Chess: Beyond the Board

Course Description

View Schedules

Available Winter/Spring 2024!
See schedules at bottom of page.

GRADES: 5-8 (previous chess experience required**)

“Chess has been demonstrated to improve overall IQ levels in students…a study involving 4,000-second grade pupils discovered a significant boost in their IQ levels. Tournament chess games sharpen one’s ability to perform under pressure, simulating the conditions of most school and competitive tests.” [NAME]

Welcome to an exclusive Brain Power chess and strategic thinking workshop! Taught by the Mark Plotkin, a chess champion and top-ranking player in Canada, this workshop is designed to not only enhance your child’s chess skills but to equip them with a powerful set of transferrable skills that will enhance academic performance and overall development:

  • Critical Thinking: Chess demands strategic thinking, problem-solving, and considering multiple possibilities before making a move.
  • Focus and Concentration: Chess requires intense focus and concentration, skills that translate to improved academic performance.
  • Memory Recall: Memorizing champions, openings, tactics, and patterns enhances recall abilities, benefiting multiple school subjects.
  • Spatial Reasoning: Visualizing and understanding spatial relationships in chess aids in math and scientific subjects.
  • Planning and Organization: Chess players excel in planning, strategy, and time management, skills that transfer to academic success.
  • Perseverance: Chess teaches resilience in the face of setbacks, a crucial quality when facing academic challenges.
  • Mathematical/Logical Reasoning: Chess is a game of logic and math, relevant to subjects like mathematics, physics, and computer science.

Under Mark’s expert guidance, your child will embark on a structured learning journey across 4 or 8 lessons progressing from the basics to intricate chess strategies. In each lesson, students will learn directly from Mark how to plan, execute, and enjoy the world’s most famous strategic game.

At Brain Power, your child will not only learn the intricacies of chess, but they’ll also delve into the game’s captivating history. They’ll explore legendary matches, like Wilhelm Steinitz vs. Carl von Bardeleben, and draw life lessons on sportsmanship, manners, and the importance of respect. They’ll witness the ground-breaking moment when Deep Blue, a computer, challenged Garry Kasparov, and learn to embrace technological advancements as allies.

With Mark Plotkin as your chess instructor, you’re not just learning from a master of the game; you’re embarking on a journey guided by someone who embodies the true spirit of chess—a lifelong love for the game and a commitment to excellence. Join Mark on this extraordinary chess adventure and discover the world of chess through the eyes of a true maestro.

** EXPERIENCE: Students should A) have been playing chess for at least a year, and B) have played chess on one of these free chess websites: or

Mark Plotkin is an International Master (IM), who has been playing chess since he was 4 years old and has been teaching chess for the past five years. He achieved his Fide Master (FM) title in the summer of 2018, when he also got his first International Master (IM) norm in the Philadelphia International.

He led University of Toronto to first place in the Canadian University Chess Championships in 2019, when he also got his second IM norm at the Canadian Chess Championships (Zonals), where he tied for 4th place. He became an International Master (IM) in 2020, and he is currently inside the top 15 in Canada.


Mark’s Current Ratings:

  • Chess Federation of Canada (CFC) Rating: 2515
  • FIDE (International Chess Federation) Rating: 2353


Classes are held in the given timeframes, excluding scheduled holidays.

Winter 2023
1 or 2 four-lesson workshops

Workshop 1

Sat. 12:15-2:15 pm
Jan. 27-Feb 24

Workshop 2

Sat. 12:15-2:15 pm
Mar. 2-Apr. 6

Email with your child’s/children’s age(s) and area(s) or interests, and we will help get you registered!

Would you like to schedule a free assessment or learn more about our other programs?