Getting Started

Ready to get started? I suggest watching Grandmaster (GM) Yasser Seirawan’s “Pro Chess” DVD or listening to IM Josh Waitzkin’s audio lectures on the Chessmaster software! Seirawan is a professional as well as a magnificent teacher, so I quite like him for beginning material even though his DVD is a little dated! He also has a book series out called “Winning Chess Strategies”, “Winning Chess Tactics” and the like. I didn’t read those when I was starting out, but I have read American IM Jeremy Silman’s writings, which I think are great for beginners. I like “The Complete Book of Chess Strategy”, but “The Amateur’s Mind”, which I haven’t read, may also be good.

It is not easy to find quality material online for free. Many YouTube posters are not international masters or grandmasters. GMs are technically stronger than IMs, but stronger players are not always better teachers. Nevertheless, IMs and FIDE Masters (FMs) are probably the minimum level you should expect a teacher to be at.

For free YouTube material, you can’t go past the excellent lectures by Seirawan and others on the Saint Louis Chess Club YouTube page.

Fast tip: The most obscure rarely-encountered rule of chess is probably that of “en passant“!

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