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The Final Four of College Chess

Unlike many U.S. universities, The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) does not have a football team. Instead, UTD has a chess team. In 2018 Final Four teams of the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships are Webster, Saint Louis University, Texas Tech University (TTU), and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Can you predict the order of finish of the four teams and the game points scored by the winning team? Ten Premium Live one-year memberships to Spark Chess will be awarded to participants in this contest.

5 Best Chess Web Shops


Around 1100 AD chess was well known in royal and noble houses from Spain, France, and Italy. With an enormous variety of artistic and elaborated chess sets, it had to be simplified and unified in order to spread to all social classes. The turning point was in 1849, when “Staunton Chess Set” appears.

Multiplayer Score Adjustment

Multiplayer Score Adjustment

UPDATED on Jan. 22 with details! We’ve had several requests from our top players to decrease the gaps between scores. Right now, our top players simply can’t find enough similarly-ranked opponents to play against. To refresh your memory, SparkChess uses an Elo-based system for score, but we tweaked its parameters a bit to reward players […]

Why Learning Chess is Important for Your Child

children playing chess

One of the more surprising aspects of chess is that it can actually improve creativity and original thinking. Creativity sounds like a non-measurable attribute, but studies have shown that children who play chess offer more creative and original solutions to problems than those who do not play chess.

Positional Pawn Sacrifice Buries Black’s Bishop

Sacrifice Fails without 8.h4h5

This is one of the most important chess concepts you’ll ever learn to improve your middle game. Combine it with an active opening repertoire, and you will soon become feared by your opponents.

The Value of an Exchange

Black has a huge advantage in space and in the center.He's behind an exchange but at least equal.

White takes time to exploit a dark square weakness early in the game. Black responds by sacrificing the exchange for quick development and dynamic play. He initially plays well, but fails to target the right weakness at a key moment. This allows White to consolidate, simplify the position, and the exchange suddenly becomes decisive.