Richard James is an authority on junior chess and education, holding independent and insightful views on how chess should be taught to children. The author of Chess For Kids he wrote The Complete Chess Addict together with Mike Fox and recently revised and updated David Pritchard’s classic work, The Right Way To Play Chess.
Richard started teaching chess forty years ago as a result of the Fischer-Spassky match and in 1975 and, together with Mike Fox, started Richmond Junior Chess Club. In 1993 the Richmond Chess Initiative was started, giving him the opportunity to work in local schools.
At first things looked good, but after a few years it became clear to him that most children, while enjoying their school clubs for a year or two, were not developing a long-term interest in the game. In particular he noticed that the only children who were doing well were those who came from a chess playing family or those who had extremely proactive parents. This led to him paring down his teaching commitments and considering whether we are teaching children in the wrong way.
As a result of this soul searching he developed some big ideas about how we can give young children a much better deal from early years chess. In his contributions to The Chess Improver he will be looking at how a lot of the misunderstandings concerning early years chess and suggest how we can improve what we do and offer kids the best possible start in the world’s greatest game.
Richard runs an excellent web site at Chesskids and, if you’re in the Twickenham area you can attend the Richmond Junior Chess Club or one of his Chess For Kids Courses. You’ll also find more about him at his personal website.
To contact Richard, please check out his contact details at one of his web sites or use the form below: