Juniors are players aged under 18 on 1 September in any year. Those aged under 12 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian when playing at the club. The minimum recommended age for club junior membership is 5.
When meeting in person, the junior club starts at 6.30pm with a puzzle and short talk for the early arrivals. From 6.45pm we provide coaching in separate rooms at three levels: beginners; intermediate; and advanced. All our coaches are volunteers, most of them strong players. From around 7.15pm the juniors play each other or in a tournament which currently has 50 players.
During pandemic restrictions, the juniors meet online for teaching sessions starting at 7.00pm, in beginner, intermediate and advanced groups, for around an hour.
In 2019-20 four PWOCC juniors represented England in international events and one is in the Ireland girl’s squad. Two are current British champions in the U14 and U12 age groups. Several of our juniors have played in the remarkably successful Kent junior teams.
Annual internal juniors competition
The Junior Co-ordinator organises an annual tournament for juniors consisting of 12 to 16 games. The time control is 15 minutes plus a 5 second increment per move. The top three scorers in the competition receive awards.
Occasional matches against other junior teams
We also organise midweek matches against other clubs with large junior sections. Each player plays once as white, once as black on the same evening. The number of boards for any match is usually determined by the number of players available to play for the opposing team, and is usually from 6 to 20. The time control is 10 minutes plus a 3 second increment per move.
Upon arrival for the first time, parents or guardians complete a registration form. The first evening is a free taster session. Please see our membership page for further details.
For absolute beginners a full game of chess can be a bit daunting. There are mini-games like pawn capture that are good to start off with. Once you know the moves and can play a full game, you can really enjoy competing in a tournament. By the end of a few rounds you are generally paired with players of similar strength. You learn quickly from playing. Playing against a parent, sibling or online opponents will help you to progress.
Chess for Children by Murray Chandler and Helen Milligan
Chess for Kids by Michael Basman
Chess for Kids: How to Play and Win by Richard James
Winning Chess Strategy For Kids by Jeff Coakley
For Advanced Beginners
Chess Tactics for Kids by Murray Chandler
Chess Tactics Workbook by Al Woolum
How to Beat Your Dad at Chess by Murray Chandler
Learn Chess the Right Way by Susan Polgar (Series)