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Chess Attack!


Armidale Chess Club is committed to the development of chess in the youth and children of our town. Through 2021 we will be developing the Chess Attack! program that will cater for both primary and high school chess players. It is a great place for beginners and people new to the game as well!

If you are between 5 and 17 years old and would like to play chess then watch this space!

Two Great Coaches

Lead Coach: Rick Torning 

  • Fully qualified trainer and experienced coach of children with 35 years experience

  • National Chess Arbiter

  • Diploma of Training Design & Development

  • Working With Children Check clearance

  • Current Council member on the NSW Junior Chess League


Mary Wilkie

  • Chess coach for St Marys Primary School for many years.

  • Has played in most major tournaments in Australia.

4pm Wednesday afternoon

(during the School Term)

Ring Rick Torning (0468 462 350) for more information about weeks when Chess Attack! runs. 


Armidale District Baptist Church Hall

Chess Attack Covid Note.jpg

corner: Rusden St & Jessie St

The coaching sessions will include:

  • Instruction on openings, middlegames and endgame themes

  • Short videos

  • Quiz challenges

  • Mini tournaments using chess clocks

  • Directed drills on new ideas

  • Goal setting and motivation to improve

  • How to use a computer chess programme effectively

Goals for Chess Attack! Students:

  1. Learn chess notation: This will allow you to read chess books on openings, tactics, strategy and endgames! It is the quickest way to improve!

  2. Play!: Play as much as you can. Try to find a few opponents who are better than you are at chess. You will probably lose to them, but you will learn.

  3. Record the moves of your games: Analyse your losses and try to determine why you lost. Write down time used after every 5 minutes.

  4. Solve tactical puzzles: Do a set number of tactical puzzles and work on them when you have a few spare minutes. Try to solve them from the diagrams.

  5. Practice CHECKMATES in ONE and TWO MOVES: These are good because they can fill in time if you are waiting to do something else as they can be solved reasonably quickly – unlike playing a 30 minutes game of chess over the board. LEARN THE DIFFERENT MATING PATTERNS.

  6. Develop a METHOD OF THINKING in chess: This minimises BLUNDERS. I recommend a simple system to begin with until you are competent to record your moves and you are comfortable using your chess clock properly.

  7. Develop an opening repertoire: It doesn't matter how creative you may be in the middle game or endgame if you lose most of your games in the opening when first beginning to play. When WHITE start with 1.d4 (Queen Pawn opening) or 1.e4 (King Pawn opening). When BLACK start with 1... d5 (Queen Pawn DEFENCE) and 1... e5 (King Pawn DEFENCE).

  8. Learn positional principles: If your tactics are bad, you WILL lose quickly. If your strategies are bad, you WILL lose slowly. You will suffer longer if you lose strategically. Positional play and strategic thinking are siblings.

  9. Study endgames: If you like to LEARN new ideas, read as much as you can on the endgames. An hour spent on the endgame is worth more than an hour spent on the openings. Start with King + Pawn versus King.

  10. Play some games at a slower pace, like using email: Correspondence chess gives you the time to research the opening in depth and to study each position in a way that is impossible during a fast game.

  11. Teach someone else to play: You can get better quicker by teaching friends. That allows you to share information you have recently learned yourself.

  12. Learn the RULES OF CHESS: It is always good to know the rules when playing in chess tournaments!

  13. Learn basic opening PAWN STRUCTURES: These are important to learn in the openings because the pieces have to move around the pawns!

  14. Do the thing you dislike most first! It is probably what you are weakest at in chess! For Juniors this usually means a failure to learn endgames.

Learning Chess Notation

You too can learn to read a chess book and record your moves when you play a chess game.


New Chess Notation Training video!

Click on the star!

chess attack cartoon - peanuts.jpg
Chess Game

The Case for Chess as a Tool to Develop Our Children's Minds
By Dr Peter Dauvergne
University of Sydney
Click Here

Chess Attack! Rationale & Cost

Click here to see the rationale for
coaching at CHESS ATTACK!.



Book Review:
My Name is Tani
by Tanitoluwa Adewumi
Book - My Name is Tani

I have just finished reading a most inspiring book about the young boy who won the New York State Chess Championship for the K-3 age group at 8 years old. The book, "My Name is Tani" has a broader story as his parents, Kayode and Oluwatoyin, fled to America with their two boys to escape the Boko Haran terrorists in Nigeria. The Boko Haran are the Nigerian Taliban. From wealthy businessman in Nigeria to poor kitchen hand in New York, Kayode shows the strength of his character and his faith in Jesus Christ as he cares for his family while they live in a homeless shelter in New York. Tani, through the generosity of the chess coaches at the school he attends, has the opportunity to learn to play chess.

 Tani excels in chess through ...

1. Passion - he is passionate about chess and always excited to learn more about the game.

2. Practice - every day Tani completes many chess puzzles slowly improving his awareness of positions on the chessboard.

3. Review - each game Tani plays is just the start. After each game he reviews his play noting errors and seeking improvements.

I suggest that these are the 3 behaviours that will enable you to improve as a chess player!

Tani is currently 10 years old and has reached a rating of 2200 gaining him the title of being a USCF National Master. He is hoping to become a grandmaster.

I thoroughly recommend you read this book.


Photo Source:

Study finds ...

Playing chess improves children's capacity to take calculated risks 

Read this excellent article on the benefits of chess for youth and children.

* We acknowledge that the name "Chess Attack!" is the intellectual property of Rick Torning and that he has operated junior chess coaching under this name since 1995. The brand name "Chess Attack!" and all material that is produced by Rick Torning remains the intellectual property of Rick Torning and can be used in any way and on any platform he chooses. Rick kindly lets us use his material on the Armidale Chess Club website.

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