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.


Hi there mums and dads. I’m so glad you’ve made it here to find out more about chess and how your child can learn to play.  If your child is 6 years plus and a beginner or if they only know a little about chess but want to learn more, I’ll be willing to teach them for you and there are a few places left.  I only run two clubs now; one on Wednesdays in Eltham, SE9 and the other on Fridays in Plumstead, SE18.

You may already have an idea that chess is an excellent mind game that will challenge your child to think. And if you’re a new parent and you’d like your child to improve their focus and thinking ability, you’re in the right place. Please bring them along to the Eltham or Plumstead club and you’ll be amazed at how much fun they’ll have and how much they’ll learn as well!

I have a favourite tip (below) that you might consider important and which you may agree is true. It should reassure you that when your child starts to learn chess they’ll enjoy it, and you’ll see the many benefits of learning to play for yourself. So please……….

And with regards to Safeguarding, you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve had a clear DBS certificate since 2006 when I started teaching, and my latest DBS was renewed and issued on 3rd January 2023 .

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

I am aware that a few children can play chess from 4 to 5 years of age, but I only accept children aged 6 years plus who are beginners or new to chess.

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

This could be because playing chess challenges the minds of both girls & boys and it really is a fun game that most children can play quite well.

A short introduction to starting chess

I’d like to think that your child has an interest in chess and you’d like them to find out more and learn to play better?  What I will say is that when you bring them along to one of the junior clubs to join in, they’ll get a warm welcome from me and the other children every time.

Say yes and join a junior chess club

So, if your child is not yet familiar with the rules of chess, I’ll show them how and explain why 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 32 dark and 32 light squares. I’ll guide them on how to turn the board the correct way 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 on the right squares. Have a look at the board setup below and you’ll notice that the board has numbers and letters around the edges. You can see the white chessmen on rows 1 & 2 and the black chessmen on rows 7 & 8. The rows are called Ranks.

There are 8 white pieces and 8 white Pawns. 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 Pawns on rank 7 and pieces on rank number 8. So, 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.

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

That was just a quick intro on where the chessmen stand on the board before you start a game, and there’s so much more your child will learn.  So as soon as they join up, I can introduce them to lots more. Please check out the nearest junior club to you and do bring them along when you can.  And here’s hoping you can fit a chess session into their weekly timetable!

I’m also trying to increase the number of girls that 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 chess book for bebinners, I usually recommend this one by Murray Chandler and Helen Milligan.


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

school junior chess tournament

Research shows that children who practice chess regularly really do improve their ‘soft skills’, which help to develop the confidence to face lifes challenges.

girl at junior chess tournament

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

Playing chess also helps children improve strategic and analytical thinking skills. In a chess game, you have to rely on your own knowledge and judgement.  There is no luck involved whatsoever, as your child will have to make all the decisions for themself. Chess is pure skill and children who play, activate both the right and left sides of their brains and the more they practice, the better they’ll become at focussing and concentrating. And as I mentioned above; it’s good to have a crazy chess teacher who will stimulate and engage your child!

Chess has proven to be a valuable educational tool that assists children with their learning, self-esteem, self-motivation and self-discipline.

I would love the opportunity to help you to help your child, so if you want, I can use chess to help them learn!

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The two junior chess clubs I run are open during school term-time only, and take place at these venues:

1) Wednesday evenings at Eltham Park Baptist Church, Eltham, SE9 1JE from 6.00pm to 8.00pm

2) Friday afternoons at the Glyndon Community Centre, Plumstead, SE18 7LB from 4.00pm to 6.00pm

If you're a parent or a school teacher and you'd like to get in touch with me to discuss having chess at your school, please email me at rwchessacademy@hotmail.co.uk and I'll reply as soon as I can.

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