My 5 year old son is showing immense interest in chess. I play with him and he has joined an after school class for chess.

I was told to buy the book by Polgar. He is solving the mate in one puzzles.

I just let him play and have fun. Any suggestions to help me develop his game?

  • 1
    try chesskid.com
    – magd
    May 16, 2017 at 14:45
  • 2
    If it's not broke, don't fix it. May 16, 2017 at 15:53
  • 2
    I was the same when I was 5, but there was no material or player around me, other kids hated chess, so I was playing with myself. Got bored at some point. So I gave it up. Try to feed his hunger of knowledge, I would say. He is probably gonna be a famous player someday. Because chess is all about studying hard and you have to be very interested in to study that hard.
    – ferit
    May 16, 2017 at 18:45

3 Answers 3


I am a FIDE National Instructor. Five is plenty old enough. I recommend The Comprehensive Chess Course, by Lev Alburt et al. https://www.amazon.com/Comprehensive-Chess-Course-Lessons-Enlarged/dp/1889323233

Also, just take short games from a book (Polgar has some in the back), let your child take the winning side. Let him guess some of the moves, and talk about why the players made the moves they did. Keep it simple: threatens the pawn on e5, forks King and Queen, lets the Bishop out, etc.


Unless he's one of the rare prodigies, I wouldn't suggest anything too complicated for him now at age 5. I was only able to show my 5 year old grandson the moves. His attention span was too short for anything else. Just stick with the basic's - value of the pieces, simple tactics (forks, pins, simple checkmates such as the mate-in-one puzzles you've been doing). You don't need the Polgar book yet. You can set up your own mate-in-one puzzles. Chess is first of all a game and should be fun. Let him enjoy it while he's young. Making it like work now could be counter-productive in the long run. Your approach sounds correct. Serious training programs are work, and my opinion is that they can wait till later.


I would press him to find out if he is a prodigy. There is no going back in time, and you've nothing to lose if done responsibly, and he has everything to gain with your assistance. Maybe find out if he is interested in tournament play and interested in the competitive aspect of organized chess.

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