Since chess is a highly cerebral game that requires a lot of adaptability and concentration, you can guess that it isn’t the easiest subject to teach.
Unlike a subject like maths, with chess, there isn’t necessarily a right and a wrong answer.
Sure, anyone can teach a child the basics of how each piece moves and what the rules of the game are, but to help them make solid progress and up their game is another thing entirely.
If your kid is serious about chess or shows great aptitude for the game, beating you consistently, then they might have outgrown your tutorship!
As sobering as this might be, this is good news, as it shows that your kid is taking an interest in the board game and could stand to gain a lot if they can maintain their motivation and continue to improve over time.
So what is the best way to help them grow and improve their chess game?
Hands-down finding a proficient chess teacher is the best way to guarantee that they are able to make progress consistently and improve their level over time. Tutors are invaluable resources when it comes to making chess enjoyable for kids.
Chess-related apps, games, and activities are all excellent supplementary materials for a young chess learner, but they are usually just that: supplementary to the main source of teaching.
Unless you put down some money in a comprehensive online course, you’re going to need to find a chess tutor either locally or online to help your child develop their chess abilities.
Why Study Chess?
Before we tackle the question of how to find a chess tutor for your kid, it’s important that both you and your child understand the reasons behind studying the board game.
After all, chess isn’t an academic subject taught at schools, so why should you commit money and your child commit time to learn how to play with a tutor?
Boosts Brain Power
The most compelling reason to invest in your child’s chess education is for the cognitive-enhancing effects playing the game regularly can have on their developing brain.
Not only can chess help your child think in novel ways and improve their ability to focus for sustained periods of time, but it could also potentially lower the risk of conditions such as Alzheimer’s in the long run.
Just as sports improve your child’s physiology and how their body responds to exercise, chess improves the brain as a result of the significant cognitive effort each game involves.
Think of the benefits playing a game of Sudoku on a regular basis can have, and you can better understand the mental exercise that chess provides.
Given that it keeps the brain occupied, chess can also be an effective way of reducing symptoms of anxiety, so it can potentially be a great remedy for the restless mind.
Improves Problem-Solving Skills
Playing chess regularly is a surefire way to improve your child’s problem-solving skills.
To be successful as a chess player, one of the things you need to be able to do well is to think fast on your feet. You need to adapt to the other player’s moves in real-time and stay one step ahead of them, always thinking about what your next move will be.
As such, a child working on their chess game with a private tutor is going to work on their problem-solving skills which can help them in all facets of life.
If you aren’t faced with difficulty or obstacles in your daily life, you aren’t going to know how to cope with them when they do eventually spring up. Working on problem-solving skills through a fun game such as chess is one of the best things a child can do outside of school to boost their development.
If your child is already logically-minded and enjoys subjects like maths then they will be able to put their skills into practice by noticing patterns on the chessboard and raising their cognitive ceiling. If they are more creatively-minded, then they will be addressing a potential weakness by taking to the chessboard and using their imagination to visualise the various moves and formulating strategies.
Teaches Good Manners
Chess is a black and white game, literally and in the sense that there is a clear winner and lose after every game. Barring the occasional stalemate, your child will have to get used to both victory and defeat.
While you might not want your child to grow an overinflated sense of ego from winning all the time or suffer a hit to their self-esteem with repeated defeats, growing accustomed to both winning and losing can do them a world of good.
After a while of playing chess, your child will hopefully learn how to be humble in victory and graceful in defeat, which will set them up well later in life. As such, you can see chess as a powerful vehicle for teaching this valuable life lesson.
How to Find a Chess Tutor
Now you know why it’s a good thing to get your child interested in the game of chess, it’s time to explore the various ways you can find a chess tutor.
From clubs and societies to online tutorials and tutors, there are a host of ways you can get the one-on-one your child needs to level up their chess game.
Clubs or Societies
Chess for kids can be a social activity as much as it is a cerebral, intellectually challenging game.
Chess lessons for kids will of course revolve around the specifics of the game such as the various roles of the pieces and the myriad moves available to them, but aside from the technical elements of the game what else can your child stand to gain?
Playing chess as part of a club or society can be an excellent way to introduce your child to other like-minded kids, while at the same time they learn chess for kids.
While it is very much a solitary game that requires lots of thinking and not a lot of talking, kids' chess can be an opportunity for conversation and social growth.
To find a chess club or society, first, ask at your child’s school to see if they or any nearby educational institutions run a kids chess games club.
If you don’t have any luck, you can take your search online, and look for online chess for kids or for local chess clubs, depending on your preferences.
If you want guaranteed one-on-one chess tuition for your child, one of your best bets is to give SuperProf a go.
With SuperProf, you can search for private chess tutors in your area and filter the search according to their rate, level of experience, and feedback from past students.
Better still, if you haven’t yet invested in a kids chess set or you prefer the convenience of online tutoring, you can set up online classes for your child through SuperProf. That way, you can go about your business while your kid has all the chess tuition they need to take their game to the next level.
You could save a lot of money and effort by hiring an online chess tutor, and you won’t even have to usher your child out of the door on time. Simply set them up with a chess set and a webcam, and the tutor will take care of the rest.
With a SuperProf tutor, your child will have lessons tailored to their level of experience, which should be rewarding for them as they can see the progress they make. Unlike at a club or society, your child will have 100% of the tutor’s attention for the duration of the class, which means they should in theory improve at a faster rate.
If you want chess tuition for your child, the best option is to hire a private tutor who knows exactly how to teach the game.
However, if you can’t find the perfect tutor for whatever reason, you can look to websites like YouTube for an alternative option.
While it might sound like a strange place to find a chess teacher for your kid, it’s becoming increasingly common for teachers and tutors to post instructional videos and tutorials on video streaming platforms.
With enough searching, you can find a video series on various elements of the game that your child can work through at their own pace.
Some channels will also invite questions from viewers or analyze real chess games so your kid can get excited about the whole competitive scene around it.
The best part about this method is that your child can work at their own pace which should keep their motivation up, and it’s absolutely free. Plus, they can rewatch videos as many times as they need to until the information sinks in.
The downside with this approach, of course, is that your child won’t have the benefit of being able to talk to the teacher. This could slow down their progress and they might end up with several blind spots that they won’t be able to address until they work with a tutor.