Chess Resources


Learn To Play - How To Play Chess - Watch the video, read the rules, click the exhibits.

Basic Rules of Chess - One page printout of the rules. (If margins are set right.)

For Coaches & Parents

Whatcom County Scholastic Chess FAQ

Chess Parent Resource

Starting a Scholastic Chess Club

The main guideline is: Just do it! Enjoy the ride!

Starting a Scholastic Chess Club - So what does it take to start a chess club at your school? Are you reluctant to start a chess club because of unrealistic expectations? An encouraging guide with a dash of humor.

Starting A Chess Club At School, How A Parent Who Barely Played Chess Did It - Hear the entertaining story of one parent's journey into the fun world of youth chess. What was the vision, and what were the results? Subtitled A Scholastic Chess Club Start-up Do-it-yourself Kit for Dummies.

Regional Newsletters

WHSCA Web Site
The Washington High School Chess Association (WHSCA) oversees the various State High School and Middle School championships, as well as running a variety of other excellent tourneys and maintaining the Washington scholastic ratings . The paper newsletter has been discontinued; to get the scoop on upcoming tournaments, bookmark and regularly visit the
WHSCA website.

Northwest Chess Magazine
The monthly journal of record for all things chess in Washington and Oregon. It's the official mag of the Wa. and Or. Chess Federations. They also list all upcoming tournaments for players of all ages. To subscribe and join the Washington Chess Federation, visit Northwest Chess Magazine. We thank them for allowing us to publish their tournament calendar on our site.

Playing Chess Online

Lots of sites to choose from.
For kids, start with
For High School and adults, is excellent, as is the Internet Chess Club.


ZoomChess - Talking school of chess. Subscription fee.

Chesscademy - Watch video lessons, tackle exercises, and solve chess tactics. Free.

Chess Tactics Trainers - Learn the basic tactical themes, and then practice them to get good. These sites give you tactical puzzles to solve. They may give you a rating, adjust the difficuly level of puzzles automatically, or invent tactical games to keep it interesting. Some are free, some charge.
Chessity -- Chess Tempo -- Chess Tactics Server -- Chess Gym -- Tactics Trainer -- Ideachess -- Gameknot Chess Tactics -- Chess Magnet School -- Puzzles

Good Software

Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster I and II and III - A chess tutorial for youngsters disguised as an adventure game! Fritz is in charge of the kingdom while his father's on vacation, when a rival king challenges him to a duel. Chesster helps Fritz train and prepare for the final showdown with the dastardly King Black! Excellent for K-6th grade total beginners. Fritz and Chesster II assumes you know the basic moves but nothing else. Fritz and Chesster III is for intermediate level scholastic players.

Maurice Ashley Teaches Chess - Great for young players to learn the game, then get practice not only against the computer, but with a colorful, engaging set of puzzles, drills, mini-tutorials, exercizes and challenges.

Chessmaster 9000 or higher - Excellent software program. Contains a well developed School of Chess, interactive tutorials, a Chess Coach that reviews your games and makes suggestions, and Master Waitzkin's Game Review where you can hear the master explain the thought processes behind each move he mades in selected actual tournament games. Plus, a variety of opponents of various strengths to test your skills against, and much more.

Majestic Chess - An adventure game, and to advance through the land, you must solve chess puzzles, challenges and quests.

Good Videos/DVDs

Elliott's Chess School has DVDs and Workbooks available that are targeted to K-8, but are applicable and have been successful to all ages. The DVDs are currently available in 4 different levels starting with an introductory level and going up to an intermediate level. The Workbooks are currently available in 4 levels. Available to purchase here. The Whatcom Library System has levels 1, 2 and 3.

Chess Movie Trailers!
Searching for Bobby Fischer PG ...starring Joe Mantegna, Laurence Fishburn, Ben Kingsley
based on a true story (Josh Waitzkin)
Knights of the South Bronx PG ...starring Ted Danson, Keke Palmer
based on a true story (David MacEnulty) - full movie on YouTube
Brooklyn Castle PG
true story (documentary of Brooklyn middle school chess club) - available on netflix streaming
Life of a King PG-13 ...starring Cuba Gooding Jr, Dennis Haysbert
based on a true story (Eugene Brown) - available on netflix streaming
Don't Forget to Castle
parody - short instructional short where Hitler reacts to bad chess

Good Smartphone Apps

The following nine apps come recommended for kids in Coach Jay's January 2015 newsletter:
Dinosaur Chess, Judit Polgar's Chess Playground, Coach Jay's Chess Academy, Chess World,, Solitaire Chess, Chess Wizard.

Getting Geared Up

There are many online chess shops. Here are two good ones:
The Chess House
Wholesale Chess

Chess Clock Buying Guide

To browse and purchase chess books in person, the best selection in Whatcom County seems to be at the Barnes & Noble on the Guide Meridian (Bellingham), and at Henderson's New & Used Books in downtown Bellingham.

Handouts You Can Copy

Proceed to The Download Page for nice looking, PDF formatted copies of scoresheets, checkmate drill pages, a Basic Tips page, a Post Game Study Guide, board vision homework handouts and other goodies you can freely copy and distribute to as many young chess students as you wish.

In The Library

All kinds of chess goodies are hiding in your local library. Of course, a smorgasbord of books of diverse quality and for diverse levels of skill. Also, besides instructional videos, the video Chess Kids is in the Whatcom system, an entertaining and enlightening look at the children and parents participating in one particular youth championship. Chess Life magazine can be found at the Bellingham and Ferndale libraries as well.

Pacific Northwest Links

Tournament Calendar | Chess Benefits for Youth | News | Ratings | Resources
Kids Only | Elementary School | Middle School | High School | Bulletin Board
Chess Camps | Downloads | Chess Notation | Play Chess Online | Local Player's Java Games