Chess Resources


Learn To Play

Basic Rules of Chess - One page with all that kids or adults need to know to play. Includes Tips for Parents of Young Chessplayers. Really is one page -- print it out and see!

ChessKIDS Academy - "The coolest place on the net for kids to learn chess. Come inside and learn how to play the world's greatest game". Of course adults can enroll too!

For Coaches & Parents

A Guide to Scholastic Chess - Developed by the USCF, this guide was created to help teachers and scholastic chess organizers who wish to begin, improve, or strengthen their school chess program. It covers how to organize a school chess club, run tournaments, keep interest high, and generate parent and public support.

Tips For Parents of Young Chessplayers - Whether your child is just beginning to learn the Royal Game, or is already an established tournament player, this page discusses some of the issues parents face and gives practical advice.

Exeter Chess Coaches Page - From England, here's a massive list of articles on strategy, tactics, endgames, openings and everything inbetween, freely given for coaches to use in their programs. (Also see the "Improving" section below.)

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.

Chess is Booming, Boosting Young Minds - An article from the Seattle P-I. It's not a "how-to" piece, but might provide additional motivation to start a chess club. It profiles the growing popularity of scholastic chess in the Pacific Northwest and shows some of the reasons and ways schools are employing chess to benefit youth.

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.

Middle School Chess
Home page of the Washington State Middle School Chess Association, helping kids enjoy chess in the transition years between the many elementary tournaments and the High School leagues. At

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

Play Chess Online! - A Quick & Simple Guide - Just what it says.


Chess is Fun - Great introduction to the game, starting with the rules, and then chapters (lessons) on Openings, Tactics, Endgames, Great Games, For Advancing Players, and Attempted Humor.

Chess for Success - A useful, systematic set of chess lessons arranged by skill level, along with an exploration of major chess openings arranged by pawn structure.

Novice Nooks and Other Articles - by Dan Heisman. An award-winning chess writer and author of Everyone's 2nd Chess Book and A Parent's Guide to Chess, Dan has archived his collection of articles originally published at the Chess Cafe. A treasure trove of instruction, probably best suited for middle schoolers and above.

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. You can buy it alone for $20, but don't. Instead, for less than $20, get one of these chess software bundles which include it: Sierra's Complete Chess collection, or Encore's Chess Advantage collection (seen at OfficeMax in Bellingham.) Shopping tip: Use Yahoo's Price Comparison Shopping site [Maurice Ashley search] [Chess Advantage search] .

Chessmaster 6000 (& 7000, 8000, 9000) - 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. Shopping tip: Bid for it on Ebay.

Shareware - There's so much stuff out there it's mind-boggling.... chessplaying programs, grandmaster games collections, database programs, desktop publishing and more. Enter the jungle at (Some guidance available at Chess Program Reviews).

Good Videos/DVDs

Chess4Life's Premium 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 3 levels. Both are available here.

At your local video store (or Netflix) you can rent "Searching for Bobby Fischer" or "Knights of the South Bronx", both do a good job of exploring the scholastic chess world.

Getting Geared Up

Free Boards and Sets - The U.S. Chess Trust's program to provide free boards and sets to youth chess programs is presented in this pertinent USCF Press Release.

Right here in our own back yard is a nationally recognized mail-order-only chess book and equipment dealer. Tucked deep in the heart of Whatcom County, not too far off the Hannegan Road, hides The Chess House and their huge warehouse of chess-related goods. We can heartily recommend Mr. Neff and Co. as a friendly and knowledgable source for everything having to do with chess, from computers to chess videos to training software to you-name-it.

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. Thank you Prof. Chester Nuhmentz, Jr.!

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.

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