Founded by the region’s most experienced chess teacher, the Denver Chess Academy is one of the finest chess academies in Colorado.
The Denver Chess Academy is one of the finest chess schools in all of Colorado. It offers its students year-round chess workshops, group and private lessons both in person and online, chess camps, tournaments, and even scholastic chess programs.
If you’re looking for a place in the Denver, Colorado area for your child to learn the finer points of chess, the DCA could be a great choice. Their wide range of available programs makes it easy to find something that will work for your schedule and your child’s learning preferences.
NM Todd Bardwick
Todd Bardwick, founder of the Denver Chess Academy, is the most experienced chess coach in Denver, Colorado. With over 40 years of chess education experience, he could easily be considered the most experienced chess teacher not only in Denver, but in the entire Rocky Mountain region of the country.
Bardwick is well known as a top chess instructor in the US, a long-term Chess Life for Kids Columnist, and a United States Chess Federation Professional Chess Coach. He has also garnered worldwide notoriety through the publication of his books and his appearances as The Chess Detective®.
Todd’s own relationship with chess began when he was just a boy. At 6 years old, he learned the game from his father, Alan Bardwick, and the pair quickly rose to become the strongest father and son chess duo in the history of Colorado at that time.
Todd has a STEM background and experience as a Civil Engineer and Rocket Scientist. His goal as a chess teacher is not only to produce good chess players, but to help the student learn the thinking skills that will help them become successful in life by focusing on logical-thinking and decision-making processes taught through chess and engineering.
Outside organizations often contact Todd to speak and present at their events. He has spoken numerous times at the Pepsi Center where he has taught chess to thousands of people. Todd has also spoken frequently at state and national educational conferences, as well as performing for the cast members of Cirque du Soleil.
Programs at Chess Academy of Denver
Denver Chess Academy has a number of different programs for students to choose from. Students can attend one or several, to completely customize their own chess learning experience. DCA offers everything you could want in a chess education, from one on one lessons to after school programs, tournaments, chess summer camps, and everything in between! Let’s take a more in depth look at each of Denver Chess Academy’s offerings.
Chess Lessons (In Person or Online)
Todd grew up in Denver, and Colorado is very much his home state. He has always conducted his lessons from his home and has never had to look outside Colorado to find good students. He says that, “A good chess instructor does not have to travel to the student, the student comes to him.” This has been made easier on students seeking Todd’s particular expertise thanks to recent advancements in technology. Whereas, earlier in Todd’s teaching career, interested pupils may have had to fly in from far flung states, they can now seek him out online and receive one on one chess instruction over the internet through video conferencing.
A large percentage of Todd’s scholastic students have gone on to top colleges, in part due to their chess education, which is known to have mental benefits. A solid chess education also improves reasoning and thinking processes that can be broadly applied to everyday life, far beyond the chess set.
School Enrichment Programs
At the Denver Chess Academy, it is quality over quantity as the students receive the highest possible professional training. Because Todd teaches all the classes himself, the quality of each and every class is guaranteed to be up to his rigorous standards. While many of the top chess schools are careful about hiring staff, who are competent teachers and chess players, some subpar schools may have weak players or inexperienced teachers who handle most of the lessons. You can be sure this isn’t the case at Denver Chess Academy!
Summer Camps and Workshops
The Denver Chess Academy hosts a number of chess workshops throughout the year, as well as an annual chess camp held in the summer. Both camps and workshops are divided by student skill level. The beginner’s classes are perfect for students who are brand new to the game, or those who have played a little bit on a chessboard, but haven’t received any formal instruction. Intermediate classes are designed for students who have graduated from beginner camps, or those who have a good mastery of the basics. Students hoping to enroll in the Advanced classes will need to have secured a rating for themselves and excel in their intermediate programs.
Workshops last for 2 days and are held over the summer months, as well as between Christmas and New Year’s. The cost for these workshops is $165 per student. A small number of parents may also be able to attend workshops if they choose, at a rate of $115 per person.
Denver Rocky Mountain Chess Camp
Founded in 1995, the Rocky Mountain Chess Camp is one of the oldest, largest, and most successful children’s chess camps in the country. Families have traveled from across the world to participate in the Rocky Mountain Chess Camp. Over the years, the camp has propelled many campers into becoming future experts, masters, and state and national chess champions.
There is one 3 day camp and one 5 day camp available each year. For the 5 day camp, campers can choose to either come for full days or half days in the morning or afternoon. Most campers choose the full day option.
Rated and unrated tournaments are held every month of the year. Todd Bardwick is a Senior Level Tournament director and has been the organizer of most of the largest chess tournaments and events occurring in the Denver area in the last three decades.
Todd Bardwick is also the author of a number of different chess books that are sold in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany. They have also been translated into Russian, Korean, and Czech.
His book Teaching Chess in the 21st Century is a beginner’s chess book that’s designed for elementary school teachers who would like to incorporate chess education into their existing math curriculum It can also be helpful for club sponsors or parents of children who would like to learn chess.
The Chess Workbook for Children is, unsurprisingly, a chess workbook for children. It includes 10 basic chess lessons for beginning chess players, and is designed to be used in conjunction with Teaching Chess in the 21st Century.
The Chess Strategy Workbook is a comprehensive workbook and instruction book for children and adults. Players of a wide variety of skill levels will find some helpful tips in this book!
Todd’s Books in other languages
Final Thoughts on Denver Chess Academy
In conclusion, the Denver Chess Academy is one of the finest chess academies in Colorado. It attracts promising students from all over the state and the country with its online lesson options. The year round workshops and chess camps provide a bit of variety and may be more convenient for students who can’t commit to regular lessons.