Private chess lessons are available from many instructors working for Snow’s Chess Academy and independently too,  and are priced according to a variety of factors.  For specific rates, availability and scheduling private lessons, please email and we should be able to put you in touch with an appropriate instructor.

Lessons are given on a one-lesson-per week basis, homework is given with almost every lesson, and is expected to be completed with effort shown.

For students ages 5-7, lessons are usually 30 minutes long.

For students ages 8-10, lessons are usually 45 minutes long.

For students and adults age 11 and up lessons are usually one hour long.

Lessons are paid for in advance for an agreed upon number of  lessons.

Any missed classes by students are not made up, but with more than 48 hours notice of cancellation, a missed class can be scheduled unless more than two classes have been missed.  The instructor may cancel a class, (due to bad weather or road conditions, etc.) but if doing so, will always make up the class.

Payment Policies:  Registration is confirmed when payment is received.  Payment can be made one of two ways:

  1. By Paypal through to  or
  2. By check made payable to Snow’s Chess Academy and mailed with registration information below to P.O. Box 489, Herndon, VA 20172-0489  A student is considered enrolled when payment is received.
  3. By separate arrangement if with an independent instructor. 



The Student Classification System of Snow’s Chess Academy


  • Early Beginner The student does not know the rules of the game, or all the names of pieces, or parts of the board. This student should be at least five years old.  Students 9 or older should enroll in the Later Beginners class
  • Regular Beginner: The student may or may not know some of the rules of the game, and very little beyond the rules.  Some rules are not known.  How to actually use the pieces with any kind of plan is not known.  This student is usually 8-10 years old.
  • Later Beginner: The student knows the rules of the game, but may upon occasion need reminding of what some of them are.  This student understands the values of the pieces and play related to just that, can recognize checkmate most of the time, and recognize some kinds of draws.  This students is usually age 9 or older.
  • Beyond Beginner: The student knows the rules of the game and a few basic strategies and techniques e.g “the scholars mate”, “the fools mate”, etc.  The student has probably attended chess club, or chess camp at least once and may have played in a tournament or two.  If USCF rated, and very often will not be rated, the student will be rated between 100-300 (Amateur class I and J) or provisionally rated.   This student will vary in age.
  • Intermediate Scholastic Player: The student is familiar with basic opening, middlegame and endgame principles, is conversant in the language of chess and can solve “2-move” problems fairly quickly.  This student has experience playing in USCF rated tournaments and has achieved a USCF rating in the range of 301-799, (Amateur class G and H) and this rating will not be provisional.
  • Advanced Scholastic Player: The student is familiar with opening theory in addition to principles, and can see when to, and when not to try to apply standard principles to a given position.  This student will have an official USCF rating in the range of 800-1199, (Amateur class E and F rated status) and will have significant tournament experience.  Usual class length for this student will be 45 minutes or an hour.
  • Class D Amateur Tournament Player: The player will have an official USCF rating between:  1200-1399.  Recommended class length for these students is one hour minimum.
  • Class C Amateur Tournament Player: The player will have an official USCF rating between:  1400-1599.   Recommended class length for these students is one hour, or more depending on the student(s).