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Chess for Kids

Russian Chess SetChess is fun for kids and can be appreciated on many levels. The board itself and the pieces seem to be magical and remind children of faraway lands and stories about knights and castles; then there are the special rules for each piece (which can be fun for kids to memorize); and then there is the thrill of the game itself. Since chess can be tricky to master, parents can make it easier by playing alongside their kids until they feel confident to play alone. We now leave our chessboard set up so the kids can keep games going for days. The Russian chess set pictured above lives at my sons’ grandparents house.

Chess. Read about it, watch it played, and learn the game from others. Here is list of chess resources for kids.

Read about chess:
DK Chess for Kids by Michael Basman
Usborne First Skills: Starting Chess by Harriet Castor

Watch a movie about chess:
Searching for Bobby Fisher: A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer. Rated PG.

Play chess outdoors:
When the weather is nice (and not so cold), pack a bag of chess pieces and snacks and head to a park that has a built-in chess/checkers table. We play on the East Side of Providence at Lippitt Park (at the intersection of Hope Street and Blackstone Boulevard).

Play indoors:
Several local coffee shops have chess boards available for customers to use. We visit Reflections on Wickenden Street or Blue State Coffee on Thayer Street to play.

List of local chess clubs:

Blackstone Chess Academy
250 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI
Memberships offered

Clark Memorial Library Chess Club
7 Pinehurst Drive, Carolina, RI
Ages: 6 and up
Meetings: First and third Mondays of the month at 6:30 pm
Cost: Free

Cranston-Warwick Chess Club
100 Midway Road, Cranston, RI
Ages: youth, adult, and senior
Cost: Casual games $1; youth membership $10 for a year; adult membership $15

Monastery Chess Kids (Office of Children Youth and Learning)
1464 Diamond Hill Road, Suite 2, Cumberland, RI
Ages: 8-14
Pre-registration required
Cost: See website for details

Rochambeau Library Chess Club
708 Hope Street, Providence, RI
Children’s room, 2nd floor
Ages: All ages
Drop-in Saturdays from noon to 2:00 pm (September- June)
Cost: No cost or registration required

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  • I misread this as “Cheese for Kids. Cheese is fun…” This is a great post, even though it is about chess. I am so happy that my kids like to play even though I don’t know how. I love this–what a good resource.

    I noticed that there’s a games tournament at the Barrington library tomorrow afternoon–something to keep in mind in case of a snow day.

  • I highly recommend the game “No stress chess” for beginners, even if you don’t remember how to play you can play a version of the game that teaches you how each of the pieces move and eliminates the stress of concentrating on strategy.