The Director


Paul Lam, Founder of the Coventry Chess Academy

I grew up in Coventry and was educated at Bablake School. It was here that I first started playing chess competitively, at the age of eleven. Shortly after starting at Bablake, I joined the Checkmate junior chess club in Birmingham, run by the late Mike Fox, where attendees included Tony Miles, Britain’s first chess grandmaster. I made rapid progress and, at the end of my first competitive season, came third in the British under 13 Championship and was selected for the England Junior Squad.

Playing for England in Estonia at the age of thirteen

Playing for England in Estonia at the age of thirteen

I am currently one of the strongest chess players in the West Midlands (FIDE rating 2117, ECF rating 196 Standardplay, 202 Rapidplay). I represent Kenilworth Chess Club in the Leamington & District Chess League. Additionally, I play for Warwickshire Select in the 4NCL (Four Nations Chess League), the British national chess league.

Some of my chess achievements include:

  • Five time winner of the Coventry Schools Chess Lightning Tournament
  • Four time Warwickshire under 18 Champion
  • First recipient of the Tony Miles Award for Services to Warwickshire Chess
  • Represented the English national team from under 14 to under 18 level in Estonia (2002), the Czech Republic (2003 Glorney Cup) and Liverpool (2005 Glorney Cup)
  • 2002 England Junior Squad under 14 Champion
  • Twice a finalist in the UK Land Chess Challenge (now know as the UK Schools Chess Challenge), the largest chess tournament in the world, making the final thirty out of over fifty thousand entrants
  • Strong performances in international chess tournaments, including joint-third place at the 1st Coventry Chess International in 2004
  • Numerous wins and draws against titled players up to Grandmaster
  • Games published in British Chess Magazine, the world’s oldest chess magazine in continuous publication
  • Two time competitor in the British Chess Championship


I have twelve years of voluntary and paid experience teaching chess to children aged five plus and adults on an individual and group basis. Dozens of my students have increased their national ratings, achieved representative honours from school to county level and won awards in regional and national competitions. Over twenty have reached the Gigafinal, the penultimate stage of the UK Schools Chess Challenge, and five have reached the Terafinal, the final stage. Four have achieved rankings within the top twenty players in England for their age groups.

In addition to private tuition, I have taught at the following clubs:

  • Bablake School Chess Club
  • Bablake Junior School Chess Club
  • Birmingham Checkmate Chess Club
  • Solihull Checkmates Chess Club
  • University of Nottingham Chess Society
  • University of Warwick Chess Society
  • Dunchurch Boughton Junior School Chess Club
  • Burton Green Primary School Chess Club
  • Hearsall Primary School Chess Club
  • Bilton Grange Pre-Prep School Chess Club
  • Coaching lead for the Warwickshire Junior County Chess Squad and Junior 4NCL Squad


14 Mar 2013: Introduction to Safeguarding Children (Coventry Safeguarding Children Board)

  • Developed my knowledge and understanding of issues surrounding child protection and the procedure for making multi-agency referrals in cases where a child’s welfare is at risk

12 Oct 2011: Chess Coaching Course (Nottinghamshire Primary Schools Chess Association, David Levens – English Chess Federation Manager of Coaches)

  • Accredited to coach junior players and other beginners

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