Learn Chess

The Puzzler

The $10,000 Puzzler Hunt, Chess, and Thank You Notes

Can you solve mind-bending puzzles? Then you might win $10,000 from a contest, still active at the time I am writing this, that began May 3, 2022. The contest introduces a book which contains, among other puzzles, several chess puzzles. That book’s author, along with another author, deserve thank-you notes from me. More 🡢

Fabiano Caruana

2022 American Cup: Double Elimination Chess

From April 18–29, 2022, the Saint Louis Chess Club held the American Cup. The tournament’s format was a rare one for chess: double elimination. With $300,000 in prize money on the line, each game counted. More 🡢

The Girl from Riga

Suitcases, war, chess, and the d5-square

Refugees may pack suitcases before fleeing their countries. Professional chess players pack suitcases to travel to their next tournaments. While refugees do not know where they will live, chess players know to control the d5-square. More 🡢

GM Hikaru Nakamura

From Wild Card to Candidate: Hikaru Nakamura

Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura won the 2022 FIDE World Chess Grand Prix, earning his spot in the 2022 Candidates. Nakamura was originally a “wild card” pick by FIDE to participate in the Grand Prix. More 🡢

Jarred Tetzlaff and Alexey Root, photo by Ryan Deering

Emotions in chess: Let it Go

Certain emotions may distract chess players from finding good moves. This article suggests two strategies, let it go and avoid obsessions, that may help players achieve emotional states which are better for chess. More 🡢

Defending under pressure

Chess book review: Defending Under Pressure

Dr. Steve Hrop, a psychologist, achieved a peak US Chess rating of 2192 in 1988. His book Defending Under Pressure: Managing Your Emotions at the Chessboard was published in 2021 by Mongoose Press. This article is a review of Hrop’s book. 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.