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DON’T TEACH YOUR CHILDREN CHESS … until you’ve read this.

HCH chess teacher Richard James is passionate about promoting chess to children and passionate about ensuring that every child who learns chess gets the best possible start. The first chess lesson you give your child, says Richard, is the most important lesson they’ll ever have. Experts on chess for young children across three continents all agree that chess is best taught to young children step by step, one piece at a time and one concept at a time. The longer they spend on this, experts agree, the more they will get out of the game and the more likely it is they will go on to become strong players. After all, if you’re teaching maths to young children, you wouldn’t try to teach addition, subtraction, multiplication and division all in one go, and still less would you expect them, after their first lesson, to go away and perform some differential calculus. Much of this is already outlined on Richard’s website chessKIDS academy ( and in his best-selling chess book Chess for Kids.

After half term Richard is starting a new lunchtime chess group for beginners in the Lower School based on these principles. The emphasis will be on having fun playing simple but challenging games using a few pieces and solving puzzles designed to develop a wide range of cognitive skills.

If you’d like your children to take part in this group please email me at to book a place.