So you want to play chess?

Option 1: Play Online

There are two main online chess platforms. We recommend LiChess. These services are both free. You may be asked to pay for extra services. You don't need to; we advise against doing so.

You can join NZ chess teams on both platforms. Click here for a list

Option 2: Play Chess at Your School

Your school may already offer chess. Or you may be able to join a before- or after-school chess programme at a nearby school. This may not be possible due to covid protection restrictions.

Option 3: Play in Chess Tournaments

You can play in both online and in-person (OTB = Over The Board or face-to-face) tournaments.

There are tournaments only for school children, and tournaments open to everyone - adults and schoolchildren. Some tournaments ill have a division so you can choose an easier level to play. Tournaments tend to be very competitive and have an entry fee.

ChessPower runs tournaments just for schoolchildren. Click here for a list of events. We particularly recommend the Sarapu Cup. The next OTB Sarapu Cup is scheduled for April, if covid proetection restrictions allow. The Sarapu Cup has divisions and we recommend entering the easiest Pawn division for your first time.

The New Zealand Chess Federation (NZCF) lists tournaments you can enter. This list is currently very limited due to covid protection restrictions. The NZCF also runs an interschool competition which requires a team of four from a school.

Option 4: Join a Chess Club

Many chess clubs are closed or have limits due to covid protection restrictions. You should check the website and contact a club representative before attending.

Joining a chess club is an excellent way to get OTB experience. Many clubs have a time for school children, and offer coaching. Even if you have to play with adults, there will be a wide range of skill levels. Many school children regularly play with adults at chess clubs.

Click here for details on joining a chess club