My Story

Here’s my story. I always found it hard to fit in at school, but was lucky enough to grow up at a time when chess was popular amongst boys (but sadly not girls) of secondary school age. When I was 10 I received a pocket chess set as a Christmas present, and my father, who knew the moves but had no other interest in the game, showed me how the pieces moved. When I started at secondary school the following September I took that chess set with me to help me make friends. In my teens, when I could beat the other boys in my form at school, my father took me along to Richmond & Twickenham Chess Club. When I grew up I decided to devote my life to helping other children take up chess, but I eventually realised that children from my background, with non-academic, non-chess playing parents, no longer played chess. So I resolved to do something about it, to find better ways of promoting chess in schools.

Everything I’ve done in chess over the past half century was designed to help the boy I was. Neither today’s primary school clubs nor today’s professional junior clubs, excellent though they are in many ways offer a product which would have helped me. There has to be a way of involving children like me in chess clubs and competitions. This site offers some proposals.