two kids playing chess

Chess Lessons for Kids: How to Teach the Game

Beginner By Feb 19, 2023 1 Comment

Teaching chess to kids can be a fun and rewarding experience, as it not only introduces them to a new and challenging game, but also helps to develop their critical thinking skills, concentration, and creativity. However, teaching chess to kids can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure where to start. In this article, we’ll provide some tips and strategies on how to teach kids chess, including the basics of the game, how to make it fun and engaging for kids, and how to build their skills and confidence over time.

Chess is like a battlefield where I get to use my brain as a weapon. Every move counts and every decision is important. It’s challenging and exciting, and it helps me to think ahead and plan my actions. I love playing chess because it makes me feel like a strategist and a problem solver at the same time.

Unknown child chess player

Here are some tips on how to teach kids chess:

  1. Start with the basics: Begin by explaining the rules of the game, including how the pieces move, how to capture pieces, and the objective of the game. You can use a chessboard and pieces to show them visually how the game works.
  2. Use visual aids: Visual aids like diagrams, charts, and videos can be helpful in illustrating the game’s rules and strategies.
  3. Play regularly: Encourage kids to play chess regularly, either with you, other kids, or online. Playing regularly will help them improve their skills and develop their own strategies.
  4. Make it fun: Kids are more likely to enjoy playing chess if they find it fun. You can make it fun by incorporating games, puzzles, and challenges into your lessons. Also, you can make use of themed pieces to make it more engaging.
  5. Praise and encourage: Encourage kids by praising their efforts and progress, even if they make mistakes. This will help them stay motivated and enjoy the game.
  6. Provide resources: Provide access to chess books, online tutorials, and other resources that can help kids learn and improve their chess skills.
  7. Join a club: Consider joining a chess club or organizing a group of kids who are interested in learning and playing chess. This can provide an opportunity for kids to play with other chess enthusiasts and improve their skills.
  8. Attend tournaments: Encourage your child to participate in local chess tournaments to gain experience, build confidence, and meet other players.
  9. Provide positive feedback: Remember to provide positive feedback and encouragement to your child, regardless of whether they win or lose, to help them stay motivated and continue to enjoy the game.
  10. Encourage regular practice: Encourage kids to practice regularly, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, to build their skills and confidence over time.

Remember, teaching chess to kids is a gradual process, and it may take time for them to understand the game fully. With patience, encouragement, and lots of practice, kids can become proficient chess players and develop a love for the game.

Benefits of playing chess for kids

Teaching kids chess can have numerous benefits, including:

  1. Developing critical thinking skills: Chess requires players to think ahead and consider various possibilities and outcomes, which helps to develop critical thinking skills.
  2. Improving problem-solving skills: Chess teaches children how to analyze a situation, identify problems, and find solutions, which is a valuable skill in many areas of life.
  3. Enhancing memory and concentration: Chess requires players to remember past moves and anticipate future ones, which can improve their memory and concentration.
  4. Boosting creativity: Chess encourages players to be creative and develop their own strategies, which can translate into other areas of life.
  5. Building confidence: As kids improve their chess skills, they gain confidence in their abilities and feel a sense of accomplishment.
  6. Fostering social skills: Chess can be played with others, and it provides a platform for kids to learn how to communicate, take turns, and work together towards a common goal.

Overall, teaching kids chess can be a fun and engaging way to develop a wide range of valuable skills that can benefit them in many areas of life.

The best chess books for kids

Here are some chess books for beginner kids:

1. “Chess for Kids” by Michael Basman:

This book is designed specifically for children and includes clear explanations of the rules and strategies of chess.

2. “My First Book of Chess” by David MacEnulty:

This book uses a fun and engaging approach to teach children the basics of chess, including how each piece moves and common strategies.

3. “Chess Tactics for Kids” by Murray Chandler:

This book introduces young players to the fundamental tactics of chess, including forks, pins, and skewers, through illustrated examples and exercises.

4. “The Kids’ Book of Chess and Chess Set” by Harvey Kidder:

This book includes step-by-step instructions for playing chess, as well as tips and tricks for beginners.

5. “Chess Rules for Students” by John Bain:

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the rules of chess, with helpful illustrations and practice problems to reinforce learning.

6. “Chess is Child’s Play” by Laura Sherman and Bill Kilpatrick:

This book offers a fun and interactive approach to learning chess, using storytelling and humor to engage young readers.

7. “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chess for Kids” by Patrick Wolff:

This book provides a clear and concise introduction to the game of chess, including basic rules, strategies, and tactics.

8. “Chess Openings for Kids” by John Watson:

This book focuses on the opening moves of chess and offers a variety of strategies and techniques that kids can use to gain an advantage over their opponents.

9. “How to Beat Your Dad at Chess” by Murray Chandler:

This book is aimed at kids who are just starting to play chess and offers tips and tricks for beating a parent or other adult opponent.

10. “Winning Chess Strategy for Kids” by Jeff Coakley:

This book offers an in-depth look at chess strategy, with clear explanations and illustrated examples that can help kids improve their gameplay.

At what age should a child learn chess?

Children can start learning chess at a very young age, but the ideal age can vary depending on the child’s individual development and interest. Some children may be ready to start learning the game as young as four or five years old, while others may not be interested until they are seven or eight years old.

Generally, children around the age of six to eight years old can start to grasp the basic rules and concepts of the game. At this age, children are developing their cognitive and problem-solving abilities and can benefit from the mental stimulation that chess provides. However, younger children can also be introduced to the game through simple and fun chess-related activities.

It’s important to remember that children develop at different rates, and it’s essential to approach teaching chess with a patient and supportive attitude, allowing them to progress at their own pace. Introducing children to chess at a young age can be a great way to foster their cognitive and social development, and it can be a fun and rewarding activity for the whole family to enjoy together.

Scholar’s mate – The 4-move checkmate

Scholar’s Mate can be a fun way to introduce children to the concept of checkmate and show them the importance of being aware of potential threats to their king. However, it is important to stress to your kids that this tactic is not a reliable or strategic way to play chess in the long term and that more experienced players will be able to defend against it. So while it can be a fun way to win a game quickly, it should not be the focus of their chess education. It’s important to teach kids the fundamental principles of chess, such as controlling the center, developing their pieces, and protecting their king, as well as basic tactics and strategies, to help them build a strong foundation and improve their overall play.

These books can be a great resource for beginner kids who are just starting to learn the game of chess. Remember to choose a book that matches the child’s age and experience level, and encourage them to practice regularly to build their skills and confidence.

Some inspiring quotes on chess

Here are some chess quote that kids might find inspiring:

Chess is the gymnasium of the mind.

Blaise Pascal

This quote emphasizes how chess can exercise the mind and help to develop mental abilities, just as physical exercise helps to develop physical abilities. It can be a great motivator for kids to view chess as a fun and engaging way to improve their mental agility and problem-solving skills.

In life, as in chess, forethought wins.

Charles Buxton

This quote highlights the importance of thinking ahead and making plans, both in chess and in life. It can encourage kids to develop good planning skills and to consider the potential consequences of their actions before making decisions. By associating this concept with a game like chess, kids can also learn that planning can be fun and rewarding, and that it can help them to achieve their goals both on and off the board.

Chess is a game of infinite possibilities.

László Polgár

This quote emphasizes the many different ways that a game of chess can unfold, and the endless opportunities for creativity and strategy. It can encourage kids to think outside the box and explore different ideas and approaches to the game. Additionally, it can help to foster a sense of curiosity and wonder, and inspire kids to continue learning and exploring new ideas both in chess and in life.

Every chess game is like a new adventure, filled with endless possibilities and exciting challenges.


This quote highlights the dynamic and exciting nature of chess, and encourages kids to view each game as a new opportunity to learn and grow. It can help to foster a sense of enthusiasm and curiosity, and inspire kids to approach chess with a positive attitude and a desire to explore and experiment. Additionally, it can help to develop a growth mindset, which is an important mindset for kids to have in all areas of their life.

In chess, as in life, your opponent’s moves can teach you valuable lessons.


This quote highlights the importance of paying attention to the actions of others, and the potential opportunities for learning that can arise from every experience, both on and off the chessboard. It can encourage kids to be curious and observant, and to view their opponents not just as adversaries, but as valuable sources of knowledge and insight. By adopting this mindset, kids can develop a sense of humility, respect, and empathy, as well as a desire to continue learning and growing.


Hi there, I'm Sabina, a passionate chess player and author. I've been playing chess for over a decade and have participated in several national and international tournaments. As a woman who loves chess, I feel it's important to encourage and support other women who are interested in the game. That's why I love to write articles that focus on topics such as chess strategy, tactics, and psychology, as well as on the challenges and opportunities of being a female chess player. When I'm not playing chess or writing, I enjoy hiking, cooking, and spending time with my family. I'm excited to share my knowledge and experience with you, and I hope to inspire more women to get involved in the chess community.

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