Chess is a sport, a science, and an art. For more than a thousand years, people around the world have enjoyed this game of skill and tactics and intellectual prowess. From Parisian nightclubs to Hollywood films to everyday dining rooms and dens, you can find people furrowing their brows in concentration over their next strategic move. The fun of the game is that anyone can play, and there is always something more to learn—especially with the right guide.
From the basics of the game to advanced strategy and tactics, and everything in between, How to Play Chess: Lessons from an International Master is any chess enthusiast’s opportunity to enhance your understanding of the game. Taught by International Master and renowned chess teacher Jeremy Silman, these 24 engaging lessons walk you through every aspect of the game. After grounding you in the rules of chess, Mr. Silman offers strategic insight into openings and endgames, shows you typical pitfalls to avoid, and examines an array of famous gambits, positions, defenses, mates, and more.
One of the most rewarding aspects of chess is that amateurs and professionals alike can unlock new secrets, discover fresh patterns, and sharpen their skills as players.
Amateurs may wonder:
- Where do I even begin?
- How do all the pieces move?
- Which pieces are more valuable?
- What are the key “rookie mistakes” to avoid?
The rules are simple to learn, but the game is vastly complex. Therefore, even seasoned players with many years of experience always have more to learn. For instance:
- When does the en passant rule apply?
- How do I make more effective combinations?
- How does pawn structure point toward the best next move?
- Is it possible to secure a checkmate with just a king and a pawn?
Whether you’re a chess novice or a long-time player, this course will help you see the game in a whole new way. Striking visual examples from some of the most famous—and infamous—matches in history offer a wealth of strategic insight. You’ll also explore the game’s history and meet some noted and flamboyant players, from André Philidor to Bobby Fischer to Garry Kasparov. How to Play Chess: Lessons from an International Master is your guide to becoming a formidable chess opponent.
Improve Your Game—No Matter Your Skill Level
From kings to commoners and coast to coast around the world, chess is a universal game that anyone can enjoy, regardless of language or nationality or social class. And it’s a game that anyone can learn. Mr. Silman reviews everything from how pieces move and basic notation to advanced strategy and complex combinations. Players at all levels will find something of value here, and a wealth of interactive examples make every lesson worth revisiting to mine key information.
Among the many topics Mr. Silman covers are:
Review how all the pieces move, and discover a few surprises—such as that the humble pawn is actually the most complex piece on the board. Then examine the basics of notation and etiquette during the game.
Tactical Patterns: Pins, skewers, forks, decoys, double attacks, and more—build your skills with every piece to help you trap your opponent and unleash carnage on the board.
Strategic Planning: From pawn structure to imbalances in position to cat-and-mouse combinations, learn to read the board and determine the best series of moves—for you and your opponent.
Open vs. Closed Positions: Should you play in the center or go for the wings? When should you rely on knight,s or bishops? When should you sacrifice a pawn? Find out how to navigate any mid-game setup.
Statics vs. Dynamics: Chess relies on strategic thinking and long-term planning, but it also requires the ability to strike at weaknesses and wage battle. Hone your skills in all types of play.
Endgames: It might not be as sexy as tactical strikes, but learning a few basic endgame strategies can give you a powerful edge over your competition. With a wealth of examples, Mr. Silman shows you how to win—and makes the study of endgames fun.
Study Classic Games for Lessons in Technique and Style
One of the joys of this course is that Mr. Silman takes you beyond the board and explores the history of the game. He transports you to old-time chess clubs (which were known in 18th century Paris as “dens of iniquity”) and introduces you to many of the game’s colorful characters and International Masters—players who changed the game and serve as models for today’s aspiring players. Among others, you will meet:
- Alexander Alekhine
- André Philidor
- Vera Menchik
- José Raúl Capablanca
- Bobby Fischer
- Garry Kasparov
In addition to revealing personalities and presenting biographical details, Mr. Silman reviews many classic—often heated—games, offering a play-by-play to show how these chess heroes have trapped and mated each other and forced resignations. You’ll delight in discovering different styles of play, from cautious development to hyper-aggressive tactics to surprising mates—and learn much from studying these games. And you’ll come away with a trove of masters you can look to as models for your own game.
Learn from an International Master
As an International Master and a well-regarded author of numerous chess books and articles, Mr. Silman is an ideal guide to help you build your skills. Using clear examples and a step-by-step approach, these lessons feel more like an intimate tutorial than a series of lectures. The course is intensively illustrated, helping you follow each move as it plays out.
How to Play Chess: Lessons from an International Master Download
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