Ken's Office

Ken's Free Chess Lessons

 (Last Updated 8/25/2012)

 


Master the Fundamentals of Chess in 12 (Weekly) Lessons:

These chess lessons are designed to take a chess player from a novice or beginner level to a playing level where you can beat all or most of your friends and family (a US Chess Federation rating of about USCF 1200 to 1400).  Each lesson should (hopefully) take about 60 to 90 minute to review, and the accompanying homework should take about 2 to 3 hours. 

The Weekly Lessons Use 3 Primary Methods to Improve Your Chess:
1. Playing Chess.  You can't improve your chess without playing.
2. Puzzle Solving.  Puzzles are designed to improve your ability to find the correct or best move.
3. Studying Games Played by the Masters.  By studying games by chess Masters, we see what we learned in action plus they improve all aspects of our play. 

Some Helpful Chess Blog Articles:
* "Improve your Chess"
* "Doing Tactics"
* "Studying the Games of the Great Chess Players"
* "Play Chess"

Note that the following 5 quotes have helped me understand how to improve my chess (or what I should be studying) and helped me form the basis of these Lessons:

1. "Every chess master was once a beginner." -- Chernev
2. "Chess mastery essentially consists of analysing chess positions accurately." -- Botvinnik
3. "Chess is 99% tactics." -- Teichmann
4. "Tactics flow from a superior position."  --Fischer
5. "Strategy must give way to tactics." -- Euwe


What you Need:
1. Internet Connection.
2. Chess Set and Opponent. 
   * Or play against Shredder (an online computer) 
3. Book: “Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games” (Hardback)  (Paperback) by Laszlo Polgar
4. Book: "303 Tricky Chess Tactics" by Fred Wilson and Bruce Alberson


You can download the Chess Lesson Video Files at:
The files have been removed, but I will post them again soon.

 


Lesson 1 (Chess Basics):
* Part A: Introduction, The Chess Pieces, and Board Set-up  (Watch Video)
* Part B: How the Rook, Bishop, and Queen Move  (Watch Video)
* Part C: How the King, Knight, and Pawns Move  (Watch Video)
* Part D: Basic Moving and Capturing  (Watch Video)
* Part E: Check, Checkmate, and Stalemate  (Watch Video)
* Part F: Special Rules: Pawn Promotion, Castling, and En Passant  (Watch Video)
* Part G: Chess Notation  (Watch Video)

   Homework:
   * Play 20 games of chess (10 as White & 10 as Black) against a friend, computer, or an online computer like Shredder
   * Record the moves of 2 games. 



Lesson 2 (Basic Checkmate Patterns / Common Chess Mistakes):
* Part A: Introduction to Checkmating Patterns  (Watch Video)
             King and Queen vs. King Checkmate
* Part B: King and 2 Rooks vs. King Checkmate  (Watch Video)
* Part C: King and 1 Rook vs. King Checkmate -- Method 1 (Watch Video)
* Part D: King and 1 Rook vs. King Checkmate -- Method 2 (Watch Video)
* Part E: Common Chess Mistakes Part 1 (Watch Video)
* Part F: Common Chess Mistakes Part 2 (Watch Video)

   Homework:
   * Practice the "King and Queen vs. King" Checkmate 5 times
   * Practice the "King and 2 Rooks vs. King" Checkmate 5 times
   * Practice the "King and 1 Rook vs. King" (Method 1) Checkmate 5 times
   * Practice the "King and 1 Rook vs. King" (Method 2) Checkmate 5 times
   * Play 10 games of chess (5 as White & 5 as Black) against a friend, computer, or an online computer like Shredder
   * Record the moves of 2 games.



 Lesson 3 (Chess Tactics Part 1) 
* Part A: Chess Tactic -- Why Study Chess Tactics  (Watch Video)
* Part B: Chess Tactic -- Superior Force  (Watch Video)
* Part C: Chess Tactic -- The Pin  (Watch Video)
* Part D: Chess Tactic -- Double Attacked  (Watch Video)
* Part D: Chess Tactic -- Knight Fork  (Watch Video)

   Homework:
   * Practice the "King and Queen vs. King" Checkmate 2 times
   * Practice the "King and 2 Rooks vs. King" Checkmate 2 times
   * Practice the "King and 1 Rook vs. King" (Method 1) Checkmate 2 times
   * Practice the "King and 1 Rook vs. King" (Method 2) Checkmate 2 times
   * Do Problems 1-96 in "Chess" by Polgar.  (Note: Do not spend more than a minute or so on any "mate in one" puzzles. 
     If you have not solved it, then look at the answer and move on to the next puzzle.  Put an "+" next to the ones you solved
     correctly and a "-" next to the ones you didn't solve correctly.)   
   * Do Probelms 51-54 (Pin) in "303 Tricky Chess Tactics" (Note: Do not spend more than 3 minutes on any puzzle. 
      Use the "+" and "-" system stated above for "Chess" by Polgar)  
   * Do Probelms 21-24 (Double Attack) in "303 Tricky Chess Tactics"
   * Do Probelms 1-4 (Knight Fork) in "303 Tricky Chess Tactics"
   * Play 6 games of chess (3 as White & 3 as Black) against a friend, computer, or an online computer like Shredder.



 Lesson 4 (Chess Tactics Part 2)
* Part A: Chess Tactic -- Discovered Attack  (Watch Video)
* Part B: Chess Tactic -- Skewer  (Watch Video)
* Part C: Chess Tactic -- Overworked Defender  (Watch Video
* Part D: Chess Tactic -- Removing the Guard  (Watch Video)
* Part E: Chess Tactic -- Deflection  (Watch Video)


   Homework:
   * Do Problems 97-198 in "Chess" by Polgar
   * Do Probelms 101-106 (Discovered Attack) in "303 Tricky Chess Tactics"
   * Do Probelms 131-134 (Skewer) in "303 Tricky Chess Tactics"
   * Do Probelms 221-224 (Overload) in "303 Tricky Chess Tactics"
   * Do Probelms 201-204 (Removing the Guard) in "303 Tricky Chess Tactics"
   * Do Probelms 231-234 (Deflection) in "303 Tricky Chess Tactics"
   * Play 6 games of chess (3 as White & 3 as Black) against a friend, computer, or an online computer like Shredder



Lesson 5 (Game Basics / Opening Principles):
Part A: Game Phases: The Opening, Middlegame, Endgame (Watch Video)
           Basic Game Strategy
Part B: Principles of Opening Play Part 1 (Watch Video)
Part C: Principles of Opening Play Part 2 (Watch Video)
Part D: Most Common First Move by White and Black  (Watch Video)
Part E: Opening Terms and Positional Concepts, Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part F: Opening Terms and Positional Concepts, Part 2  (Watch Video)

   Homework:
   * Do Problems 199-306 in "Chess" by Polgar 
   * Do Probelms 1-40 in "303 "Tricky Chess Tactics".  (Note: Homework in Lessons 3 and 4 were to reinforce the topics covered. 
      We will now work through the book from the beginning.)   
   * Play 6 games of chess (3 as White & 3 as Black) against a friend, computer, or an online computer like Shredder.



Lesson 6 (Common Chess Openings Part 1):
Part A: King Pawn Openings in General  (Watch Video) 
Part B: Italian Game Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part C: Italian Game Part 2  (Watch Video)
Part D: Italian Game Part 3  (Watch Video)
Part E: Italian Game Part 4  (Watch Video)
Part F: Italian Game Part 5  (Watch Video)
Part G: Ruy Lopez Part 1 (Watch Video)
Part H: Ruy Lopez Part 2 (Watch Video)
Part I: Ruy Lopez Part 3 (Watch Video)
Part J: French Defense Part 1 (Watch Video)
Part K: French Defense Part 2 (Watch Video)
Part L: French Defense Part 3 (Watch Video)
Part M: French Defense Part 4 (Watch Video)

   Homework:
   * Play through Openings .  Play through Openings (and variations) on pages 1 to 7.  Memorize moves and Opening Names on page 8. 
   * Do Problems 1-96 in "Chess" by Polgar  (Note: Yes, we are doing the puzzles again.  This will help you master the "patterns".
     Check how you did against the first time you did the puzzles.  If you are you getting more right, then you are improving. If you
     are getting more wrong or the same puzzles wrong, then work though the puzzles you got wrong twice after we complete
     the "mate in one" puzzles for the second time.)
   * Do Probelms 41-77 in "303 "Tricky Chess Tactics".   
   * Play 6 games of chess (3 as White & 3 as Black) against a friend, computer, or an online computer like Shredder.


Lesson 7 (Common Chess Openings Part 2):
Part A: Caro-Kann Defense Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part B: Caro-Kann Defense Part 2  (Watch Video)                                                                                                                                                                 Part C: Sicilian Defense Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part D: Sicilian Defense Part 2  (Watch Video)
Part E: Sicilian Defense Part 3  (Watch Video)
Part F: Sicilian Defense Part 4  (Watch Video)
Part G: Sicilian Defense Part 5  (Watch Video)
Part H: Sicilian Defense Part 6  (Watch Video)
Part I: Center Counter Defense  (Watch Video)
Part J: Petrov Defense            (Watch Video)
Part K: King's Gambit              (Watch Video)
Part L: Modern / Pirc Defense  (Watch Video)

   Homework:
   * Play through Openings.  Play through Openings (and variations) on pages 1 to 8.  Memorize moves and Opening Names on page 9.
   * Do Problems 97-204 in "Chess" by Polgar    
   * Do Probelms 78-100 in "303 "Tricky Chess Tactics".  
   * Play 6 games of chess (3 as White & 3 as Black) against a friend, computer, or an online computer like Shredder.



Lesson 8 (Common Chess Openings Part 3):
Part A: Queen Pawn Openings in General Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part B: Queen Pawn Openings in General Part 2  (Watch Video)
Part C: Queen's Gambit Accepted Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part D: Queen's Gambit Accepted Part 2  (Watch Video)
Part E: Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part F: Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense Part 2  (Watch Video)
Part G: Queen's Gambit Declined: Tartakower Defense  (Watch Video)
Part H: Queen's Gambit Declined: Lasker Defense  (Watch Video)
Part I: Queen's Gambit Declined: Tarrasch Defense  (Watch Video)
Part J: Queen's Gambit Declined: Slav Defense Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part K: Queen's Gambit Declined: Slav Defense Part 2  (Watch Video)
Part L: Queen's Gambit Declined: Semi-Slave Defense  (Watch Video)


  Homework:
    * Play through Openings. Play through the Openings (and variations) on pages 1 to 7.  Memorize moves and Opening Names on page 8.
    * Do Problems 205-306 in "Chess" by Polgar    
    * Do Probelms 101-150 in "303 "Tricky Chess Tactics".  
    * Play 6 games of chess (3 as White & 3 as Black) against a friend, computer, or an online computer like Shredder.



Lesson 9 (Common Chess Openings Part 4):
Part A: Nimzo Indian Defense Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part B: Nimzo Indian Defense Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part C: Benoni Defense  (Watch Video)
Part D: Queen's Indian Defense Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part E: Queen's Indian Defense Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part F: Queen's Indian Defense Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part G: King's Indian Defense Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part H: King's Indian Defense Part 2  (Watch Video)
Part I: King's Indian Defense Part 3  (Watch Video)

  Homework:
    * Play through Openings. Play through the Openings (and variations) on pages 1 to 8.  Memorize moves and Opening Names on page 9.
    * Do Problems 307-360 in "Chess" by Polgar    
    * Do Probelms 151-200 in "303 "Tricky Chess Tactics".  
    * Play 6 games of chess (3 as White & 3 as Black) against a friend, computer, or an online computer like Shredder.


 Lesson 10 (Basic Endgames):
Part A: King and Pawn Endgames Part 1--the Opposition  (Watch Video)
Part B: King and Pawn Endgames Part 2--Clear Win and Draw Position  (Watch Video)
Part C: King and Pawn Endgames Part 3--Key Winning Position and Rook Pawns  (Watch Video)
Part D: King and Pawn Endgames Part 4--Example King and Pawn Endgames  (Watch Video)
Part E: Rook and Pawn Endgames Part 1--Lucena Position (Watch Video)
Part F: Rook and Pawn Endgames Part 2--Philidor's Defense  (Watch Video)
Part G: Rook and Pawn Endgames Part 3--Example Rook and Pawn Endgames  (Watch Video)


  Homework:
    * Do Problems 361-414 in "Chess" by Polgar    
    * Do Probelms 201-240 in "303 "Tricky Chess Tactics".  
    * Play 6 games of chess (3 as White & 3 as Black) against a friend, computer, or an online computer like Shredder.


 


Lesson 11 (Middlegame Basics)

Part A: Positional Evaluation: Introduction  (Watch Video
Part B: Positional Evaluation: Tactics and Material  (Watch Video
Part C: Positional Evaluation: King Safety  (Watch Video
Part D: Positional Evaluation: Piece Activity  (Watch Video)
Part E: Positional Evaluation: Piece Activity  (Watch Video)
Part F: Positional Evaluation: Time  (Watch Video)
Part G: Finding a Plan Suggestions  (Watch Video)
Part H: Defense Methods  (Watch Video)


 Homework:
    * Do Problems 415-516 in "Chess" by Polgar    
    * Do Probelms 241-274 in "303 "Tricky Chess Tactics".  
    * Play 6 games of chess (3 as White & 3 as Black) against a friend, computer, or an online computer like Shredder.



Lesson 12 (Annotated Games)
Part A:  Scheve vs. Teichmann (Berlin 1907) Part 1 (Watch Video)    (Written Comments)
Part B:  Scheve vs. Teichmann (Berlin 1907) Part 2  (
Watch Video)    (Written Comments)
Part C:  Lubarski vs Soutanbeieff (Liege 1928) Part 1 
(
Watch Video)    (Written Comments)
Part D:  Lubarski vs Soutanbeieff (Liege 1928) Part 2  (
Watch Video)    (Written Comments)
Part E:  Colle vs. Delvaux  (Cand-Terneuzen 1929) Part 1 
(Watch Video)
Part F:  Colle vs. Delvaux  (Cand-Terneuzen 1929) Part 2  (
Watch Video)
Part G:  Colle vs. Delvaux  (Cand-Terneuzen 1929) Part 3  (
Watch Video)  
Part H:  Blackburne vs. Blanchard  (London 1891) Part 1
(Watch Video)
Part I:   Blackburne vs. Blanchard  (London 1891) Part 2  (
Watch Video)
Part J:  Ruger vs. Gebhard   (Dresden 1915) Part 1  (Watch Video)
Part K:  Ruger vs. Gebhard   (Dresden 1915) Part 2  (Watch Video)
 

 Homework:
    * Do Problems 517-618 in "Chess" by Polgar    
    * Do Probelms 275-303 in "303 "Tricky Chess Tactics".  
    * Play 6 games of chess (3 as White & 3 as Black) against a friend, computer, or an online computer like
Shredder


 

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If you have any comments or questions, please email me at kensoffice.contact@gmail.com