Growing up in the 1960s, chess was a lifeline for me. The least I could do with my life was encourage younger generations to take up the game.

Today, when chess is played in primary rather than secondary schools, children from my background (non-chess playing, supportive but not pushy parents) make little progress if they learn at all.

There’s a simple answer. It’s fun for children, easy for schools and parents, and, what’s more, it’s free. Come inside and have a look.

I’m Richard James: I’m the author of the best-selling children’s chess book Chess for Kids and ran Richmond Junior Chess Club between 1975 and 2006.