Welcome to Jim Virtual Chess Lessons! I provide live online chess lessons to students ages 6-14. I’m James Santorelli and my passion has been teaching chess to children for over 30 years. I love teaching chess, introducing new players to the game and helping current players improve their game.

Online chess classes

Jim Santorelli, is a nationally renowned authority on chess in education with over 30 years chess instruction experience whose passion for chess continues to help players to improve their skills and ability. Jim has successfully guided his students to 13 National Championships!


It has long been my greatest passion to bring students together to enjoy the world’s oldest and best game. My life has been dedicated to helping players improve their chess skills and I’m excited that students can schedule online chess lessons, from anywhere, to easily fit in their busy schedule. ZOOM makes you feel like you’re in the same room. Children of all ages can learn to play chess in a safe, online, interactive learning space led by chess instructor, Jim Santorelli.

At JVCL, we love teaching chess, introducing new players to the game, and helping current players continue to improve. Small group classes are organized based upon ability and combine lectures, interactive play and fun homework assignments. Combined, you will see a tremendous improvement in your chess ability.

Please note: private “in person” lessons are still available at our Southbury location.

Please view the two sample classes below:



Class placement is determined by age and chess experience. There’s an option for the absolute beginner (at least age 6) all the way to the tournament player. Review the class descriptions below to find out which level best suits your child or teen. If you need help with registration, reach out.

JVCL offers a variety of online chess lessons based on your playing ability. Online Chess Classes are available for kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, high school and homeschool students.


Students will learn all the rules of chess and basic strategies.


Students must have a playing knowledge of the game. They will learn advanced strategies and all aspects of tournament play.


Some tournament experience is preferred. students will be introduced. to the most trending developments in opening theory more advanced concepts in the middlegame and a solid understanding of endgame principles.

“With chess, children can practice deductive reasoning and use it in day to day situations. The idea with increasing the number of curricular programs is to improve children’s critical thinking skills and analytical abilities.”
Playing Chess as a Tool in Learning
By Merri Rosenberg
Oct. 11, 1992

A USCF Expert, Jim emphasizes strategy and planning in his chess and in his well-prepared classroom lectures.

Jim Santorelli


Our proven approach to chess instruction is an excellent low cost, all age distancelearning activity aimed at improving your student’s personal best. Jim’s passion for chess continues to help players to improve their skills and ability. All ages welcome.


A key benefit of playing chess is that it improves focus which helps students in every area of study. Adding chess to the curriculum improves academic success. Each day, teachers look for new ways to get students excited about learning and new ways to help them retain the information they learn.  In addition to educational advantages, students experience social growth and learn patience and sportsmanship. 

It was Benjamin Franklin who said, "The game of chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions."

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Terrell Bell wrote in his book, “Your Childs Intellect,” that imparting some knowledge of chess is a way to develop a preschooler’s intellect and academic readiness.


Jim is an excellent chess teacher who combines rigorous practice to help students improve their playing skill with lessons on the theory behind the moves. I highly recommend him for students of all ages. My son and I have enjoyed learning together and playing against each other!

James Blanco

Ever since I began playing chess at the age of 5, I have noticed how sharp my thinking became. I have no doubt that chess has been instrumental in helping me concentrate, plan ahead, problem solve and excel academically.

Shirley BenDak

I started taking chess lessons with Jim when I was in the third grade. I’m 19 now and looking back I can say that chess improved my focus. Chess has helped me with pattern recognition and day to day problem solving. Highly recommended.

Nielsen Gordon 

Jim is truly an exemplary figure in the field of chess in education and has passionately devoted himself to spreading his knowledge and love for chess to children for the past 30 years. I had the pleasure of working with Jim for over 10 years as a fellow chess instructor/coach. Through his mentorship, I can honestly say I learned to be a better teacher, motivator, and player. I highly recommend Jim if you are looking to improve your chess knowledge and work with one of the most experienced and sought after chess coaches out there!

Nolan Kordsmeier

Some people spend years at school learning the art of teaching, some people are just born with an innate gift to be able to connect with people ....especially young people. Jim Santorelli has proven to be the latter. My son was under performing in school and was being pulled into the world of gaming. It was interfering with his ability to function and reason correctly. We tried to go the route of studying chess. At first it was a difficult transition but as time went on interest became stronger and skills were developed. Jim brought a passion and insight to the game. He also had a sense of humor and a grounded sensibility. The game really seemed to improve some of my son's cognitive skills and we noticed an improvement in math and reasoning abilities. He went from being online and wasting time to developing positive, productive learning. I chalked a good deal of it up to the change and experience he had online with Mr. Santorelli. Sincerely

Don Antaky

We started the chess as a lunchtime class at PEARLS Hawthorne school. Coach Jim taught the class, he is an amazing teacher and has a lot of patience with the kids. Starting with the basics, he moved on to go over strategies and tactics of the game. This was very educational, my son loved it. It helped him organize his thoughts, anticipate next moves and move the pieces based on a strategic plan. When the schools closed due to the corona virus outbreak, we wished to continue the chess classes and signed him up for virtual sessions, and he’s very happy about it.

Azin Alireza

Thank you for visiting and being a part of our fun and educational online chess lessons. Word of mouth is the key to our success. Prospective clients benefit from seeing positive reviews from satisfied clients like you. Your opinion matters to us and to other customers, so we really appreciate it when you take a few moments to provide a review of our services.