A community junior chess and go club

Welcoming young people keen to explore and play these strategy games.

The club has a junior section (age 7-11) and an intermediate section (age 11-17).

It resumes for the Summer term on 15 April 2024 until 15 July 2024.

For chess enthusiasts - check out the Chess fest event in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 7 July 2024 11am to 6pm. Free chess activities for all the family. Travel there with us on the train from Letchworth.

Junior chess and go club meetings

The club meets on Monday evenings during term time at The Settlement in Letchworth Garden City. Our junior section meets 5.30-6.30pm. This is for ages up to 11 (primary school age). Our intermediate section meets 6.30 - 8.00pm. This is for secondary school age or exceptionally for younger members who are very strong for their age. Our junior section is close to capacity so please contact us in advance to check whether we have any spaces available.

About chess

Chess is an ancient strategy game played between two players. The current form of the game emerged from a much older game of Indian origin dating back 1,500 years. Chess is played by millions of people around the world.

About go

The game of Go is one of the oldest strategy games in the world. It originated over 3,000 years ago in China and is extremely popular in the Far East. It continues to expand in popularity in Europe. As with chess, it is a game that rewards study and ability grows with the effort put into it.

Our Spring term is when we usually run our club chess tournament to decide our club champions for the year. 

We will be be meeting weekly from 8 January through and including 25 March but there will be no meeting on 19 February (half term). 

Junior section

We start each club session with a short coaching talk followed by paired games.  During this term we will run our club tournament to determine age champions. We use this to introduce our members to tournament play and the rules for that (such as touch and move).  The club tournament will run over a number of weeks with one game each week. 

Intermediate section

We usually start the club meeting with a coaching talk where we study a tactical position or review a classical game.  We encourage members to fully participate in these sessions contributing their thoughts and questions. 

During this term we will run our club competition which will take place over six weeks.  

  • The Settlement, Nevells Road, Letchworth Garden City, UK

Alison Bexfield

Club manager, chess coach and go coach

Alison set up and has been running the Letchworth Junior chess and go club for over ten years (with a break during the covid years). Alison is an experienced player at both chess and go. She also runs the UK's Junior Go Squad.

Tom Coates

Chess coach

Tom is an experienced chess player. He has run many previous chess clubs in schools in North Herts. Tom provides some of our whole group coaching sessions at the start of each meeting and individual tuition during the meetings.

Bill Thurl

Chess coach

Bill is an experienced chess player and has previously run chess clubs in schools. He provides some of our whole group teaching and also individual tuition to members during our meetings.

We list here some future chess events that may be of interest to our members. 

Golders Green rapid play  Saturday 13 January 2024

These events occur approximately monthly on a Saturday running from 11.00am to 17:00 at St Luke's Church in Kidderpore Avenue, London NW3 7SU. 

There are four graded sections: Open, U1800. U1450 and U1200.  Six round swiss tournament.  You can see the entrants already registered online so easy to see what level competition you will face. A really good training ground for those who want to try competitive chess. 

Cambridge FIDE rapid play Sunday 14 January

A five round swiss rapid play across 3 rated sections: Open, U1900 and U1500.   Note although billed as Cambridge the location is actually near Duxford. 

Location Whittlesford Memorial Hall, Mill Lane, Whittlesford

We list here future go events that may be of interest to our members. 

London Youth Go tournament    Saturday 27 January 2024

Location: London Mindsports centre, Dalling Road, London W6 0JD

A three round tournament - even games for the strongest players and handicap games for remaining players. 

Also includes a 13x13 novices tournament for beginners / novices in the afternoon. 

Cambridge Go Tournament Saturday 16 March 2024

Location St Phillip' church centre, Mill Road

This is a three round 19x19 tournament which is usually very well attended and attracts players of all levels including double digit kyu players.  There is also a self pairing side event for children run alongside the main event.  

British Small Board tournament: 20 October 2024

Location Cambridge

An excellent first tournament for those new to the game of go. 

We provide here useful links where you can explore more about chess and go. 

British Go Association    https://www.britgo.org/

The British Go Association promotes and supports the playing of go in the UK. Its website provides useful information on where you can play go in the UK and has resources to help you become stronger at go. 

English Chess Federation  https://www.englishchess.org.uk/

The English Chess Federation promotes and supports chess playing in England. Its website has useful information on events across the country. To play in many events that are rated you will need to acquire a silver level of membership.

ChessKid  https://www.chesskid.com/

This is a great site for juniors new to chess to learn the rules of the games and start to play. It offers fun engaging tutorials and the chance to play other new players. The online playing environment does not support chat and can provide parents with a child activity report to monitor use.