About Me

I have been working in the community for over 40 years and I’ve been passionate about junior chess for some time. 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 it is a necessary add-on to children’s education in schools and in the community.

More parents should research the benefits of playing chess, as the game is a positive way to improve children’s attitude to learning.

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

No doubt about it. I really enjoy being part of & involved in the community. Teaching children chess allows me to do just that & lots more.

The journey into a game of chess is filled with uncertainty, mystery, adventure & imagination. The learning curve however, is just great!

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

Chess is so easy to learn & that’s one reason why it’s still popular nowadays. Playing chess well however, is something totally different.

A few games of chess can help to change attitudes to learning of both girls & boys who are not reaching their academic potential.


No doubt you are aware that the current lockdown restrictions have changed and there is a staged return of particular services reopening.  So, in line with children going back to school, I am pleased to let you know that I can reopen my chess clubs again.

However, I have decided not to reopen the clubs from 8th March like the schools have done, but to wait until after the Easter break to continue. This will mean that my junior clubs will reopen in the week commencing 19th April 2021.

So, after such a long wait as all my clubs had to close due to the Coronavirus outbreak, I am glad that you’ve made it here at last. We have all had to been patient and I am pleased that you would like your child to learn how to play chess.  I know that it’s sometimes difficult to find an activity that your child will enjoy, but now that you know your child has an interest in chess, I’m happy to let you know that I’ll be delighted to teach them for you now that the lockdown restrictions have changed. 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.

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

I provide chess lessons for children in who live in South West, South East and North West London (so please get in touch for more information or to discuss starting a junior chess club in your school).

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

Junior chess challenges the minds of both girls & boys and it’s a fun game that all children can play. Click here to continue reading


A short introduction to starting chess

It’ll be brilliant for your child to get involved soon, so just let me know when you can make it to one of the junior chess clubs and you’ll both get a warm welcome from me.

Say yes and join a junior chess club

If your child is not yet familiar with the rules of chess, please let them know that chess is a fun war game where there’s a battle of minds between two players called Black and White. The battle takes place on a chessboard which has 64 dark and light squares and before they can set up the chessmen, they must turn the board around so there is a light square in the bottom right-hand corner. Have a look at the board below with numbers and letters around the edges. One player puts the white chessmen on rows 1 & 2 and the other player puts the black chessmen on rows 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 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 and the one that suits the busy activities timetable that 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 your daughter wants to have a go, she can come along and join in as well.

Girls can play junior chess too

I usually recommend this book as the one to purchase, if you wish to buy an easy to read beginners chess book.


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 hard at it, somehow develop more confidence to face other challenges in life.

girl at junior chess tournament

And when it’s their turn to move, all the thinking skills that’s been developed encourages children to search for the next best move as part of their overall plan.

Playing chess also helps children to improve logical thinking. In a game you have to rely on yourself and nobody else.  There is no luck involved whatsoever as you have to make all the decisions.  Chess is pure skill and this skill improves and increases the more your child practices regularly.

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My junior chess clubs take place at:

1) Orchard Gdns Community Centre, Lewisham, SE13 7LQ (closed)

2) Cassandra Centre, Norbury, SW16 4AW (closed)

3) Herne Hill Baptist Church, Herne Hill, SE24 9HU (reopening 20th April)

4) Eltham Park Baptist Church, Eltham, SE9 1JE (reopening 21st April)

5) Unity Centre, Church Road, Harlesden, NW10 9EG (closed)

6) Glyndon Community Centre, Plumstead, SE18 7LB (reopening 23rd April)

7) St Hilda's Church, Crofton Park, SE23 1PL (reopening 24th April)

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.

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