Part 2

You have a person to run the club. You have a suitable room and all the equipment you need.

Time to continue the journey…


Step 4…


This is the easiest step of all. Send a note around a school asking if anyone would like to join a new chess club and the only problem will be having to set up a waiting list, so as not to exceed a manageable number.

Some children will drop out of any group or club after a few weeks. They can easily be replaced by children on the waiting list.


Step 5…


It is possible to run a chess club just be leaving the children to play some games each week.

However, the best mix to keep the interest going is to add a little input to the sessions, usually at the start. It doesn’t need to be much and it doesn’t need to be difficult.

If starting with absolute beginners, it is recommended to teach the children ‘Johnny Cash style’ – one piece at a time. Most pieces can be mastered after one week but the knight and king will probably require two or three weeks.

Various mini-games can be used to help the children practice the moves of the pieces.

Once the children know the basic rules the input part of the session could be simply explaining basic opening moves or having the children try some very basic checkmate problems.

Chess in Schools and Communities specialise in promoting chess in schools and are always ready to support clubs in various different ways, from help with chess equipment and training days for teachers to providing a tutor armed with a full chess curriculum.

The CSC can be contacted here:


Step 6…


The world is full of chess events! There are many different tournament formats to be used in the standard chess club. We will write about some of the popular options in a future post.

Meanwhile ALL school clubs should definitely consider entering the Delancey UK Schools’ Chess Challenge, which has repeatedly proved itself more than capable of maintaining serious interest in chess over the course of the school year.

Entires are now open for the 2018 competition:

It is strange to think that it takes more steps to set up a chess club than it does to get to heaven, but it is definitely a worthwhile journey. ‘Just follow the rules and you will see…’


Sean Marsh