Early Knights Junior Chess Club

    Monday  6.15pm to 7.15pm  during school term.
    County Club, 29 Ridgmont Road, St Albans, AL1 3AG.
    See map


Early Knights Junior Chess Club provides coaching and matches for boys and girls who are typically aged between 6 and 16 and who are experienced chess players already, typically with an English Chess Federation rating or similar (the club does not cater for beginners).

Our members have the opportunity to play regularly against a wide variety of junior opponents within the club and also receive group coaching sessions. Many of our juniors play regularly in tournaments and have been selected for Hertfordshire county teams. Many progress to the latter stages of the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge and some have been chosen to represent England in international tournaments. 

The member-only sessions are held in person at our usual club venue and are led by National Instructor Matt Ball.

Term dates for 2023-2024

The season started on Monday September 11, 2023 and will end in June 2024. All our places for this season are currently taken.


How to apply to join Early Knights

The popularity of the Early Knights Club has obliged us to use a waiting list for new members and we would like to hear from you. Please register your interest in being added to the waiting list via the organisers' email link below and include all the following information in all three sections:

Section One
Child's First name:
School year: (for example: year 2, year 3 etc)
Section Two - c
hess experience:
a) How many years have they been playing chess?
b) Do they play in a school club?
c) Have they attended any training sessions?
Section Three - current ability:
a) What is their lichess.org or chess.com username? Your application must include at least one of these and you must ensure they have played at least 10 online rapid play or standard play games (not blitz or bullet) that we can review.
This is for us to assess their recent games so that we can compare their standard with that of other players on the waiting list. If they do not play online yet, before you apply to join Early Knights please set up a free account on chess.com for them and ask them to play at least 10 games at a time control of 15mins+10secs or similar, then complete your application including their username.
b) Skill level - which one of the following most closely matches your child's chess skill level?
A - Absolute beginner
B - Knows the rules, how the pieces move and can play a basic friendly against an opponent
C - Knows a few openings, basic tactics, key end games
D - Has experience of playing in tournaments, knows how to use a clock and can record the moves (this is the standard of player we prioritise on our waiting list. Such players also typically have an online rapid play rating on chess.com significantly above 1000)
Applications that do not include all of the information listed above will not be added to the waiting list.

When a place becomes available players are selected from the waiting list based on playing strength, not how long they have been on the waiting list. Typically, players on the waiting list will need to have achieved an online rapid play rating on chess.com of over 1300 to be near the top of the waiting list.

Please note that the club does not cater for beginner players. Parents whose children need to learn the basics may want to help them with lessons on a website such as ChessKid and then consider applying to join our waiting list.

Our annual subscription fee per member is £50.


Organisers: Matt Ball & Michael Flatt, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.