About Me

I have been working in the community for over 40 years and I am passionate about teaching children how to play chess. In March 2006 I started the Greenwich Chess Group after I found out that not much chess was played or taught in Greenwich schools. [Read More]

Chess Quotes and Tips

The main consideration is not when you might bring your child along to start chess, but more about choosing which club suits your timings.

Sharing my passion for teaching children chess is ongoing and I’d also like parents to encourage their children to play.

Learning chess is not a luxury activity and playing the game can be a necessary add-on to children’s education in schools and in the community as well.

As parents, you might want to research the benefits of playing chess to read about the positive ways that chess can improve your child’s attitude to learning.

Preparing young minds is satisfying as every child is unique.  So when I’m nurturing my students I also get lots of opportunities to understand each of them.

There’s no doubt about it.  I really enjoy being part of the community and teaching children how to play chess allows me to do just that and so much more.

The journey into a game of chess is filled with uncertainty, mystery, adventure and imagination. The learning curve however, is just great and your child should enjoy learning how to play!

Reminding children of their manners and good sportsmanship is all part of the service I offer in each of my junior clubs.

Chess is so easy to learn and that’s one of the reasons why it’s still quite popular nowadays. Playing chess well however, is something totally different.

And learning to play chess can also help to change the attitudes to learning of both girls & boys who are not reaching their academic potential.


The junior chess season starts every September and there are now five clubs and classes to choose.

Hello there, and I’m so glad that you’ve made it to my website to find out more about chess and how your child can learn how to play.  I know it can be difficult sometimes to find an activity that your child will enjoy, so if your child has an interest in chess, I’ll be delighted to teach them how to play when you bring them along. You’ll be pleased to know that I only teach children – in schools and my junior clubs – and that I’ve had a clear and current DBS certificate for many years.


A new chess class for homeschooled children started in July and takes place every Wednesday at 10.30am in the morning.  There’s a large community of parents in Croydon who teach their children at home, so if you do too, you are very welcome to bring your children along to join in to learn how to play. Please contact me by email at rwchessacademy@hotmail.co.uk or on 07538 035896 for a chat or more information.

Addiscombe Homeschool Chess Class
Beverley Hall, between 89 – 91 Grant Road,
Croydon, CR0 6PJ
Wednesdays 10.30am to 12.30pm
£10.00 per session but children who attend school can come along during halfterm breaks.

If your child, or a child you know wants to learn chess, you could encourage them to join a junior chess club in SE London. Places are available Click To Tweet

Yes, you can learn chess at any age, but I normally provide lessons to children aged 6 years plus who are homeschooled and children who attend school in South East London.

There’s so much evidence that shows how children who play chess perform better in school, gain an improved calculating ability, are more imaginative, creative, self-motivated and problem-solve so much easier.

Playing chess challenges the minds of both girls & boys and it really is a fun game that all children can play quite well.

A short introduction to starting chess

It’ll be brilliant for your child to find out more about chess, and when you bring them along to one of the junior clubs, they’ll get a warm welcome from me every time.

Say yes and join a junior chess club

If your child is not yet familiar with the rules of chess, I’ll show them and let them know that chess is a fun mind game where a battle takes place between two players called Black and White. The battle happens on a chessboard which has 64 dark and light squares. I’ll guide them on how to turn the board around so there is a light square in the bottom right-hand corner and they’ll then have a go at setting up the chessmen correctly. Have a look at the board below with numbers and letters around the edges. One player puts the white chessmen on rows (Ranks) 1 & 2 and the other player puts the black chessmen on rows (Ranks) 7 & 8.

There are 8 white pieces and 8 white Pawns.  In the lower left-hand corner on square a1 the chessman that looks like a castle is called a Rook.   Next to the Rook we have the horse’s head we call a Knight on b1, then a Bishop on c1, a Queen on d1 and the King on e1.  Next to the King we then have one more Bishop on f1, another Knight on g1 and another Rook on h1. In front of these 8 pieces on Rank number 1 are 8 Pawns on Rank number 2.  The player with the Black chessmen has the same number of pieces on Rank 8 and Pawns on Rank number7.

There are just a few children that can play chess at 4 or 5 years old. However, I usually accept girls and boys from 6 years old at my chess clubs. Click To Tweet

This is just a quick intro to the chessmen and the board and what to do at the start of a game. There’s so much more that your child will learn, so as soon as they join up I can introduce them to lots more. Come along when you can and check out the nearest junior chess club to you that suits the busy activities timetable you’ve created for your child.

Here’s hoping you can fit chess lessons into that!

I’m also trying to increase the number of girls that learn to play chess too.  So if you have a daughter that wants to have a go, please bring her along to join in as well.

Girls can play junior chess too

If you’d like to buy an easy to read beginners chess book I usually recommend this book as the one to purchase,


Girls can play chess just as good as boys when they’re encouraged to join in and have a go.

school junior chess tournament

Chess players that keep practicing and work at it, improve their ‘soft skills’ and develop more confidence to face other life challenges as well.

girl at junior chess tournament

And when it’s their turn to move, the thinking skills they’ve developed encourages them to choose the next best move as part of their overall plan of action.

Playing chess also helps children to improve strategic and analytical thinking skills. In a chess game, you have to rely on your own knowledge and skills.  There is no luck involved whatsoever as you have to make all the decisions by yourself.  Chess is pure skill and this ability improves and increases, the more your child practices. And it’s good to have a crazy teacher who will stimulate and engage your child too.

Like My Page on Facebook

My junior chess clubs are now open and take place at these venues:

1) Tuesdays at Herne Hill Baptist Church, Herne Hill, SE24 9HU from 5.30pm

2) Wednesday morning at Beverley Hall, Addiscombe, CR0 6PJ from 10.30am (Homeschooled children)

3) Wednesdays at Eltham Park Baptist Church, Eltham, SE9 1JE from 6.00pm

4) Fridays at the Glyndon Community Centre, Plumstead, SE18 7LB from 4.00pm

5) Saturdays at St Hilda's Church, Crofton Park, SE23 1PL from 1.30pm

Click the link to find out more about my Junior Chess Clubs. If you're a parent or a school looking to get in touch click here now to complete the enquiry form and Richard will get back to you soon.

Follow me on Twitter