The Chess Rising Stars Girls’ Online Chess Club is now into its second term. Supported by lead coach WFM Maria Manelidou, our active community of girls taking part in chess lessons continues to grow.

In its 2019 publication ‘Development of Women’s Chess – Progress Plan’, the English Chess Federation identified that “there will need to be cultural change at all levels of chess in England which will require engagement from clubs, counties, unions, schools and individual members”.

In support of this aim our club is free to enter for girls who already have chess lessons with us.

“Chess has played an important role in my life and I am keen to share that. I moved to Greece when I was a young girl but I didn’t speak any Greek. Joining the local chess club changed my life because chess has its own language. It helped me to make friends and become more confident.”

WFM Maria Manelidou – Founder at Chess Rising Stars London Academy

We are keen to promote and create opportunities for girls to play chess with us. Our Girls’ Chess Club Online is another step in this direction.

Chess Rising Stars London Academy Begins to Showcase our Rising Stars

This is the start of a new feature where we will introduce our Rising Stars.

Student Profile – Aden K.

Aden was still in Year 1 when he joined the Chess Rising Stars London Academy in April 2020. Since then he has been on a mission to prove that age doesn’t matter one bit in chess. Aden continues to impress us with his enthusiasm and desire to improve. He loves to get involved during group lessons and is quick to share his ideas with the class.

For now, tournament chess has moved online and Aden has enjoyed many successes. Perhaps the highlight so far was a 5th place finish in the London Junior Chess Championship Finals U8 section, whilst still U7. We are looking forward to seeing his continued progress when over the board chess returns.

Kent Junior Chess Association have benefited from Aden’s services in the National Association finals at both U9 and U11. Of particular note was the gold medal Aden won for a 5/5 performance on board 12 in the U11s. A formidable achievement given he can continue to play in this age category for another 4 years!

Aden has taken part in our online clubs, camps and the in-person Chelsea Chess Club. He quickly built a reputation as a sharp tactician who loves opening traps. Plenty of our students have fallen victim to Aden’s sneaky Stafford Gambit! We think this is partly why his EvenSturdyAlmond account on ChessKid has become widely feared with its 70% win rate.

Together with his coach, Maria, Aden has been building a collection of his best games. We hope that one day they will make for an excellent opening chapter to his first chess book! Here is one of our favourites:

White: Aden (1768)
Black: AdiMit (1948)

Aden’s Best Game

Selected Achievements:

Barnet Junior Individual Championships U7, 4.5/6, 3rd
ChessKid UK Championships U8, 5.5/7, 9th=
Delancey UKCC, U8 Blitz Final 6.5/11, 3rd placed U7
Junior Masters Summer Cup U7 Finals, Bronze medal
Junior Masters Holiday Cup U7 Finals, Bronze medal
NATC, Representing Kent, U11 Finals 5/5, Board 12 Gold medal
Reached a lichess rapid rating of 1900


LJCC U8 Finals, 5/7, 5th out of 79
Reached a lichess rapid rating of 1800

We look forward to more achievements to come from Aden!

Aug 28, 2023

CRS London Academy hosted its first cross-continental chess teaching collaboration

Chess Rising Stars London Academy had the great pleasure to host its first ever cross-continental chess teaching collaboration on Saturday 26th August. This online event brought us together with the Chess To School initiative for an exciting afternoon of chess.

Chess To School is a non-profit organisation, dedicated to harnessing the power of chess to educate children in the slums and schools of Lagos, Nigeria. Their commitment to equipping underprivileged children with valuable life skills through chess is inspiring to witness and we recommend following their progress.

Photo by @Chesstoschool

WFM Maria Manelidou opened the event by demonstrating one of her own games. The depth of understanding exhibited by the children during the ensuing analysis demonstrated their obvious chess potential.

Following her lesson, the competition came alive in a tightly contested 3v3 match. Excellent sportsmanship was displayed throughout and, despite some unsteady internet connections, we were able to complete a 6-game match.

We are grateful to the Chess To School team for sharing this experience with us. Their enthusiastic participation and shared vision for a better future through chess resonated with us. This event would not have been the success it was without their involvement.

Our gratitude goes out to Chess To School for their enthusiastic involvement. We eagerly await our next encounter!

Mapping your Chess Progress: A Guide to Chess Rising Stars Courses

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How to Use Chess Rising Stars Courses to Improve Your Chess

Our comprehensive chess courses serve as the roadmap to chess mastery. Whether you’re a junior or adult improver, our expert coaches are here to guide you with the knowledge and support you will need.

Juniors – In-person

Chess Rising Stars London Academy is creating the ideal environment to help introduce the game to younger children, the
Chelsea Chess Club for 5 to 7 year olds. Your child will discover the joys of learning chess in an interactive and enjoyable setting. We will work together on chess strategy and tactics plus associated skills such as sportsmanship, planning and focus.

Moving forward, our main junior chess club, the Chelsea Chess Club is staffed by 4 expert coaches. The Chess Rising Stars team will ensure that children are grouped with those of a similar age and chess level. We also offer support to more experienced children who are intending to compete in chess tournaments and team matches.

WGM Andreea Navrotescu, Guest coach at the Chelsea Chess Club

Juniors – Online

Wednesday Online Club is perfectly suited as an introduction to small-group chess lessons for less experienced children. We would recommend that children are already familiar with how the pieces move, check and checkmate but no further knowledge is required.

The Friday and Sunday Online Clubs offer groups at Beginner and Intermediate/Advanced level. There is a new group exclusively for secondary school chess players aged 11-16 at the Friday Online Club. Chess is gaining popularity in this age range, with students even using it for their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award activity.

In our invitational Elite Online Club, we work together on areas of strategy, tactics and mindset to build the confidence and skills necessary to compete beyond Chess Rising Stars. To support this development, there are regular guest coaching appearances from Grandmasters.

Registration is open for the CRS Christmas Online Tournament 2023

Adult Improvers

Adult Improvers Online Group Classes would be ideal for adult beginners or parents whose children are learning the game. We will work together on the fundamentals of chess strategy and tactics. You will have the chance to try out what you have learned in our private, friendly tournaments.

We offer interactive and engaging private chess lessons online, delivered by our team of experienced coaches. The Chess Rising Stars teachers have been carefully selected and trained by WFM Maria Manelidou and are passionate about sharing their extensive chess knowledge and experience.

If you are keen to compete in OTB or online tournaments, our coaches have supported adult students in their local leagues, tournaments and even internationally. We have helped students to exceed their rating goals by following our individual training plans.

What Next?

If you are embarking on a journey to enhance your chess skills, look no further than Chess Rising Stars courses, meticulously designed to cater to players of all ages and levels.