Many thanks for your interest in Richmond Junior Chess Club.

This page offers you some guidance as to which group will be suitable for your children.

Beginners/Novices Group
This group is suitable for children with no prior knowledge of the game and for children who have learnt the moves at home but are not yet familiar with all the rules or with the game's underlying logic and basic tactics and strategy.

It's suitable for children aged 6 upwards, although slightly younger children might also be considered if they are able to concentrate for an hour or so and if they're getting appropriate parental support at home.

In this group children will learn:

Knowledge of all the rules of chess, including castling, pawn promotion and the en passant capture.
A complete understanding of check, checkmate and stalemate, and the ability to determine whether or not a given position is checkmate or stalemate.
Knowledge of the values of the pieces (Pawn 1 point, bishop and knight 3 each, rook 5, queen 9) and understanding that you should win points when possible and avoid playing moves that lose points.
Understanding the three main opening principles (get your knights and bishops out quickly, control the centre, castle to make your king safe.
Understanding the Touch and Move rule.
The ability to play a game in silence when requested to do so and understand why this is important.

Intermediate and Advanced Groups
These groups are for children who are able to play serious competitive chess. They will usually be aged 8 or above and have been playing for a couple of years.

Entry requirements:
Knowledge of the names, first few moves and basic ideas of the most common openings.
Understanding basic positional play: how to put your pieces on good squares.
Understanding how to look at the board and think ahead.
The ability to solve Mate in 1 and simple Mate in 2 puzzles.
Understanding of basic tactical ideas (fork, pin, skewer, discovered attack, decoy, deflection, removing the defender).
The ability to checkmate with king and queen or king and rook against king fluently and confidently.
Understanding of basic king and pawn endings (how to play king and pawn against king, how to win simple endings with an extra pawn).
The ability to play games with a clock while recording their moves.
Understanding tournament chess etiquette.

If you're not sure which group to choose it's probably better to start low rather than try something that might be too hard. We're very flexible and will be happy to move your children up if they want something more challenging.

Click here to download a Membership Form.