child/children, and level of familiarity with the game. He will get back to you within one business day.

How to view past tournament results?

Visit the club tournaments page.

Is there a chess program for adults?

Currently, an adult program is not offered.

How to check whether a club meeting is cancelled?

Visit calendar.wayoftheboard.org.

Are there any evening or afternoon programs during weekdays?

Only weekend programs are offered.

Is it possible for a player to come only occasionally, when another activity is cancelled?

Drop-in day passes are not offered, but for families who will be missing 2+ club meetings in a month (not just one) and send 2 days advance notice to hello[at]wayoftheboard.org, fees will be refunded as outlined in the club membership Addendum.  However, players who only attend sporadically may have difficulty staying with peers over the long term, so registering for a program for infrequent play is not recommended.

How to apply the club member discount when registering for a tournament or private lesson?

From the website homepage, click the My Account link and sign-in first.  Use the same email address used to submit club dues.

How can I find out more?

Visit our club Facebook page and like our page, and check out our library website.  Updates are posted regularly, and should give parents a better sense of what happens at our meetings.  

Subscribe to our newsletter to find out more about upcoming tournaments, the club chess classes, and other activities.


We are located at the Way of the Sword Fencing Academy in downtown Ridgefield, next to the Ridgefield Thrift Shop.


21 Governor Street, Ridgefield, CT, United States, 06877

Club Hours

Saturdays 10:10 AM - 1:15 PM

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