Teaching Chess

Teaching the Basics

Each link below is a pdf file of a lesson that can be used as reference or homework for your chess players!

Suggested Books for Study

Having a great library of chess books will allow your players to study for themselves. Self-study using these coach-approved texts can be a great way to encourage your team to improve. Most of these titles can be found online for relatively small costs. Used editions are just as good and usually far less expensive.

Chess Progress - by Erik Czerwin (Rockford Chess Coach!) - Click here to purchase!

    • THE ideal chess book for the beginner, THE ideal chess book for the improving player, THE ideal chess book for the teacher. Absolute beginners can learn everything they need to know in order to play chess competitively. More experienced players will encounter deeper concepts and be able to approach chess from a new perspective, enabling them to take their play to the next level. Chess coach Erik Czerwin’s unique training method begins by studying the simplest chess positions with very few pieces – and then moves on, step by step, adding more pieces to the board. Complex ideas are always built up from simpler situations, ensuring that the learning curve stays flat. With helpful exercises throughout, Chess Progress is the perfect book for every chess enthusiast.

The Chess Tactics Workbook - by Al Woolum Click here to purchase

    • The Chess Tactics Workbook contains page after page of pre-created worksheets with puzzles for students to practice their chess skills. It has resources to help coaches teach the most basic skills all the way to some basic basic tactics and strategy. The exercises are expertly arranged to gradually increase difficulty while teaching students about key ideas and how to stretch their thinking just a little further. Overall, an amazing resource for any chess coach!

Reassess Your Chess, 4th Edition - by Jeremy Silman

    • Jeremy Silman is not only a skilled chess player and coach, but a very accessible writer. His skill in making Grandmaster-level thinking accessible to the amateur player is unparallaled in the world of chess literature. Reassess Your Chess is a standard text for players who wish to move from the level of amateur to a more professional skill set. The 4th Edition is completely rewritten with lots of new positions and is much more focused on teaching students to use skilled planning methods.

The Amateur's Mind - by Jeremy Silman

    • Jeremy Silman is not only a skilled chess player and coach, but a very accessible writer. His skill in making Grandmaster-level thinking accessible to the amateur player is unparallaled in the world of chess literature. The Amateur's Mind zeroes in on how amateur chess players think and how to adjust their thinking in order to move away from those patterns of thought. It's really an excellent tome for any developing player who has hit a wall.

Silman's Complete Endgame Course - by Jeremy Silman

    • Jeremy Silman is not only a skilled chess player and coach, but a very accessible writer. His skill in making Grandmaster-level thinking accessible to the amateur player is unparallaled in the world of chess literature. The Complete Endgame Course is designed for any player to study endgame theory in great detail. Each section is divided by the level of player (by rating) that should understand those concepts. Players can read a single lesson, an entire section, or the entire book. No matter how the book is used, it is simply the most comprehensive collection of endgame study that anyone can find in a single text.

Combinational Motifs - by Maxim Blokh (Moscow, 2000)

    • Arguably the best book on tactics ever published, and the bases of the popular software CT-ART 3.0 (now updated to CT-ART 4.0). Blokh’s book contains over 1200 diagrams, with each problem graded by level of difficulty. Many of his problems contain two problems in one position. That is, the position can be solved once as if it is White to move; and then again, as if it is Black to move.

Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess - by Bobby Fischer

  • Great book of learning. Builds checkmate patterns to help students learn how to think chessically and in combinations

My System: 21st Century Edition - by Aron Nimzowitsch

Modern Chess Strategy - by Ludek Pachman

Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy: Advances since Nimzowitsch - by John Watson

New Ideas in Chess - by Larry Evans

Ideas Behind the Chess Openings:Algebraic Edition - by Rueben Fine

Suggested Software

Having the following Coach-recommended software will be a great resource for any chess player:

  • A great online, FREE website that has fantastic tools for coaches and players alike. Run on a donation-based funding model, you and your players can use all the features for free and donate if you feel it's worth it.

  • A comprehensive Chess Trainer developed by ChessBase

  • A Chess database is an invaluable tool. It allows players and coaches to save a games for future study. It also contains a massive database of professional-level games for students to study with.

  • A great tool for learning, teaching, and play chess. Developed by Josh Waitzkin and Ubisoft

  • The preferred ICCA Tournament Director software for pairing tournaments

  • Complete training software, truly excellent software...