Online Chess for Schools

With schools closed at the moment, many schools are choosing to move their chess clubs online. Not only does it provide continuity for your chess club, it provides a nice social outlet for your students to play against each other or against other schools.

Thankfully, getting your class set up online couldn’t be easier. Lichess is a safe, free platform and offers great tools for running a school chess club remotely.

Lichess.org has excellent features for running a chess club online. You can:

  • Set up students with teacher managed accounts.
  • Set homework and publish news through a bulletin board.
  • Monitor and track your students progress.
  • Create an environment where it is easy for students to play each other online.
  • Organise tournaments and matches against other schools.

Setting Students up with Lichess Accounts

Students are set up with kid accounts. This means that chat is disabled. These accounts are not linked to any email address, they are linked to the teacher’s account. When the child leaves the class or school it is possible to release the account to them.

The child’s full name is given when setting up the account. This is only visible to other children in the class. Other users on the site will only see their username. When the student navigates to the Class tab, they will see a page with all their classmates full names and usernames.

  1. The first thing a teacher needs to do is create their own account on lichess.org. You can set up a free account here: https://lichess.org/login

  2. Once you have your account you need to register as a teacher here: https://lichess.org/class

  3. Once you have been approved as a teacher you are ready to set up your first class.

  4. Navigate to the class page. From the homepage you simply tap on Learn at the top of the page and tap classes at the bottom of the menu.

  5. Tap on the + icon to create your first class.

  6. Type in the class name and description and tap submit.

  7. Tap on “+add student”. You have a few different options:

    1. If one of your students already has an account you can get a link to invite them to the class. You cannot message them to invite them if they have a kid account.

    2. Create an account individually: Add the children one by one. Lichess will generate a username and password. Save these immediately or you may get locked out of the accounts.

    3. Create multiple accounts: This is the quickest way to get your class set up. Add a list of names and lichess will generate usernames and passwords for all the students. You will get them all listed on a page. Save them immediately as you cannot return to the page.

  8. Send the account details to your students. It is important that they do not change their passwords. Since the accounts are not linked to an email, they cannot be recovered if the password is lost. Keep a list of usernames and passwords in your own files.

 

In order to create tournaments for your students to compete in you will have to create a team for them to join. 

A guide to playing on Lichess and setting up a team is available on the Beyond Checkmate page.

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