Chess for kids is going strong in Beaverton and Washington County

Chess for kids is going strong in Beaverton and Washington County

To some spring means a break from the chess board. The appeal of the sunny outdoors is too alluring. And some students who play chess at their schools think their competition ends when school does. But for true players, the dedication to the chessboard is year-round. We can always find a good reason and a good place to play.

Just look at the largest Oregon tournament where 247 kids (including 74 girls) recently competed at the Convention Center on the first nice weekend of the year. There was no question that they would rather spend their time in a gloomy tournament room than out in the beautiful sunshine. And that’s just one of the tournaments scheduled lately. Competition doesn’t stop when the temp goes up!

Not only that, but we are also getting an impressive crowd of eager players every other weekend at the Hillsboro Library. Young, old and in-betweens are excited to compete and show off their skills. Beginners get valuable instruction and support for the game they’re just learning. All are welcome at the Shute Park Library in Hillsboro!

Also in Hillsboro, I just learned more about the Orenco Learning Club where young chess players take lessons and join camps from the area’s top instructors. It’s a great place for kids to develop their chess game while having fun. Plus, there are also a lot of other games and books in addition to chess! It’s another year-round option in our busy chess community!

Finally, I fully expect to host the Beaverton Chess Club at my home on Thursday nights, year-round, no matter the weather. We’re still looking for a regular venue to hold the Beaverton Chess Club, so if you know of any locations, please contact me. We have a regular group of chess nuts but are always happy to welcome new players to the group. Anything to heat up the competition!

Why learn chess? Simple: It’s a great mental workout that helps children perform well in the classroom. Chess is a logical game where kids have to plan ahead and adjust to new situations. But most of all, it’s fun!


Larry Ball (Coach Larry) teaches students of all ages at the Steinitz Chess Academy in Beaverton. For more information, email Larry at