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Why should I learn to play chess?

Research has shown that children who play chess are likely to do better at school. Why? Because learning chess helps to develop memory and concentration. Playing in matches under time pressure is ideal preparation for sitting examinations. Finally, chess provides a positive way to channel energy and enthusiasm – and gives children a sense of achievement.

What age groups do you cater for?

The youngest player we ever had was 4 years old...but this is rather unusual! Most of the time, we have a wide age range between 8 and 18. In fact, the club is so friendly that often over-18s stay with us and help out with the running of the club.

Chess is different from most other sports – it’s quite common to see an 8-year-old beat a teenager, or even an adult! In short, if you are mature enough to concentrate on a game, you’re probably able to learn to play chess to a reasonable standard.

How much does it cost to come to SASCA?

The first time you come is free, and after that it costs just £1 a time. This covers the regular club night, coaching, equipment (such as scoresheets, boards and sets, chess clocks etc), entry fees for the British Land UK Chess Challenge each year, and entry fees to the local evening league.

SASCA juniors also receive a discounted (£2) entry to the Sheffield Under-9,11,13,15 and 18 competitions.

If you take part in other competitions outside SASCA, there is likely to be a charge as organisers must cover their own costs.

Why is it so cheap?

We believe that nobody should be denied the opportunity to learn to play chess because they can’t afford it. We keep running costs to a minimum – all of our coaches work on a voluntary basis, and Handsworth Christian School kindly allows us to use their premises at a highly-discounted rate.

Do I already need to know how to play chess in order to come to SASCA?

Please let us know in advance if you need someone to teach you the rules of the game, so that we can make sure that someone is available to teach you.

What can I do to develop my chess outside SASCA?

There are many ways to do this. Look again at some of the games you played and try to find the mistakes. If you can understand why you made a mistake, try not to repeat it! There are chess books, software and DVDs that can help you – Chess Direct is a local, friendly supplier: Chess Direct

It is best to give them a ring on 01709 890565 if you have never bought anything before – they will be able to give you friendly advice about which of their many products are best suited to you.

If you just want to get a bit of practice in, you can play chess on the internet free of charge at Chess Cube

Some of our coaches also offer regular private tuition.

Ultimately, the best way to improve your chess is to play competitive games. Going to weekend competitions may be time-consuming but it will sharpen your chess no end.

My son/daughter has been coming to SASCA for a few weeks and is now beating me at chess every time we play. What can I do?

This is perfectly normal. Get used to it.

I have a question not listed here...who can I ask?

Either fill in the ‘Contact Us’ form on the website, or give John Fryer a ring on 0114 2301697.