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Every Secret of the Board

Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries by us at A Tale Of Two Kings in Tucson, Arizona

Special Offer

September 15, 2020

We are excited to share that during the Covid crises, we are offering our group classes at a discount to match more closely to the cost of most school chess clubs. Currently monthly tuition is set at $50/month. We offer online classes on Mondays and in person classes on Tuesdays. Classes are aimed at k-8.

Now Accepting Registrations

May 14, 2020

We are excited to announce that we are all set to begin our Chess 4 Life classes. We will initially offer Pawn Level at 5:45pm on Tuesdays beginning June 9th and Knight Level at 7:15pm on the same date. Classes will run 60-75 minutes meaning the main class will run 60 minutes with a 15 minute allowance to review achievement charts with students and parents as well as allow a little over time for activities to be completed. Beginning students may enroll directly into Pawn Level. Experience students should schedule an evaluation to be placed in the appropriate level. We will schedule in the next levels or extra of the Pawn and Knight Level as needed. Students will learn life skills as they are learning chess. Our original plan was to allow 10-12 students per class but during these times of social distancing, we are limiting to 6-8 students per class. The goal is to stay at 6 but if we have 5 and someone has two kids to enroll, then we will take both for a total of 7. The one hour one on one evaluation is $25 but will be applied towards monthly tuition or you may pay the monthly tuition up front and it will be included automatically. Our introductory monthly tuition is $89 which is based on once a week classes four weeks a month. Months that have five of the day of week for lessons will likely have 5 classes with no extra charge. Monthly tuition includes the once a week classes as well as an online supplementary component to allow students extra practice of what they have learned. You can view a full video with details here.

Exciting News

February 22, 2020

We are excited to announce we will begin using the Chess4Life curriculum. We will kick off officially in June with some Summer Camps. In the Fall, we will begin to offer weekly classes. We are beyond thrilled to offer this curriculum which combines teaching life skills with teaching chess. Another advantage I love is there are several chess schools/academies around the country using it which means if you move from one of them to our area or vice versa, you can start off where you left off. This is a huge advantage. More info will be coming in the near future!

What an amazing year 2019 has been!!!

December 31, 2019

What an incredible year it has been. At the beginning of 2019, we were solely A Tale Of Two Kings. We were occasionally running tournaments and helping others with their camps and classes. We started having our Tuesday Night Tournaments in the food court area of the Foothills Mall. While the group was fairly small, we had a good variety of player ability as well as variety in age. We had players rated from the 300's up to the 2400's. What is truly awesome about the group of players we had is that they showed great sportsmanship and the winners were often willing to review the games so the defeated person could learn from them.

Over the year, I (owner, Molly Coy), had the opportunity to be a tournament director at the High School Chess Nationals (which Coach Matthew played in). I also had the opportunity to direct in the K-1 section of the Arizona State Chess Championship and the Walter Browne Memorial Blitz at the Vegas International Chess Festival. We also traveled to and participated in the World Open. We also assisted with the Western Alliance Camp run by Arizona Chess for Schools. We have partnered with them on various other camps as well. We have also started offering private lessons taught by Coach Matthew.

When October came about, we found the opportunity to rent a location of our own and Coy's Camps and Classes was born. The purpose was to host events for A Tale Of Two Kings as well as bring further STEM and 21st Century skill learning opportunities to kids. While Chess is a huge focus, our true focus is on the many life skills that will benefit kids in school and in life. To this end, we are proud to offer our first STEM Camp, "Unleash Your Wild Side" on January 2nd and 3rd and again on February 20th and 21st (Rodeo Break). This camp is geared towards grades 1-3. We still have a couple slots if interested.

Plans for 2020 include offering chess classes, a children's entrepreneurship club/class, Spring Break Chess Camp, more tournaments (including fun variations), and a few other surprises.

Chess Mom Gets A Trophy

November 16, 2019

Well it finally happened!!! I was asked to play in SACA's regional women and girls tournament. I decided to go ahead and give it a try. In my first round, I actually got paired with one of the girls from my school club. In fact, she is one I took on our team trip to Elementary Nationals a couple years ago. I faced her and said, "I have good news and bad news. The bad news is I don't go easy. The good news is if you win, you know you truly won." Honestly though, I was a bit worried. After all, how would it look if one of my team members actually beat me? Thankfully, I managed to pull out the win. I will say she did interrupt some of my plans during the game. The second game took longer but ended in my favor.I was feeling pretty great going into my final round for that day. I ended up playing a long game but unfortunately, it did not go my way. I had a couple bad moves and just could not recover. I went home and got some rest before the final two rounds the next day.

The next day I came back. Not only was I paired with a grown up, but she had won biggest upset prizes in the previous two rounds. I did not want to become upset prize number three. I played hard, but made a mistake part way through. I thought it might be the end for me but kept going. Luckily she eventually made a bigger mistake and I was able to pull off the win. I ended up in 2nd place when going into the final round. I would be playing board one. Then I found out I was paired against someone on my son's high school chess team. This team is one of the top teams in the state. I went to the tournament directors and asked, "If I lose, will I still get a trophy?". I ama lways trying to discourage the kids from asking me this at tournaments, but as a grown adult, it was crazy but I had to ask. If I knew I would get something either way, I could relax a little. It looked like I would but it wasn't a done deal. So I sat down to play. We were one of the longest games in our section. It was quite the crazy game with us having several pieces focused on a square towards a corner where I had a pawn a square away from promoting, Unfortunately, that promotion never happened. Unfortunately, I made a mistake again. My opponent ultimately won the game and took the first place trophy for our section. I tied for the third place but lost that trophy on tie breaks. I did end up with a class trophy. Considering that was my first trophy, it was better than a million bucks (maybe not a million, but way up there on the list). The next day I took it to work and showed it off to anyone and everyone who happened near me. So after many years of knowing what it was like to not win anything, I finally got the joy of knowing what it was like to win something. I can tell you may not have been first place, but for how I felt, it might as well have been!

World Open 2019

July 8, 2019

We are sitting here at the Philadelphia Airport after having played in the World Open. Sadly this year was not the performances we hoped to have. Matthew won half the possible points in the U2000 section but faced some tough competition. On the other hand, I basically had my head handed to me on a platter in the U900 no less. I started out strong with two wins. My third opponent kept leaving the room and then would enter with her father following behind her. I had no proof she was cheating but just the strong suspicion so I did not report it. Her father was standing over the game for much of it which was making me visibly nervous. I became distracted and lost the game. I did email the organizers about the concern and will address it further. While waiting for the pairings for round 9, I was talking to a gentleman who claimed his first opponent was cheating describing the same situation only indicating he actually saw the child talking to the father during the round. I asked the name of the opponent and sure enough it was the same person. The gentleman said he didn't want to "be that guy" and report it. In both our cases, after the game, the father asked if we wished to review the game. I declined but did find out he was a 2200. I don't know if he gave full assistance, clues, or just stood there to intimidate. I will say he seemed like a nice enough guy when I talked to him later. In another instance, I was playing a child. During the game another child came up and they started talking while holding and pointing to the notation sheet. I immediately paused the clock and went to get a TD (who had left the room). As we entered the kids were still holding the notation sheet, looking at it, and discussing it. The TD just told the other kid to stop from what I can tell (didn't do it in front of me or say anything to me or my opponent). He should have forfeited the game at that point. Would have been a valuable lesson. My other three losses, sadly, were well deserved. They were tough battles but I didn't have my focus. In the future, I would like to see the low groups have a no spectator rule or at least not allow parents, coaches, etc to be out in the hallways where players can easily talk to them while the unsuspecting opponent thinks they simply went to the restroom.

As a person who loves tournament directing as well as being a chess parent, I will say that I definitely renewed my perspective as a player and definitely encourage other TDs and parents to do the same. This year I am also vowing to start actual training and truly try to improve. After all, I tell my students they must truly practice in order to do better. I must practice what I preach. I spent last year taking college classes to get my full gifted teaching endorsement so chess for me fell a bit to the wayside. It is time to renew my focus on play while keeping up with directing and helping others pursue their chess dreams.

Welcome to our New Look

July 2, 2019

As we are becoming more active with our Tuesday night tournaments and offering chess lessons, I decided it was time to update our site with a professional. We get occasional revision opportunities, so please feel free to send suggestions. Unfortunately, I noticed that several blog posts had somehow gone missing shortly before the update. It is unfortunate, but we will just pick up from now. We will be headed to Philadelphia for the World Open July 3rd-July 8th. We hope to see many of you there. When we return, we will officially start offering chess lessons. If interested, please contact us to set up a time.

Book Review: A Pawn's Journey By: Elliott Neff

September 30, 2018

I was asked to preview this book and I am glad I did. Here is my Amazon Review: Following April on her journey for a chess scholarship and seeing all the important life skills mentioned in the story was wonderful. I knew I was connected to the character and story when my eyes welled up with tears in a few parts. As a chess mom, chess coach, and elementary teacher and owner of A Tale Of Two Kings, I have always pointed out how well chess relates to important life skills. It was great to see it brought to life within this story. I would definitely recommend this book to others and may even read it to my 2nd grade class!!! I will also encourage members of my team, as well as their parents to read it!

Update: I AM reading it to my 2nd grade class.

Happy International Chess Day!!!

July 20, 2018

Today's blog will be a link to my guest blog appearing at

Chess Tourism

July 9, 2018

Having just come off several chess trips, including all three Scholastic Nationals, National Open in Las Vegas, and World Open in Philadelphia, I am thinking of just how much chess has also allowed me to see so many great places. I have been places like The American Printing House for the Blind which was absolutely amazing to see. I finally got to see a David Copperfield magic show, and today, I saw the Liberty Bell, The Rocky Steps, The Eastern State Penitentiary, and the Mutter Museum of medical oddities. The day is not over as we will do a Ghost Walking Tour tonight. I see so many people just fly in and out for the actual event, but I would like to encourage others to take an extra day or two and really explore the area. Find some new and interesting places to visit. It will expand your horizons and just make you a more well-rounded individual.


A Tale Of Two Kings

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