We’re living in stressful times: pandemics, climate change, wars, along with the pressures of living in the 21st century. Many children and young people are finding life difficult. In such times it’s important that children have hobbies where they can relax and enjoy themselves away from both family and school, make new friends, enjoy new experiences and enhance their lives. For some children, those who enjoy using their brains, playing games and solving puzzles, the beautiful and exciting game of chess can be the ideal hobby, in some cases, as it did with both Marie and Richard, offering a lifetime of pleasure.
Our mission is to promote the game of chess as a lifelong interest through running clubs in our area (Twickenham), and through providing free resources allowing anyone to start up their own Spectrum Chess Club. All Spectrum Chess Clubs are run by volunteers, with governance by a combination of the volunteer tutors, parents and other stakeholders.
We’re not aiming to make children smarter, or to produce champions. All we want to do is make children happier and healthier.
We have a particular interest in being proactive in identifying children who might gain particular benefit from leaning chess: for example with children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum or with ADHD.
We have many years experience teaching chess in both after-school clubs and professional junior chess clubs. While these are both wonderful in their own way, they didn’t give us what we wanted.
While after-school chess clubs give children a great deal of short-term fun, they are often used as childminding services, and many parents have little or no interest in helping their children at home. As a result most children make little progress and fail to continue their interest when they leave their primary school.
Professional junior clubs are great for children who are ambitious to succeed, but not for everyone. We believe that many children will gain more benefit from community chess clubs staffed by volunteers offering a safe place for children to play chess, make new friends and benefit from some basic instruction.