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DSM Chess Opening Course 

Mondays 5:00 - 6:45pm
Led by Jim Freerksen

DSM Chess is holding a weekly, 10 session opening course starting Monday February 10th through April 27th (list of course dates below). This class is designed to give players a crash course on the most exciting and well-known openings in chess. The openings featured are specifically designed to provide an understanding of tactics, positional imbalances, initiative, piece activity, defense, combinations, counter-play, and mating patterns. The course will meet Mondays from 5:00 – 6:45pm Classes will not meet February 24th or the Monday of Spring Break (March 16th).

Classes meet in the Conference Room at:

Staybridge Suites

6905 Lake Drive

West Des Moines, IA 50266

Cost is $250 for the first player and $225 for each additional player from the same family.

If you would prefer, you can split the cost into 2 payments. The initial payment is collected with registration, and the 2nd payment will be due on April 1st. This option includes a $10 service fee per player registered. To select this option, please use the second form titled Opening Course Registration (2 Payments).

Course Description

Each week the students will be taught an opening. They will be given materials to study and practice the opening outside of class. At the beginning of each meeting they will play four blitz games where the first basic moves of the opening from the previous week will have already been made for them. This allows them to practice what they have learned with both the black and white pieces while forcing them to play both sides of a position that they did not get to choose to get into. This is a necessary feeling for any aspiring chess player to become comfortable with. Players will be awarded 1 point for a win, ½ point for a draw and zero points for a loss for each game played. These points will accrue from week to week on a leader board. Players will be awarded both weekly prizes and overall prizes for their performances.

The first week will be an introduction of the course to the students, the first opening will be taught along with teaching players how to best use study materials outside of class.

The final meeting will consist of a course recap, blitz tournament where players get to play openings of their choice and an award ceremony.

Course Expectations

Students will be given worksheets, book excerpts, website links and video recommendations for each new opening. They are expected to spend one-two hours in between classes using these materials to help prepare them for the blitz games at the next class. Again, these openings are not simply things to be memorized (although that is important as well) but they are meant to provide understanding of crucial concepts that are transferable to any part of the game. Studying at home or practicing with a friend from class will be important to retaining these ideas and a key factor in what skills one takes away from the course.


Weekly trophies for 1st – 3rd place will be awarded. Upon completion each player will be given a certificate and a medal. Large trophies will be awarded to the top three leaderboard scores at the end of the course. Digital Clocks, tournament set cases, chess sets, chess books and other items will be in a prize pool to pick from at the end of the course. Players will get their turn to pick a prize based on total leaderboard points from highest to lowest. Everyone gets to pick a prize.

Course Dates

Monday, February 10th

Monday, February 17th

NO CLASS February 24th

Monday, March 2nd

Monday, March 9th

NO CLASS March 16th

Monday, March 23rd

Monday, March 30th

Monday, April 6th

Monday, April 13th

Monday, April 20th

Monday, April 27th

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