Learn Chess

Fischer Era Chess Prodigy Headlines Caveman Chess Festival

Chess Review first mentioned Salvatore “Sal” Matera in its July 1959 issue. In 1959, Matera was eight years old and had learned chess only the Christmas before. Yet Matera played well in the U.S. Amateur Championship, thus earning the 1959 mention. More 🡢

Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield and GM Irina Krush

Cairns Chess Queens Award: $100,000 for new U.S. Grandmasters

Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield announced the Cairns Chess Queens Award, a $100,000 award for up to five American women who achieve the title of grandmaster (GM) within the next five years. More 🡢

Nobody's Fool

Three Bob Fergusons, Two Chess Masters, and One State of Confusion

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, age 59, is running for Governor of Washington State. As a teenager, he went by “Bobby Ferguson” and was a chess master. Just before the filing deadline, two other men named “Bob Ferguson” joined him in the race to become governor. Another chess master, Christopher Chabris, co-authored a book that discusses how people are fooled, with one example being voting for a similarly named, but less qualified, candidate. More 🡢

Magnus Carlsen

Dead Position and Stalemates at Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland

The 2024 Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland ended May 12, with Magnus Carlsen, the number one player in the world, winning first place and $40,000. The total prize fund was $175,000. Over five days, 10 competitors played nine rounds of rapid games followed by eighteen rounds of blitz, for a total of 135 games. The rapid time control was game in 25 minutes plus a 10-second increment. The blitz time control was game in 5 minutes plus a 2-second increment. More 🡢

Rodney Malpert

Celebrate Nebraska Chess from May 31–June 2, 2024

Nebraska native Rodney Malpert is the principal financial backer of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Chess Celebration on June 1st and 2nd. The prize fund for the tournament is $13,650. On May 31, the Nebraska Chess Hall of Fame inducts US Chess Senior Master Malpert, Woman International Master Alexey (Rudolph) Root, Kent Nelson, and International Master Keaton Kiewra. Five decades ago, Nebraska’s capital city of Lincoln hosted two U.S. Opens, the flagship tournament of US Chess. More 🡢

Jennifer Shahade

US Chess Safe Play: Real-life Examples

When WGM Jennifer Shahade posted “Time’s up.” on X (formerly Twitter) on February 15, 2023, she was the Women’s Program Director for US Chess. Less than a month later, an article in The Wall Street Journal stated, “former U.S. women’s chess champion Jennifer Shahade alleged on social media last month that she had been sexually assaulted by a prominent grandmaster named Alejandro Ramirez.” On April 5, 2024, US Chess published a Safe Play example that had some of the same elements found in allegations against Ramirez. More 🡢

Norman Tweed Whitaker

Al Capone, Norman Tweed Whitaker, Chess, and Taxes

Part of Al Capone’s sentence was served on Alcatraz Island, where chess master Norman Tweed Whitaker was a fellow inmate. Willie Harris, a journalist living in Denton, Texas, investigated this chess and crime connection. More 🡢

Maurice Ashley

The Saint Louis Chess Conference: Grandmaster Maurice Ashley

The Saint Louis Chess Conference will be October 24–26. If you are interested in presenting, the proposal submission deadline is April 5. Early bird pricing ends on April 30. Keynote speakers are Grandmasters Maurice Ashley and Judit Polgár and former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. More 🡢

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?

The best way to learn is by playing! Right here on SparkChess you can play against different computer personas (start with Cody if you never played before). The game will highlight all valid moves for a piece, so it's easy to understand and learn the rules. Then you can move to learning strategies and openings with SparkChess Premium, which features an Opening Explorer with over 100 opening variations, 30 interactive lessons and even an AI coach.

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 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.