Hi all,

I love chess, and i would like it to be a habit on our home, what are your thoughts about it? What's the best age for children to learn and play chess? Where can we find free resources for achieving this?

asked 03 Oct '09, 15:12

Jhonny%20Cano's gravatar image

Jhonny Cano
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edited 26 Nov '09, 18:38

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦

My husband taught our son to play when he was 6 yrs old (he is now 9). Our daughter who is now 6 learned when she was 5 (she is very competitive with her older brother)! That being said, I don't think age really matters. It's more about being able to learn the pieces and how they move. After learning the pieces and moves, the key was to learn to anticipate what the opponent might do based on your move (like checkers). One thing that really helps is to talk through and question all of the possible moves as you go along so they start thinking about options and consequences. We used to start off playing to just capture pieces (like checkers). Then we moved on to discussions of strategy and capturing and protecting the king.

Our elementary school actually has a chess club for Kindergarten-3rd grade (5-9 yr olds) that meets after school for 6-8 weeks each spring. That was a great experience for them to play with kids their ages and be able to teach each other. You'd be amazed at how quickly these kids catch on!


answered 20 Nov '09, 03:35

mapwoman's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

edited 20 Nov '09, 13:41

I would start with draughts (checkers) as the rules are much simpler but there is still a fair amount of complexity: diagonal moves only, forward moves only, having to take an opponent's piece when possible, and so on.

We're not a big gaming family but we've played a few times with our girls. I think they were 4 and 6 when we introduced draughts and they got the hang of what to do with a bit of help. The hardest part may be to get them to finish the game without having a tantrum!

I've no idea when or if we might introduce chess. If they showed more interest in board games then I'd consider it then.


answered 22 Oct '09, 07:47

Paul%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Paul Stephenson
accept rate: 4%

I started teaching my daughter to play as soon as I felt safe with her having the smaller pieces. Just enough to get her interested when she was younger and then more specifics later. I guess by around 5-6 she had interest in it as a game and knew what all the pieces moves were without help.

I haven't played her for a while, maybe I'll go break out the board now :)

It's fun when they actually beat you without help the first time :)


answered 03 Oct '09, 17:26

Jay's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

I've taught my 4-year old son the basic rules of chess (didn't get into en passant and castling yet) and he loves to play.

Probably the most difficult rule to explain is the pawn: "only moves DOWN. first time you move him he can move ONE or TWO, otherwise only ONE. he can always hit DIAGONALLY. see? ... see?" (see what I mean - kinda hard)

Would love resources for kids as well, though. Most modern chess computer games have pretty cool step-by-step tutorials though. Depending on if your kid likes computers, you might try that.

Last time we played I started tactics 101 with him by explaining the two verbs "protecting" and "attacking", and that your moves should usually be trying to do both at the same time.


answered 22 Oct '09, 13:01

epaga's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

As Paul mentioned, I would start with simpler games: checkers, tic-tac-toe, really simple card games maybe. Get them used to the idea of playing a game that involves rules, thinking about strategy for such a game, etc. Chess is complex enough that you don't want them to get frustrated with the various rules right away. Keep it fun and gradually work up to it! I'll be doing this too, but my little guy is only 9 months old so I have a ways to go.


answered 22 Oct '09, 18:43

Mike%20Kale's gravatar image

Mike Kale
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My son showed interest to chess when he was 4 years old. He saw my husband and myself playing. So we started to teach him at age of 4, he was progressive so fast, we could not believe it.In couple month we decided to find a chess tutor for him, so we did. He started to participate in different local chess tournaments. When he was at senior kindergarten he played on provincial level (Canada) and got 3rd place, constantly winning local, area, school tournaments. Somewhere at age 9 he decided not to go to any tournaments and not to take any chess clases anymore. He is 13 now, he still like the game , but not playing as much as before - occasionally with me and some of his friends. But I really believe chess helped him especially with math, he is 98-100% math student at gifted program. So teach them at any age if they show an interest.


answered 01 Dec '09, 17:41

TutorDaily.info's gravatar image

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My daughter is still very young so I haven't really given this much thought. I'm trying to remember when and how I learned to play. I would suggest starting with something like checkers, which is a much simpler strategy game that would also familiarize your children with the board.

I found this article about teaching your child to play chess through a google search that might be helpful. http://www.ehow.com/how_2042014_teach-chess-children.html


answered 03 Oct '09, 17:20

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Tammy ♦♦
accept rate: 18%

I learned to play chess at the age of 4. I think it is a little early and it all depends, but in general I think that it should be before the kid goes to school, since that is such an overwhelming experience for them that they will not pick up anything as complex as chess is.


answered 03 Oct '09, 20:18

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Bartosz Radaczyński
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Asked: 03 Oct '09, 15:12

Seen: 13,182 times

Last updated: 01 Dec '09, 17:41