Chess in Schools

The Welsh Chess Union (WCU) is keen to have a chess club running in every school in Wales, and we have the support of the Welsh Assembly to achieve this aim.

The Benefits of Chess

Much has been written about the benefits of chess to children, and these include: 

  • Improved concentration and memory skills
  • Pattern recognition and abstract reasoning
  • Mental discipline and emotional control (shouting and fighting won’t help you win !)
  • Taking responsibility for your actions (if you make a mistake you have to live with it and try to recover)

From a school’s point of view, chess can be played

  • by boys and girls together
  • by children of different ages together
  • in all weathers
  • in teams or individually

Furthermore, chess is a low cost activity and gives pupils an opportunity to represent the school.

Getting Chess Started in your School

In order to get chess played in your school you will need

  • A member of Staff

Each school will need a member of staff to be enthusiastic about getting chess played in the school.  That member of staff does NOT need to be a chess player themselves !

EVERY teacher has the ability to learn the basic rules of chess in a couple of hours and to get the children playing.  Once the children have grasped the basics the teacher will need to organise games between the children, in a league or ladder.  

It is possible to learn the basic rules of chess online – try the following site for starters:-

  •  Chess Sets

The WCU have a supplier who will provide a starter pack of 10 tournament quality sets, boards, and bags delivered to the school for approximately £100. The WCU have some funding from the Welsh Assembly to contribute towards this cost, but it is limited so the sooner you apply the more likely you will receive some financial help !

Additional help is available from :-

The WCU Website

This website provides information and news about chess in Wales.  The website also directs you to other sites providing chess related information.

The WCU Booklet

The WCU have published a booklet in both English and Welsh entitled “Organising Chess in Schools” or “Trefnu Clybiau Gwyddbwyll Mewn Ysgolion” which is available to download.

Organising Chess in Schools PDF  Word Version   

Trefnu Clybiau Gwyddbwyll Mewn Ysgolion PDF  Word Version

Paper copies are available on request from Sarah or Timothy Kett (contact details below).

External Events

The WCU also organise a number of events throughout the year, details of which can be seen on the Junior section of the website.  Once pupils are comfortable with the rules of chess they can participate in external competitions and training events, and join their local chess club.

Your Local Chess Club

The WCU will be able to put you in touch with the chess club in your area which pupils who show a particular ability or interest in chess can join.  Furthermore, your local club may have members who are happy to visit your school chess club on either a regular or occasional basis.  

External Chess Coaches

The WCU can put you in touch with a local strong chess player who is happy to provide coaching, sometimes for free or for a fee of about £30 per session, which can be divided between the pupils attending.

Further information

If you have any questions about getting started, or about improving the chess you already provide, please do not hesitate to call Sarah or Timothy Kett on (029) 2061 3870 or emailing or

World Chess Federation - Chess in Schools Commission

World Chess Federation Resource and Information Centre

UK Chess Challenge