Learn Chess

Nigel Short

Winning! At chess, with Nigel Short

Former World Chess Championship Challenger Nigel Short has written his first book, Winning. The English Chess Federation selected Winning as one of four books under consideration for its 2021 “Book of the Year.” Although Winning did not win, it got a special mention. Like Nigel Short the chess commentator, Nigel Short the chess writer is educational and entertaining. More 🡢

Tolstoy playing chess with the son of Vladimir Chertkov

Leo Tolstoy, Anish Giri, and Chess

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) named Anish Giri its “Person of the Day” for September 13, 2021. Giri had just won the Tolstoy Cup, a nine-round, all-play-all rapid chess event with a time control of 15 minutes plus a 10-second increment per move. Games won by Leo Tolstoy (in 1906) and by Anish Giri (in 2021) are explored. More 🡢

Igor Khmelnitsky and US Chess Board Member Kevin Pryor (August 2021)

You versus Bobby Fischer

International Master Igor Khmelnitsky participated in three U.S. Chess Championships. An actuary by profession, Khmelnitsky is also a chess player, coach, and author. In this article, I highlight one of his books, Chess Exam – Matches against Chess Legends: You vs. Bobby Fischer. More 🡢

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave; Photo courtesy of the Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes

Queen Sacrifices by Top-Level Chess Players

Sacrificing a queen is rare in chess games. Since the queen is the most valuable piece, giving her up for lesser chessmen or for an attack is difficult to contemplate. Within the last two months, two top-level chess players have sacrificed their queens. More 🡢

Root vs Li

Turning Chess Wins into Draws

On behalf of the Alliance Chess Club, Louis A. Reed Jr. organized and directed the Fourth Annual Queen City of the Prairie Open & Fort Worth Championship on July 17–18, 2021. Although I scored just 3 points out of 5 rounds, I split the first expert prize with my last-round opponent. My fourth-round opponent missed turning his losing position into a draw. In round 5, I turned my winning position into a draw. More 🡢

Win with the Caro-Kann

International Chess Day: The Caro-Kann

In 2021, Gambit Publications published Win with the Caro-Kann. The authors, Norwegians Sverre Johnsen and Grandmaster Torbjørn Ringdal Hansen, recommend specific lines for Black. The book’s specialization is a plus if a reader is looking for a repertoire. It also is a useful guide to selected lines of the Caro-Kann Defense, if you are teaching chess for International Chess Day, July 20, 2021. 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.