Question to chess coaches: the common problem with beginning juniors (ages 5-8 years old) is very fast playing. What are your methods to convince/encourage your pupils to play slower chess?

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    Related - chess.stackexchange.com/questions/21906/…
    – Brian Towers
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 20:36
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    I'd be inclined to let them play however they like... perhaps eventually encountering a situation in which their hasty play leads them to lose... Otherwise, ... "what's the motivation?" :) Plus, let them do what they want, have fun in the moment. All that. :) Commented Feb 15, 2022 at 0:19

2 Answers 2


Be careful what you wish for - right now they are playing & having fun. Slowing down, thinking, calculating, being precise - that may actually deter them from the game.

Later, once they're teenagers, they might come to you and ask how to slow down!

If you insist, though, then I recommend gradually introducing thinking patterns. i.e. Before making a move:

  • Check all checks.

Then once they've got used to that, introduce another pattern:

  • Does this move give my opponent any checks?

Gradual increments like that will likely be successful, without over-stressing a young and fun-centric mind.


I am a fast player because I started to like playing bullet and ultra bullet when I started learning chess. Doing so can actually be bad for you, as this does not invoke any learning.

It is better to start letting them play slower games, e.g. 10 minutes. This will make them play slowly and learn which moves are best and evaluate the position. This s essential when players are still beginners or intermediate players

I, however, am not a coach, just your neighborhood friendly chess player. My advice may be biased, contradictory, or wrong, but I hope it helps you out.

  • Just because a kid has time on the clock, does not equate to him/her using it. Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 17:41

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