If you're reading this you're probably interested in your children playing chess. That's fantastic. Chess is one of the greatest games in the world and everyone should have the chance to learn.

But first, you have to ask yourself WHY you what your children to learn chess and what exactly you want to get out of it.

You alse need to bear in mind that, although children can learn the moves easily at the age of 6 or 7, to play well requires skills that most children only develop at about 12 or 13. There is no advantage in starting too young, or in doing too much too soon. You're never too old to start learning chess but you can easily be too young.

Perhaps you've read somewhere of the educational benefits of chess and would like your children to learn for this reason. That's absolutely fine, but they won't get much benefit by learning all the moves very quickly and then trying to play a complete game. That's like learning addition, subtraction, multiplication and division at the same time and then attempting differential calculus. I believe children derive much more benefit from playing games which are simple enough for them to be able to master than from a game where the strategy is so difficult to understand that they just play random moves.

Therefore, I believe the best way to use chess to develop thinking skills is to play mini-games with a few pieces, gradually adding more pieces and at the same time developing more complex reasoning skills until they are eventually able to play a complete game. This could take several months, or even a year.

This is exactly how Sam and Alice learn chess and if you follow the book, plus the supplementary materials on the chessKIDS academy website, your children will be able to learn in the same way.

You might also want your children to learn so that they can play the occasional game with their family or friends. Again, that's absolutely fine, and what most chess players do. CHESS FOR KIDS will tell you all you need to know to enjoy playing chess at any time.

But beyond that there's an exciting world of competitions ranging from school championships through to the world championship itself. If you're really serious about your children becoming good players it's essential that they get the best possible start, and CHESS FOR KIDS, along with the additional resources at chessKIDS academy, will enable them to do just that.