Hi I’m Sarah and I teach chess
Having climbed the chess ladder myself from a young age I have an excellent knowledge of how to succeed at chess and a real passion for teaching!
I have played competitive chess since the age of 7 when I became UK U7 Girls Chess Champion and appeared on Blue Peter where I met the then world champion Garry Kasparov. Since then I have represented England in many international competitions and in 2013 won the British Ladies Championship.
But it is my students that I am most proud of. I currently coach several members of the England international junior team and my students have won National and European championships.
I am currently focusing on growing a junior chess program in Cheshire. My team currently run chess clubs in a number of primary schools across Cheshire and we would love to hear from teachers and parents who are interested in their children learning this fantastic game.
School Chess Clubs
We run a number of breakfast, lunch-time and after school clubs in Cheshire. We cater for all levels from beginner through to experienced tournament player. Focusing on enjoyment of the game, we take each child on a journey to learn, play and achieve. Combining the best classroom and online resources we deliver an enjoyable and impactful learning experience for each child.
To find out if we run a club at your school or to enquire about setting a club up at your school please click below to find out more!
I offer private coaching to juniors either in person at my home or via skype. I currently coach several members of the England international team but I also enjoy working with beginners and those who are looking to develop a passion for the game.
During a coaching engagement I will work closely with you as a parent to help you create the right conditions for your child’s success – whether that is to become school champion, represent their country or even to become a professional master player.
Click below to find out more!
I have represented England at the World and European Chess Championships since the age of 10 and now I represent England at the Adult Chess Olympiads.
My most notable performance for England was when I scored 7.5/9 and was unbeaten at the 2010 Chess Olympiads in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia.
More recently I have taken a break from chess to pursue a career as a lawyer.
Once I finished law school I became British Ladies Chess Champion 2013, which just pushed my passion to the extreme.
I have over 10 years coaching experience and have coached the England Junior Team at the European Schools Chess Championships in Prague 2012 and Serbia 2013 and at the World Championships in November 2015.
I will be coaching England’s top juniors at the World Chess Championships in Greece in later this year.
I regularly coach 4 members of the England team via skype and have recently started coaching some talented young players in Cheshire.
I live in Cheshire with my husband, Alex Longson who is a very strong chess player.
I now teach chess to others – and hope to allow them to enjoy it as I do.
Why should you learn to play Chess?
Improve concentration & memory
Achieve Critical thinking skills & cognitive function
Build your confidence & make new friends
Compete... Win trophies & awards
Travel the world and gain experiences
Learn healthy competitiveness
Boost your CV and develop a more analytical mind
And most importantly... Have lots of fun
Why not contact me to find out more?!
Sometimes speaking, whether face-to-face or over the phone can be the perfect way to reveal if Chess is the thing for you. Just click the button to the right….
My Qualifications & Experiences.
I am qualified as a Women’s FIDE Chess Master & English Chess Federation Accredited Coach.
CRB Checked, and have a BSc in Chemistry and Law. (University of Bristol: 2:1).
Legal Practice Course: Achieved a Distinction.
References are always available upon request.
Coached the England Junior Chess Team at the European Championships in Prague 2012 & Serbia 2013. Coached the England Team at the World Championships 2015.
Official English Chess Federation Coach for the ECF Academy; http://englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Academy_Prospectus.pdf – for England’s most talented junior players.
I also coach four members of the England team regularly as well as county players and beginners.
10+ years experience in the field.
Jess wins gold at European Schools!
Jess Mellor wins Gold at European U11 Schools Championships in Krakow! A fantastic achievement – she worked extremely hard in the run up to the event and should be extremely proud of her success. This is a huge achievement and the first time England have won a gold medal at a junior chess event in over 10 years. Jess (10) and I have been working together for just over a year and I’m confident she will have many more successes.
Two more of my students were also representing England on this trip – congratulations to Ethan Gardiner and Laura Davidson. This was Ethan’s first time representing England and Laura Davidson has now been playing for England for 6 years.
All three are top of their age groups and have qualified for the terafinals in October.
July has been a hugely busy month for me and the UKCC team as we have organised three Gigafinal events with over 2,300 children competing. I am delighted that my students have done well. Here is Laura Davidson after winning the U15 Girls section at the Northern Gigafinal.
Amrit Mishra also achieved a fantastic result with 5/6 in the gigafinals (unbeaten) – qualifying for the Terafinal as well. Amrit has only recently started working systematically on his chess and his progress has been a pleasure to see.
Many students also qualified for the Challengers for which I wish them every success.
Good luck to all players competing at the British Chess Championships taking place at the end of the month. Last year Joe Birks became British U10 champion – will we have more champions this year? Good luck also to Leif Hafstad competing in the xtracion chess open.
June 2018 – Schools’ Success!
EPSCA (English Primary School’s Chess Association) hold an annual schools’ chess tournament where schools compete over three stages. Two of my schools have excelled this year – North Cheshire Jewish Primary School and Cheadle Hulme School. This is especially pleasing as schools from Cheshire & North Wales have not traditionally done well in EPSCA events over the years – which shows what a bit of hard work and focus can achieve!
The Cheadle Hulme School team in the green outfits were Rohit, Oliver, Gonzalo, Nikhil, Freddie and Aaryan. Having already experienced success at the AJIS (Association of Junior Independent Schools) event in November the team narrowly missed out by half a point on qualifying for the EPSCA finals by finishing fourth at the Northern semi-finals in Prestatyn. Although disappointed to miss out by such a narrow margin against much more experienced opponents, the team can take massive credit and confidence going forward into future events. Rohit in particular scored an extremely impressive 5.5 / 6 and is competing in the British Championship in July.
The North Cheshire Jewish Primary School were competing in blue and the team was Jacob, Max, Ethan, Solomon, Tani and Ittamar. Having won the qualifier in Oldham, in the Sem final they were fourth going into the final round (with three teams proceeding) they lost their last match and unfortunately did not make the finals. However, with the rate of improvement being shown by these young players I predict further successes in the future.
Leif winning a prize at the Vienna Chess Competition for an excellent performance.
October 2016: Leif Hafstad has just returned from Russia where he was representing England at the World Youth Championships.
September 2016: This month I will be starting a local junior chess club in Cheadle.
I have just returned from representing England at the World Chess Olympiad in Baku. It was my third Olympiad for England and a great experience to play alongside the strongest players in the world!
August 2016: It has been a busy summer…..
Congratulations to Laura Davidson who won the British U14 girls title (a year young). Joe Birks came 2nd= in the U9s ( a year young). Ethan Gardiner scored 4.5/6 in the U8 section narrowly missing out on 2nd place and Vedh Vinayak scored 3 in the U9 boys. I also achieved 2nd place in the British Women’s Championship.
Gibraltar Junior Chess
Congratulations to Cassie Graham who came shared the U16 top girls prize at the Gibraltar Junior Chess Festival Vienna Open Congratulations to Leif Hafstad who won the U14 top boys prize at the Vienna Open and gained 152.8 rating points with a 1913 rating performance!
European Youth Chess Championships
Laura Davidson and Giulio Sahinoz represented England at the European Youth Chess Championships in Prague.
July 2016: I have just returned from coaching at the European Schools Chess Championships in Greece. It was a great event and my students all worked extremely hard! Congratulations to Joe Birks who won the U8 Gigafinals with 6/6. Ethan Gardiner (U7) and Vedh Vinayak (U9) came 2nd in their respective age groups and qualified for the Challengers.
May 2016: Please see below for Megafinal Successes! May has also been an exciting month for me as I have become the Director of Women’s Chess in England; I am really hoping to make English chess a much better place for females. http://www.englishchess.org.uk/about/ecf-officials/
April 2016: Congratulations to Joe Birks (U8) and Laura Davidson (U13) for winning the English Youth Grand Prix! http://englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/play/english-youth-gp/ winning £100 and a place representing England at the World or European Youth Championships!
Well done to everyone who attended the English Chess Federation Academy Weekend in April; I was coaching and really enjoyed seeing so many talented, enthusiastic players! (http://englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Academy_Prospectus.pdf)
March 2016: Cheshire and North Wales and Lancashire continue to do well at county level with Lancashire U9s winning their zonal ahead of Nottingham! Serjey Karjakin (Russia) won the Candidates Chess Tournament and will challenge Magnus Carlsen in New York in November
February 2016: Cheadle Hulme School took part in their first team competition at Bolton. They finished 5th and Ethan Gardiner was their top scorer and winner of a best game prize. A great experience and the boys enjoyed themselves. This was the first competition for everyone apart from Ethan!
Over half term I ran some training camps which were great fun; it’s great to have so many talented and enthusiastic young players!
I also did some training with the Cheshire and North Wales County Team followed by a simultaneous display.
Joe Birks became U8 West of England Champion with 6/6; a fantastic achievement!
February was also the month I got married to Alex Longson; a very strong chess player. Our wedding was chess themed and was attended by close friends and family including 2 Grandmasters and one international master.
January 2016: Joe Birks came 1st= in the U8 South of England Championships and Laura Davidson was the leading girl in the U14s. Harry Rafferty won the Cheshire and North Wales U8s with 5/5! Ethan Gardiner was the top U7. Ethan also did well in his first adult competition (Stockport Rapidplay) beating 2 experienced adults. Tim Lewis, Saatvika Mahesh, Joe Birks, Harry Rafferty and Ethan Gardiner also played in the Junior 4NCL. All Aughton st.Michael’s schools teams qualified for the finals of the EPSCA!
December 2015: Saatvika Mahesh became the top girl in the U12 London Junior Chess Championships and came 3rd=. Joe Birks came 2nd= in the U8s.
November 2015: I have just returned from training the England team at the World Youth Chess Championships in Halkidiki, Greece. This was an excellent trip for Team England. Everyone worked hard; it was a busy schedule of 11 rounds. Players began researching their opponents the night before, then had a one hour training session before the game, their matches then started at 3pm (and could last up to 5 hours!). When the games were over players went through their games with their coach. This was constant for 11 days with only one rest day. Although England didn’t win any medals; players always come back a lot stronger because of the intense training schedule. If your child is interested in playing for England please visit: englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/
October 2015: Joe Birks won the Aughton St. Michaels ‘Kings’ (hardest section) with 5/5 and Maria Denisova also won the ‘Kings’ section at the Manchester Junior Chess Congress with 4.5/5. Excellent performances from 2 very talented young players!
I will now be running internal school tournaments to select the school teams and create school champions for 2015- Good Luck!
July – August 2015: Laura Davidson won the U12 UK Chess Challenge 2015! I began teaching Laura when she was 8 years old and she has won many competitions & trophies already! She will be competing in the British Championships & representing England at the World Championships in Greece in November.
Tim Lewis was part of the Middlesex U13 team which has recently won the County Championships! He will also be competing in the British Championships in a few weeks time and will be representing England at the U18 Glorney Cup later this month.
William Golding has come 1st= in the UK Chess Challenge U10 section. This complements his other successes this year which include getting into the U11 England Team (a year young!) and securing victories against players rated much higher than himself in the National Chess League.
Ethan Gardiner and Harry Rafferty have come first and second in the Cheshire and North Wales Megafinals.
Pupil Successes at Megafinals 2016.
Maria Denisova (Loreto Preparatory School)
Laura Davidson (St. George’s Ascot)
Joe Birks (Lancashire)
Evie Mayer (Aughton St.Michaels)
Naomi Bearon (Aughton st.Michaels)
Kayla Donatien (Alderley Edge School for Girls)
Ethan Gardiner (Cheadle Hulme School)
Harry Rafferty (Chester)
Akshara Suresh (Loreto Preparatory School)
William Golding (Surrey)
Jacob Epstein (North Cheshire Jewish Primary School)
2nd= Jenna Cousen (North Cheshire Jewish Primary School)
Vedh Vinayak (Surrey) – 2nd
Congratulations to everyone who participated and good luck to everyone in the Gigafinals!
Watch me in action.
With the World Champion – Magnus Carlsen (Baku 2016)
Books and Links.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin To become great at chess- it requires hard work!
“Chess demands total concentration” – Bobby Fischer – 11th World Chess Champion
“Chess is imagination” – David Bronstein – Soviet Chess Grandmaster
Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess – Fischer & Margulies
Checkmate for Children – Stark
Chess for Children – Chandler
How to Beat Your Dad at Chess – Chandler
www.chesskid.com – there is an excellent introductory video on how to play chess.
www.chessclub.com – for practising games and training videos
www.chess.com – for practising games and training videos
http://englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/ – links to English Chess Federation Junior Section
www.englishchess.org.uk/event-calendar/ – information on tournaments and competitions.
So what do you think… Want to learn?
Teaching will begin with how the pieces move, progress to making pupils ready for external competitions, the England Junior team and beyond….