Learn Chess

World Cup

World Cup

The skill of “dribbling” in soccer is perhaps the game’s most fundamental skill. Dribbling is running or moving with the ball under the control of your feet. Beginners learn how to dribble and World Cup players demonstrate excellent dribbling in their games. Likewise, as a beginning or intermediate chess player, you learn the endgame checkmates. The king and queen versus king and rook win should be in the top of the endgame fundamentals that you learn and practice. More 🡢

Alexey Root

How to teach chess (part two)

Teaching chess to groups can be tricky, as not everyone comes to class with the same background knowledge. In How to teach chess (part one), I shared lesson plans for two 1.5 hour sessions with a mixed group (absolute beginners in the same class with chess players with some experience). In this article, I share lesson plans for three more 1.5 hour sessions with mixed groups of students ages 8-13. More 🡢

Alexey Root - Thinking with Chess

How to teach chess (part one)

Since you are a chess player, you may be asked to teach chess to others. Teaching chess can be a rewarding volunteer opportunity, as you share your love of chess with schoolchildren or with people of all ages at a library chess club. Teaching chess can also be a part-time job or a career, as many parents pay for chess instruction. Like paying for music lessons or for participation in organized sports, paying for chess lessons is routine for many families. In this article and in my next article, I share lesson plans for five 1.5 hour sessions with a mixed group. More 🡢

Elliott Neff teaching Boys & Girls Club children how to play chess- Fall 2016. Photo by Sarah Smoots

Chess coach Elliott Neff answers your questions

Thirty-two SparkChess readers had questions for chess coach Elliott Neff. Alexey Root chose the best ones and Elliott has the answers. All five readers received one-year Premium Live SparkChess memberships. Read on to find out which of the five also won a one-year Chess4Life Online Premium membership. More 🡢

Elliott and Phiona on the Red Carpet in Hollywood, CA, September 2016

Prizes for your questions for chess coach Elliott Neff

Want to win a one-year SparkChess Premium Live membership and a one-year Chess4Life Online Premium membership (valued at $99) at online.chess4life.com? In the comments to this article, ask National Master Elliott Neff a question. On May 25, SparkChess writer Alexey Root will select the five best questions from the comments. The commenters who asked the “five best” questions will each win a one-year Premium Live membership to SparkChess. More 🡢

National Master Elliott Neff

Learn a basic endgame checkmate from Elliott Neff

When facing a lone king, you should know how to checkmate if you have king, a knight, and bishop. Most videos only show the checkmate when the king is already on the edge of the board. But it is important to learn what to do when the defending king starts in the center. NM Elliott Neff shows how to drive the defender’s king from the center to the edge of the board and then follow it up with checkmate. 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.