Learn Chess

Chess Christmas Gifts

What chess gifts do you want under your Christmas tree? Maybe a sweater that makes you look like the World Chess Champion? What about a subscription to a chess magazine or an upgraded chess app experience? More 🡢

Giant Chess Set and mascot Temoc

Family Day Chess

Like many colleges and universities, The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) has a “Family Day” in the fall. Relatives come to campus to spend time with their college students and do fun activities. On October 16, 2021, the chess team was part of UT Dallas Family Day fun. More 🡢

Kateřina Němcová, photo by Lennart Ootes, Courtesy of the Saint Louis Chess Club

Gift Horse or Trojan Horse in Chess

If your chess opponent gives you a knight, check for teeth. The sacrificed knight may be a Trojan horse planning to bite you. More 🡢

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 🡢

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.