Starting Out

Most children learn the basics of chess at home with parents or siblings. Thatís often the best way to start out, but itís vital that children learn the moves correctly and in a manner that stimulates their interest in the game.

There are many excellent resources available, including instructional books, DVDs and chess websites. Public libraries have beginnersí books on their shelves, and some chess websites have free areas where learners can explore the game interactively. If youíre a parent with a child who wants to learn but you canít play yourself, donít worry - you can learn alongside your child.

Many schools have chess clubs, and some play friendly matches against other schools and in leagues such as the Briant Poulter for secondary schools (details here).

Not all children attend schools where chess is played, but there are junior chess clubs and chess groups at libraries where they can enjoy playing each other and improving.

As children develop their chess skills, more opportunities open up. There are tournaments for juniors to compete in - these are usually one-day events played at weekends and organised by age range - and a variety of team events, including opportunities to represent Surrey. Some of the keenest and most proficient juniors go on to play in national tournaments and team competitions, and also in adult events.