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Coincidentally, a month, or two, before the COVID-19 started spreading across the United States, and schools closed anyway, I had already started homeschooling my 15-year-old daughter. She had never really been interested in chess before, but I made chess lessons a mandatory part of her schooling because they help build logic, and chess could be very helpful on a college application in the future. She never had a great problem with confidence, but I have also noticed a difference there too.

I am happy to say that she has made remarkable progress skill-wise, and her interest has definitely increased greatly. Before it closed, she had been coming to the club at her old high school, and she likes the idea of beating the boys, and still has her eyes set on beating the club champion, a 1300-player.

I want to get her an online chess membership. I have little experience with ChessKid.com, so I am not sure if she is too old for that site, and I should just buy her a regular membership to an adult chess site, or if ChessKid.com is, in fact, the way to go.

Does anyone have any experience with ChessKid.com compared to adult sites, and its appropriateness to an older kid, in particular with regards to learning the game better, and not just as a playing site, but any comments about that are also welcome?

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My advice would be to use the adult site. I've had several students but never recommended a kid-friendly site to anyone older than 8 years old.

It would be good to know why exactly you want that membership for further advice:

  • If what you are looking for is a site where your daughter can play and get experience, then make an analysis of those games (no engine please!), you probably won't even need to pay for a membership. chess.com and Lichess will both make the job easy for you. They also include tactical training, which is critical specially at the lower levels (see also ChessTempo, which also include a huge game database)

  • If you are interested in teaching material, then a subscription to a site like chess24 can be a good deal. You can find most things on YouTube but it's harder to filter out the "trash". There is just too much material to work with and no time in the world to study it all, so we have to filter out. If possible. I would consult with a chess coach what kind of material is the most helpful for her. After all, there's a lot of content that, while being good, may be oriented to players of a different skill level, or for a player of a similar level but with different strengths and weaknesses

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(I realize this question is a bit old, and my recommendation is similar to the selected answer, but I have things to add that weren't said already.)

ChessKid seems to be aimed at children significantly younger than teenagers. I set up an account there thinking I was going to be coordinating games between kids (including my own - things changed and that never happened). TBH, I find the site annoying with its "Bots", personalities, etc. which seem to be aimed at kids in the 5-8 year old range. It also has more limitations on free accounts, but a premium account costs more than on one of the sites not aimed at kids. (IIRC, a ChessKid membership costs $10 per month. My chess.com membership is less than $30 per year, and I could upgrade to their highest package for around $100, still less than ChessKid. LiChess is totally free.) Also, my (currently) 16 year old tells me they don't like ChessKid.

So, my answer is to use chess.com or lichess (or ChessTempo, which is less familiar to me). I think your child will like it better, and the premium account is probably a better deal.

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