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How to start an Elementary School Chess Club


Start an Elementary School Chess Club

This lens is devoted to information and resources for anyone interested in starting an elementary school chess club.

My son (3rd grade) loves to play chess and has been playing with his Dad for several years.  One day I said "Do you think we should have a chess club at your school?"  His answer was an enthusiastic YES. 

I had no clue what I was doing, but muddled my way through to start a chess club at his elementary school. (I'm not even a good chess player!)  I was pleased and surprised at the enthusiastic response the chess club received.

This lens is (as all lenses are) a work in progress and will grow as I find more relevant information. If you like the information you've found here, please rate this lens by clicking on one of the 5 stars beneath the lens title. Thank you! 

Good Kid's Chess Resources on the Internet

These are sites that I found useful when planning how to run the chess club and how to teach chess to beginners. There are also several organizations that (for a fee)come to your school and run a chess "learning" club.

  • AAA Chess Club
    We are a non-profit educational organization, highly instrumental in training and mastery of Chess game to the youth. Our goal is to promote the Chess among our youngsters and teenagers. The idea is not only to develop the skills and power of thinkin
  •'s Think Like a King School Chess Software System
    The Think Like A King School Chess Software System has what you need for your chess club: Chess Club Manager� and the Chess Workouts� books-on-disk. Used in hundreds of schools worldwide!
  • Media Division's flashChess
    The only chess game ever created in flash - a great resource for those who want to learn to play chess.
  • Academic Chess 2006
    Academic Chess is a not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to bringing chess and all of its scholastic and intellectual benfits to children.
  • Dean of Chess - Learn how to play chess with chess lessons and videos teaching chess strategy from D
    Learn about chess and the benefits of chess for children as well as buy unique chess products ranging from chess bags to keychains to chess sets. International Master of Chess, Dean Ippolito, has been playing chess for over 20 years and has won numer
    A place for chess on the net. Articles, games, etc. Looks like fun...

Benefits of Chess in Education


Starting the Sandy Hook School Chess Club

What I learned....

We started by asking the school if we could use a classroom after school hours so that the kids could just stay after school to play and have a parent pick them up.

We opened the club to 3rd and 4th graders. There was a very enthuiastic response and several 1st and 2nd graders asked to join. Next year we'll open it up to all grades!

We asked the PTA to buy the chess boards (and also asked families to donate some if they could.) We negotiated a good price with a local toy store.

Basically, I gave the kids "play sheets" with the names of the other students in the club and let them choose their own partners--marking off for each game whether it was a win/lose/draw.

Most of the children knew how to play, but I had some handouts of how the pieces move to give anyone who needed it.

The more experienced players taught the less experienced players some tips and tricks about the game.

Our goals were to:

Have Fun playing chess

Learn to play a better game of chess

Practice good sportsmanship

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Chess Stuff for Young Children and Beginning Players

Reader Feedback

LewesDE on February 19, 2012:

This lens is very ineresting. Please make more lenses!

The Philologist on August 10, 2011:

Congrats to you for starting a chess club. I loved chess as a kid, still do, but I didn't get to play in a club till middle school :(

Barbara Isbill from New Market Tn 37820 on March 03, 2011:

Thumbs up. I have coached several clubs (when I taught school), mostly middle schoolers. I took them to some scholastic tourneys. My son still has his trophy (He is 27 and an assistant manager of a Food City Grocery). Lots of fun and character building!

EssayWritingService on March 02, 2010:


I agree with you that chess is a great activity for kids. It will open their mind and help them to enhance their thinking. Thanks for the post.

Essay Writing Service

FueltheBrain on June 17, 2009:

It is so ironic that I found your page. I was just telling my husband that I should start a club of some sorts-chess, math , etc. because our schools are cutting gifted programs. Maybe I'll be able to put your great resources to use next year with my gifted students!

Robin S from USA on April 16, 2009:

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heehaw lm on January 10, 2009:

chess is a great and fun activity for kids to learn while at young age , 5 star for you.

anonymous on January 06, 2009:

Chess is an excellent game, which gives your brain good exercise regardless of age. Most children can start learning this game at an age of 7 or 8, although this may vary according to individuals. Even people in their 80s play chess. It really helps them to prevent memory loss.

daidamia on November 26, 2008:

Good idea!I appreciate your caring towards kids...Keep going....Thanks for sharing good lens on kids.check out my the afterschoolhelp blog

nlwest21 on November 01, 2008:

i love to play chess. I may not be good enough to be in a chess club though!

mdvaldosta lm on October 29, 2008:

Wow, elementary school kids playing chess... what a great idea!

AMB1 on October 11, 2008:

Great lens! I'm forwarding it to the moms who run our chess club. Our elementary school has about 150 kids in the chess club, including an all-girls class, and even hosts its own tournament! Several of the kids went to nationals last year. It's a fantastic activity.

anonymous on August 10, 2008:

This is a great lens. I hope it encourages lots of people to start chess clubs in elementary schools - the best time to get kids interested in chess. If you get a chance, check out Chess for Kids Today

anonymous on February 28, 2008:

I used your site as one of the resources when I started the Doss Elementary school chess club ( ) thanks!

GiGiBelts on January 12, 2008:

Great info!

freechessgames on December 01, 2007:

i totally would've loved to have a chess club in elementary school! that's a great idea.

Tom-Chess-Openings on November 15, 2007:

chess club is a GREAT kids activity! nice job!

anonymous on September 28, 2007:

Thank you for this wonderful information!

anonymous on September 25, 2007:

Thanks for putting this out there. My son is also in 3rd grade and would like a chess club at his school. This is exactly the information I was looking for.

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