How to learn chess


With the success of the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, many people are interested in chess for the first time. Although chess has a reputation of being a difficult game suited for smart people, anyone can learn the rules of chess. Becoming a grandmaster, however, takes a lot of work.

Is it hard to learn chess?

Learning the rules of chess can be accomplished in one day. There are six different chessmen. Master how each moves and captures, and use them to checkmate your opponents, to succeed in your chess games.

Where can I learn chess?

One of the best websites for learning and practicing the rules of chess is The site’s Chess Basics page teaches the rook, bishop, queen, king, knight, and pawn. Your chessmen capture “stars” on boards to reinforce how each chessman moves. Then the page teaches other rules, such as checkmate, stalemate, and en passant.

What is the best way to start learning chess?

While learning chess online is efficient, since software corrects illegal moves, playing chess with others in person can be satisfying. You and a friend or family member could tackle chess together, perhaps reading the rules in a book. Playing on a three-dimensional chess set can be a fun break from our online lives. When in-person chess is not available, SparkChess has six different AI opponents to practice against as well as online multiplayer for playing with friends (and making new ones).

How can I teach myself to play chess?

While learning chess rules takes one day, becoming good at chess takes longer. One proverb states, “Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe.” With intense efforts, chess greatness can be achieved.

Bonus: Chess puzzle

Abhimanyu Mishra, 2019. Photo by David Llada
Abhimanyu Mishra, 2019
Photo by David Llada

On June 30, 2021, New Jersey resident Abhimanyu Mishra became the youngest grandmaster in history. Interviewed by chess24, Mishra stated (at 1 minute 39 seconds into the interview) that he studied chess 12 hours a day during the pandemic. Although Mishra’s final grandmaster norm was achieved in Budapest, Hungary, Mishra played 10 “norm” tournaments at the Charlotte Chess Center. Can you find his winning 64th move, as Black, against Grandmaster Peter Prohaszka? White resigned on move 66, behind too much material to have any winning or drawing chances. Hint: White’s queen is overworked, protecting both the rook on g6 and the pawn on h3.

Click/tap to reveal the solution

64… Rxh3+ 65. Qxh3 Qxh3+

WIM Alexey Root, PhD

Alexey Root is a Woman International Master and the 1989 U.S. Women's chess champion. Her peak US Chess rating was 2260. She has a PhD in education from UCLA. You can find her books on chess on

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2 Responses

  1. Sidharth Kapoor
    Sidharth Kapoor at

    Yes, its a difficult to learn chess game easily. There are many benefits of playing chess game. Thanks for sharing a such great post to learn chess.

  2. Dean Phillips
    Dean Phillips at

    My son told me last Sunday night that he is interested in learning to play chess after seeing it on the TV. Ever since, I have been looking into learning chess online and luckily for me, I found your great post here. I think its great how you explained that while learning chess online is efficient, since software corrects illegal moves, playing chess with others in person can be satisfying. You bring up a good point here, one I’m sure those like my son will be glad to have learnt of. Thanks for this!