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

HM Government’s roadmap out of lockdown moved to Step 4 from 19 July.

The Junior Coaching section resumes with the Autumn Term 2021-22 – dates are given below.

The following text applies to periods when the section can meet and is retained for information and better times. Stay safe.

The Junior chess coaching club has re-opened restricted to 8 – 15 year olds (Key Stages 2, 3 & 4) only and will be following HM Government guidance for out-of-school settings during the Covid-19 outbreak. Please note that places are accordingly limited.

Attendance for enrolled children (see “Introduction” section below) at each session is only by prior registration which has been accepted – click the Attendance Form button below to apply.

Wanstead House and the Chess Club have safety protocols in place including social distancing and Track & Trace arrangements which must be adhered to by all attendees, whether children, parents, guardians, carers or supervisors. Waiting within the House is limited to only a few minutes. Please read the following key documents for managing a Covid-19 environment:

Overview (16 Sep) | Keeping Wanstead House safeSocially distanced JCCC | Two-boarded chess

Government guidance for parents | WWCC JCC Covid-19 Risk Assessment 17 Apr 2021


Chess coaching for children aged primarily between 8 and 15 years runs term-time on Tuesdays at Wanstead House from 5 pm to 7 pm. 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.

Ben Harte and Mark Murrell have enhanced DBS clearance to work with children. Other club members may also be invited to assist Ben or Mark. During the Covid-19 outbreak it is not possible for parent or nominated adult to be in attendance within Wanstead House as the public area on the ground floor is closed and the House itself closed to the general public. We have revised our supervision policy accordingly such that attendance can only be on the basis that a parent or guardian assigns responsible adult status to the session superivsors and will be contactable throughout the session, should the need arise.

Coaching costs £25 per child per term 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”)

2021–22 Term Dates (inclusive)

Autumn 14 Sep to 19 Oct and 2 Nov to 7 Dec

Spring 4 Jan to 8 Feb and 22 Feb to 29 Mar

Summer 19 Apr to 24 May and 7 Jun to 12 Jul


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 & 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.