Our President, Richard James, has been teaching chess to children since 1972. He is the author of a number of books, including Chess for Kids, an Amazon best-seller since its publication in 2010, and The Right Way to Teach Chess to Kids, an authoritative guide for parents. His new book Chess for Schools, published in 2022, has just been shortlisted for the English Chess Federation Book of the Year award.

Richard has an international reputation for his experience and knowledge of how children learn and play chess. He has a particular interest in working with children diagnosed with ASD and ADHD, and sometimes has vacancies for individual or small group tuition.

You can find information and links to his websites on our Links page.

If you’re reached this page you’re probably interested in chess clubs for children. These fall into two categories.

PROFESSIONAL JUNIOR CLUBS run by professional chess teachers which offer serious top level coaching and opportunities to play rated games internally as well as take part in competitions. While they can be expensive, parents in areas like Richmond are used to paying in that way for other children’s activities. Richmond Junior Chess Club, meeting at Orleans Park School from 2:00 to 5:00 on Saturday afternoons in termtime, provides an excellent service in this area: you can visit their website here, or just drop in and speak to them. Please note that RJCC is not directly connected with RTCC: we cannot answer queries beyond the information given here.

COMMUNITY JUNIOR CLUBS run by chess enthusiasts, some of whom are also strong players and good teachers. These clubs promote friendship before mastery, provide social rather than competitive chess and more informal, child-centred tuition. They may also provide more of a family environment, aiming to involve parents in both learning and teaching. Because the staff are unpaid they will be a lot cheaper than professionial junior clubs: all you’re paying for, if that, is the venue and equipment.

We’ve just started a new community chess club for children in conjunction with Twickenham Library which meets after school every Thursday. You can visit our website here. If you know any children who play or would like to learn chess, do please look around, visit all the pages and read all the blog posts. You’ll learn a lot about our unique approach to children’s chess.

The club is run by Marie Gallagher, a very experienced chess teacher, former (and hopefully future) RTCC member and sister of GM Joe Gallagher, along with Richard James. If anyone else is interested in volunteering, please get in touch with Richard.

Both models are equally valid: different methods will suit different children – and different families. It’s up to you to decide which you prefer. Your children might even like to join both clubs.

Of course, older children may well prefer to join an adult club where they can play and learn from more experienced players rather than a junior club where they’ll be a lot older than all the 7-year-olds. They’ll be very welcome here at RTCC any Tuesday evening. They might even want to join both an adult and a junior club, which is also absolutely fine.

Richard can also offer free consultations and provide advice on the best approach for parents and schools to take regarding children’s chess. To book a consultation, to discuss private individual or small group tuition, or for further information about any aspect of junior chess please contact Richard.