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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    One thing to note is of course that a 15-year-old could potentially find a site aimed at children to be a bit patronizing, so naturally your daughter would need to be consulted on the matter before a decision is made in order to make sure that she is on board. – Scounged Apr 1 at 12:02
  • @Scounged That is also part of why I am asking. Thank you for pointing that out. – PhishMaster Apr 1 at 12:03
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    I went to the site in question and tried some of the puzzles. One thing I noted was that while the level of the puzzles varied, many of the puzzles had multiple correct solutions. This in and of itself would of course not be a big problem, but the software would only accept one specific line in each puzzle as the correct solution. So be wary of this. – Scounged Apr 1 at 12:29
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    I have adult students who enjoy ChessKid. It's not really the age but the knowledge. – Mike Jones Apr 1 at 12:29
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    I recommend my own interactive chess learning platform, which is free without a login. apronus.com/chess/puzzles – DrCapablasker Apr 1 at 12:33

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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  • Something new in the chess world: I recommend my own interactive chess learning platform, which is free without a login. apronus.com/chess/puzzles – DrCapablasker Apr 1 at 12:42
  • @DrCapablasker Good for tactics. But a subscription would be more useful in other fronts – David Apr 1 at 12:43
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    @David I am probably looking for a combination of playing for her, to keep her interested, and maybe a little learning. I am actually a member of every major site (ICC-legacy as I always signed up for three years, but that site is dying; PlayChess since it comes with so many of my CB products; chess.com for free by virtue of being a titled player; lichess since it is free anyway; and I pay for chess24 so I can watch Svidler comment. I have all the tools that she could possibly need, and an extensive library, much of it about learning (rather than openings), and some directed at kids. – PhishMaster Apr 1 at 13:23
  • @David maybe I just sign her up for chess.com, and try it. If she ever needs any premium content like videos, I can just log her in on one of my computers. – PhishMaster Apr 1 at 13:26
  • @PhishMaster So you already have a premium account on chess.com? Good! She can have her account to play and yours to check premium content. If you are a titled player yourself, you'll have no problem selecting the right, more useful content – David Apr 1 at 14:27

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