Junior Chess Coaching at Wanstead & Woodford Chess Club

“Chess is a universal game, knowing no boundaries of age, gender, faith, ethnicity or disability, that promotes key intellectual skills such as problem solving, logical thinking, pattern recognition and concentration. Playing chess also fosters intellectual character. Its cerebral reputation boosts self-esteem and gives children ‘grit’ – the tenacity to cope with adversity – which helps them grow into rounded and employable individuals. It does this by teaching children how to lose and how to win gracefully, to think ahead and foresee the consequences of their actions.”

Chess in Schools & Communities


Chess coaching for children aged primarily between 8 and 15 years runs term-time on Tuesdays at Wanstead House in two sessions. The aim is to help children who wish to develop a proper understanding of chess and to become good players. Coaching will involve formal coaching materials as well as competitive play. Wanstead & Woodford chess club is a very successful chess club and there will be many opportunities for competitive play as a junior player progresses.

Younger/beginner players

5pm to 6pm: general chess play and coaching (collect at 6pm)
6pm to 6.30pm: only for younger inexperienced players who are ready for more serious chess play using a chess clock (collect at 6.30pm)

Older/established players

5.45pm to 7.15pm: general chess play, coaching and tournaments (collect at 7:15pm unless staying on for main club activity)
At 6.30pm when the younger players have left, we will regularly be inviting main club members to join the junior session to give our older established players a broader chess experience; some of whom will receive invitations to participate in main club events and teams.

Wanstead House has continued its covid-19 policy of drop-and-go, with the House not open to the general public, such that it is not possible for a parent or nominated adult to be in attendance. Accordingly, our adjusted supervision policy continues to apply with attendance only on the basis that a parent or guardian assigns responsible adult status to the session supervisors and will be contactable throughout the session, should the need arise.

Coaching costs £25 per child per term (£20 for ECF silver junior members) to cover the cost of the use of the room in Wanstead House.

If your child is new to the Club or returning after a period of absence please review our safeguarding documentation below and register an interest through our enquiry form – click the button.

Enquiry Form

By invitation, the Junior Chess Coaching Club may hold moderated online events by invitation on the lichess.org platform. Participating juniors will require a parental controlled or monitored playing account as appropriate. Some events include adult players from the main club.

Ben Harte
Junior Chess Coaching Coordinator
(To contact Ben, please use the Contact Form and select “Junior Organiser”)

2023–24 Term Dates (inclusive)

Autumn 19 Sep to 17 Oct and 31 Oct to 12 Dec

Spring 9 Jan to 13 Feb and 27 Feb to 26 Mar

Summer 16 Apr to 21 May and 4 Jun to 16 Jul


Ben Harte, Mark Murrell, Peter Nickals and Michael Buckingham have enhanced DBS clearance to work with children. Other club members may also assist from time to time with a working with children supervisor present.

The Club has policies on safeguarding, playing of chess online and data protection accessible from the Corporate Menu below with which parents and guardians should be familiar, but having regard to the above specific adjustments and variations in place for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak.

In addition, there are also safeguarding guidance documents for parents and guardians as well as junior players:

Downloads: Junior Code | Parents and guardians | Online Code of Conduct

Parents and guardians are expected to comply with the guidance. They should ensure that their children understand the codes of conduct and comply with them.