Learning Chess

Interested in learning chess? This suite of articles will help you understand the game, improve your skills and ultimately master it.

Bay Area Chess

The Knight’s Tour

The knight’s tour is recommended by GM Susan Polgar. In her free Chess Training Guide for Parents and Teachers, she wrote, “Try to jump with the Knight from one square to another covering all 64 squares on the chess board, landing only once on each square.” When I taught BayAreaChess students, some taking their first chess class and others rated up to 1000, I included the knight’s tour. More 🡢

Chess Christmas Presents

Instructional Chess Books for Christmas 2018

In this article, I review two instructional chess books published in 2018. Either one would make a great Christmas present! One is aimed at teachers, the other at kids. But both books would benefit chess players of any age, who know the rules of chess, have played several complete games, but are still learning tactical themes. More 🡢

UT Dallas chess team

Six Degrees of Separation and One Day More at the World Chess Championship

The recent World Chess Championship made me think of two iconic phrases. The first phrase is “six degrees of separation,” which states that a chain of “friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in six steps. In this article, I’ll share my two-step connections to the challenger, Fabiano Caruana, and to former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer. The second phrase is “One Day More,” which is both a song lyric and a song title from the musical Les Misérables. More 🡢


Stop those pawns!

In an endgame, stop your opponent’s pawn or pawns from promoting. A queen ahead in an endgame will likely win. In today’s article, the winning side stops two pawns before promoting its own pawn. More 🡢

Alexander Petrov

Unexpected Opening Moves: Petroff’s Defense

The first 10 moves of a chess game, called the “opening,” can be a minefield. Although following opening principles — such as controlling the center, developing your minor pieces (bishops and knights), and castling — usually succeeds, you also have to know some common opening traps. In this article, the Petroff’s Defense trap is explained. More 🡢

Ding Liren

Overloading at the Chess Olympiad

Teams from China won both the Open section and the Women’s section of the 43rd Chess Olympiad, which took place in Batumi, Georgia. Grandmaster Ding Liren was first board for China’s Open section team. This article features a tactic, overloading, from his win over Grandmaster Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland. More 🡢