Jul 08, 2024

Gold at the EJCOA National Youth Finals 2024

Nottingham High School hosted the English Junior Coaches and Organisers Association (EJCOA) National Youth Finals 2024. This FIDE rated 3-day standardplay event required children to qualify, either by rating or through Zonal tournaments.

Chess Rising Stars London Academy was well-represented in the Finals. We had students competing in the U8, U10 and U12 categories.

Noah with his EJCOA U12 Boys trophy

Our outstanding result came from Noah, who achieved 4.5/5 to share 1st place in the U12s with WCM Ruqayyah Rida. His only draw was against a fellow Chess Rising Stars student, Callum, in round 3.

Noah won the U12 Boys category and continued his outstanding 2024 season in style. This national title is particularly impressive given that he has only been competing in chess tournaments since January 2023.


We are excited to follow Noah’s progress and will be looking out for all of our students in their Summer Holiday chess tournaments.

Jun 08, 2024

SW England v Wales – 26th May 2024

Match Report by Noah Bevis

I was really excited to be playing Board 1 for the SW England team in the fixture against Wales. It was my first fixture since being selected to join the England U11 team and it was brilliant to travel to Bristol with Aden, who is also a Chess Rising Star and my best chess friend.

Chris Strong, who is the team captain, met us when we arrived and showed us to our team waiting room where we were given our England t-shirts. I played a few friendly games against Aden and other members of the team to warm up. The atmosphere was quite exciting.

Each player played two standard-play games (60+10). I played Wales’s Boards 1 and 2, and Aden played their Boards 3 and 4 (as he was on Board 3) and our Board 2 played their Boards 1 and 2.

My first game, which was against their Board 1, was very rough as I made a losing mistake around move 20, but thankfully he could not punish my error. After that, it was very smooth for a while. Eventually, he got into time trouble in a complex position and ended up blundering a fork! He realised his mistake immediately and I smoothly converted the winning position that arose after that. Then there was a break between rounds for lunch and we took a whole team photo which was really fun!

I played some more friendlies before going in to Round 2. In this round, I played their Board 2. It was pretty even throughout because we both played very accurately. Like before, this opponent got into big time pressure in a key rook endgame. In the endgame he lacked technique and tried to rush to a draw. He made some poor choices in pivotal moments (admittedly, rook endgames are very hard!) which led to a resignation and that meant 2/2!

The final score overall was 10.5 England – 9.5 Wales in the U11s. Altogether, the day was a big success!

Apr 16, 2024

One Weekend Four Trophies

The Chess Rising Stars students had a busy weekend! We competed in rapidplay tournaments in Maidenhead and Oxford plus at the St Albans standardplay. 

At the Maidenhead Junior Congress two of our players played in the U11 section. They met in round 4 with and despite a win for Noah T, he finished 2nd overall with (5.5/7) and Aden came 1st, winning all of his other 6 games.

The English Junior Coaches and Organisers Association (EJCOA) National Youth Championships is a popular competition this year thanks to hard work of organisers across the UK. In the EJCOA Oxford Zonal, Noah B drew his first game but recovered to win the U12 section with 5.5/6.

A successful weekend for our Elite Club members as the Noahs each won a trophy and Aden picked up two! 

What’s Next?

The UK Chess Challenge starts this term with Megafinal tournaments taking place during May and June. In July it’s the EJCOA final in Nottingham, where we aim to continue our streak of success and make our mark on the national stage.

Easter & Summer Chess Courses

After a busy and productive Spring Term at our academy, Chess Rising Stars are now accepting bookings for the below courses taking place over the Easter Holiday and Summer Term:

Easter Holiday Chess Camp

Our Online Chess Camp will take place during the Easter Holiday. The camp will have a mixture of chess lessons, friendly games and an internal tournament with trophies posted to the winners. Lessons will take place from 9:00 – 11:30 am on 8th, 9th and 10th April.

Summer Chess Club Dates

The Summer Term Chess Club dates have been published for our Online Clubs, Chelsea Chess Club and Chelsea Chess Club for 5-7 year olds. All of our clubs will run for 10 weeks, with a break for half-term.


Chess Rising Stars Grand Prix

The final round of the Chess Rising Stars Online Grand Prix will take place this Sunday at 4 pm on lichess. There is free entry for all Chess Rising Stars students, parents and friends. Our popular online tournament series is coming to an end (for now) but we are already planning for its return!

Grandmaster Coaching

There will be a new guest coach for our Elite Chess Club lesson on Sunday 24th March. We have booked GM Martin Petrov (not to be confused with Marian!) to demonstrate his best games to the class. Martin will become the 3rd Grandmaster to have coached at the club since its creation in 2021.


Please do get in touch if you would like to register your child.

Breaking Barriers: Growing The Game

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 Online Grand Prix

To help prepare our students to compete beyond Chess Rising Stars, we are delighted to announce our first Online Grand Prix.

You can find our free Grand Prix tournaments on our lichess team page this term. Chess Rising Stars students, parents and friends are all welcome to take part.

Each tournament will have 5 rounds of 10+5 and points will be tallied across the 6 Grand Prix events. We have chosen this time control to mimic the playing conditions in the Junior Four Nations Chess League Online (J4NCLO).

Prizes will be awarded based on the number of entries and will be confirmed at a later date. Your top 5 scores from the 6 Grand Prix events will count towards this.

The online chess tournaments will take place on the following Sundays at 4 pm (GMT) in the Spring Term 2024:

28th Jan = Warm-Up

4th Feb = Grand Prix 1

11th Feb = GP 2

25th Feb = GP 3

3rd Mar = GP 4

10th Mar = GP 5

17th Mar = GP 6

To ensure the integrity of the Chess Rising Stars Online Grand Prix tournaments are maintained, we will use the lichess cheat detection system alongside the observation and judgement of our experienced coaching team.

The Chess Rising Stars London Academy team hope to see many of you there.

Bronze Medals at the LJCC Finals

This year’s prestigious London Junior Chess Championships (LJCC) Finals were a successful one for Chess Rising Stars. Our students, Sachin and Ashwin, shared 3rd in the U10 Major with an admirable 5.5/7.

The first weekend of the 2023 LJCC Finals were held at the University of Westminster, Marylebone Hall. Hundreds of chess players of all ages took part, making for an inspiring atmosphere for our young students.

L to R: Chris, Arnav, Sachin and Maria

Sachin and Ashwin are both active members of our Elite Chess Club. We work together on areas of strategy, tactics and mindset to build the confidence and skills necessary to compete beyond Chess Rising Stars.

We are proud to add to our series of individual tournament accomplishments this year, building on the successes the Elite Club students achieved at the UK Chess Challenge Terafinal earlier in the year.

We had 12 current Chess Rising Stars students who met the high standard necessary to qualify for the LJCC Finals. This illustrious tournament has been running for nearly 100 years and provides a first-rate competitive experience for junior chess players.

On Saturday our coaches, Maria and Chris, paid a visit to offer their support and guidance plus drop off some prizes to take home as souvenirs! Tom also set a fine example, competing in the Open tournament and scoring 3.5/4.

The Chess Rising Stars team are looking forward to the upcoming U8 and U12 LJCC Finals later this month. The achievements of Sachin and Ashwin are a shining example of what can be accomplished with the knowledge and support of our experienced coaches.

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

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.

Where to Find Chess Rising Stars Online

Chess Rising Stars London Academy has been buzzing with activity! To help you stay up-to-date with our new projects, we wanted to share where you can find the latest Chess Rising Stars news and views.

Chelsea Chess Club, 2023

5) Twitter (X)

@LondonCRS Get your daily dose of updates from the chess world through our Twitter account. Celebrate student achievements as we showcase their victories and milestones. Challenge yourself with our engaging chess puzzles for all levels.

4) LinkedIn

Chess Rising Stars London Academy Stay informed about our latest chess courses by following us on LinkedIn. Learn about our career opportunities as we regularly advertise vacancies within the company. Keep track of upcoming Chess Rising Stars events with our handy event calendar.

3) Instagram

@crslondon Explore the artistic side of Chess Rising Stars with our Instagram account. Discover the latest addition to our social media line-up and be among the first to follow our new account.

Oxon LJCC U12 Qualifier 2023, 1st Noah B (5/6)

2) Lichess

Chess Rising Stars – London Academy Our global community of chess learners has reached over 300 members on lichess. We schedule tournaments for our weekly clubs, plus regular events for all Chess Rising Stars students, coaches and friends.

1) Our Website

Don’t forget our website! This website remains the Chess Rising Stars hub with its dedicated news section. Explore the comprehensive course information library – right at your fingertips. Immerse yourself in the world of chess through our captivating photo gallery.

Chelsea Chess Club, 2023

Learn Chess in London

Chess Rising Stars London Academy is creating the ideal new environment to help to introduce chess to younger children. We are delighted to announce that the Chelsea Chess Club for 5 to 7 year olds will start in January 2024.

Benefits abound as your child discovers the joys of learning chess in an interactive and enjoyable setting. No knowledge of chess is required, although we would suggest that without any chess background it would be best to join the club by week 3 of term.

Lessons are shorter than at our original
Chelsea Chess Club and will be held in a smaller teaching group. The venue remains at Marlborough Primary School in Chelsea, where we have been based since 2019.

In 2023 the Chelsea Chess Club was recognised at Level 2 within the English Chess Federation’s Junior Development Pathway initiative. We are one of only eleven junior chess clubs across the country to achieve this status.

Once children have mastered the fundamentals of the game, and are feeling more confident about chess, then the Chelsea Chess Club would be the natural next step in their development.

Registration is now open for the Spring Term at the Chelsea Chess Club for 5 to 7 year olds