"Chess is a sea in which an elephant may bathe and a gnat may drink"
Indian Proverb

Chess is the gymnasium of the mind. A combination of art, science and sport it improves concentration, calculation and decision making. It has no age barrier and it is a game for life. Chess literally changes people’s lives. I coach people as young as eight years old and as old as eighty and there is no difference in terms of the sheer enjoyment they get from the game. Chess truly has the power to make people happy.

The benefits of chess for children
Most people involved in schools and education research support the view that chess has many benefits. Stephanie Sundberg reviewed several studies and concluded the outcomes were positive and that children who study chess at school perform 15%-20% better at standardised tests in a range of subjects including English and Mathematics.  

Chess for adults
It’s never too late to learn, and indeed it is a game that is easy to learn but impossible to master. It costs very little to purchase a set and board and it is with you for life. It is thought that playing chess regularly can stave off the onset of Alzeimers disease. I have coached a 90 year old (young!) student who improved after just a few sessions.

What I offer
I am a European Chess Union Schools Coach, County player and British Chess Federation County Master. I have represented the United Kingdom at chess in France and also being Captain of the team at the NATO Championships in Hungary and America. I have organised many top events and also photographed chess events. I am Enhanced DRB cleared and ready to begin the journey with you…

I can provide the following:
One to one coaching from beginner to intermediate.

Lectures - This can be the history of the game, or simply how to play.

I have worked with many schools, institutes, clubs and Societies.

I can provide bespoke work to fit around your curriculum or diary.   

NEW: One hour chess training via Skype or at my home. £25 per session.

My chess CV includes:

Charlton School Chess Champion

Played at county level for Shropshire and Oxfordshire

Represented UK at NATO Championships 2012 in Brest, France

Captained UK at NATO Championships in Budapest, Hungary in 2017

Captained UK at NATO Championships in Texas USA in 2018

Organised top level simultaneous chess displays with Jon Speelman, Lev Polugayevsky, Daniel King, Nigel Short, John Nunn and Tania Sachdev.

Played former World Champion Anatoly Karpov in a simul in France in 2019. I lost - but I was the last game to finish!

Former Shropshire County Chess Champion

Played league chess in UK and Germany  

Former Chess Coach for the Dragon School in Oxford (four years)     

Former Banbury Blitz Champion and Leamington Individual open Champion 

Regular columnist for Chess Monthly and have written for British Chess Magazine 

Editor of OPEN FILE the chess magazine for the United Kingdom Armed Forces. (UKAF) for ten years.    

Coached several juniors one to one - all have gone on to be stronger chess players and improved academically

One junior has progressed to be selected for the England squad

I am the Manager of Chess in Prisons - for the English Chess Federation

Chess Columnist for the prison newspaper 'Inside Time'.

Awarded English Chess Federation President's Award for Services to Chess in 2015

Appointed Development Officer for the English Chess Federation 2019-20

My book, CHESS BEHIND BARS is available from Quality Chess here:


It is also available from Chess and Bridge of London, Amazon or direct from me.

Feedback has been excellent, which naturally pleases me. Daily Mail columnist Dominic Lawson said that "Portman [...] has enlightened the society of criminals with the best of humanity". I met my local MP Victoria Prentice who supports my prisons work, and have appeared on radio and in the Daily Mail, The Times, The Wall Street Journal and London Evening Standard along with various chess magazines and online at the CHESSBASE website.

My latest book 'Chess Crusader, confessions of an amateur chess player' is available direct from me or from Amazon

Amazon.co.uk : chess crusader



Caissa Consulting
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