Best Practice

Setting up a chess club in your secondary school: Dos and don'ts

Setting up a chess club in your secondary school can open up a world of possibilities and inspiration for your students. And it is very cheap to do. Richard James offers some pointers

The golden age of chess in schools, in my opinion, was the quarter century or so between about 1955 and 1980, when the game was very popular among secondary school boys, but unfortunately not as many girls.

I have many friends and colleagues who developed a fascination with chess at secondary school during those years, and for whom it became a lifelong passion. Now in their 60s, 70s or even 80s, they’re still involved as players, organisers, teachers, writers, historians, sharing their knowledge and enjoyment of this wonderful game with younger generations.

By and large they weren’t academic high-flyers, nor did they come from chess-playing backgrounds. Several of them failed the 11-plus, but they were still able to utilise their cognitive skills to excel at chess.

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