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Chess: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
The 10 Most Common Chess Openings
A list of the most common chess openings.
Your Quick Guide to Setting Up a Chess Board
How to correctly place the board and pieces at the start of a chess game.
This Checkmate Will End Your Next Chess Game In...
A move by move guide to the fastest checkmate in chess, the Fool's Mate.
10 Basic Checkmates Beginning Chess Players...
A guide to ten basic checkmates that every chess player should know, presented as a series of mate-in-one problems.
What You Need to Know to Master the Game of Chess
A complete guide on how to play chess, including the basic rules of chess.
Special Rules: Castling, Promotion and En Passant
A guide to promoting pawns when they reach the end of the board.
Common Lines in the Ruy Lopez Opening
Some of the most common variations in the Ruy Lopez opening.
Illustrated Guide to the Chess Pieces
How to capture pieces in chess. Page 2.
A Quick Guide of the Rules for Playing Chess
A quick guide to the rules of chess, with links to more detailed information on chess rules.
Check, Checkmate and Stalemate
While many beginners may confuse them because they look similar at first glance, check, checkmate and stalemate are very different situations. It is important to be able to identify each and understand what they mean.
5 Ways to Improve Your Chess Game
Learn the five best ways for novice chess players to improve their chess.
The Common Lines of the Sicilian Defense
A guide to the most common lines seen in the Sicilian Defense, a chess opening.
Basic Principles of Chess Openings
Learn the basic principles of playing chess openings properly with this step-by-step tutorial. Learn basic techniques and more.
The Best Basic Chess Tactical Tips
A guide to the fork, a basic chess tactic.
Chess Titans
A look at the free chess program, Chess Titans.
How to Checkmate with a King and Queen
Learn how to checkmate with a king and a queen, one of the most basic endgame checkmates in chess.
Top Five Chess Books: Intermediate Improvement
A list of five books that will help beginners advance to the intermediate level.
Is Chess a Sport?
Is chess a sport? Here's a look at both sides of this classic debate.
Common Lines in the Italian Game
A description and guide to the common openings lines which can be reached from the Italian Game.
Five Great Chess Movies
A list of five excellent chess movies that any fan of the game should check out.
6 Types of Draws in Chess That You Should Know
A description of the various types of outcomes that can result in a drawn game of chess.
Basic Rules of Tournament Chess
Before you play in your first tournament, learn some of the most important rules in competitive chess.
Can I Checkmate With These Pieces?
A list of the pieces with which a player can or cannot checkmate an enemy king.
Chess: The Musical
A discussion of the musical Chess, a musical that has remained popular for nearly 30 years.
8 Ways for Black to Fight Back Against 1.e4
Black has several possible responses to White's most popular first move. Find out which Black replies are the most popular!
New on the Site in May
If you're looking for some new chess material to read now that the spring weather is here, take a look at what's new here at About Chess this month: I
Five Great Chess Channels on YouTube
A look at some of the best chess channels on YouTube.
A Guide to Chess Titles
An overview of the different titles awarded by national and international chess federations.
Basics of Chess Strategy: Bishops
Learn how to use the bishop in chess. Improve your chess strategy with this tutorial on bishops.
The Ten Most Famous Chess Games
A list of ten of the most famous games played in the history of chess.
World Chess Champions
A list of the world chess champions throughout chess history.
Learning Openings for Beginners
A discussion of the best ways to learn the openings in chess.
Top Five Chess Books: Openings
A look at the best chess books on the opening.
This Opera Distraction Became the Most Famous...
Paul Morphy's famous Opera House Game is presented, with each move by each side explained.
Illegal Moves
A discussion of illegal moves in chess, such as leaving your king in check.
New on the Site in March
With March coming to an end, it's time to take a look at what's been added to the site in recent weeks. Here's a look at a few articles that were posted during
Top Five Chess Books: Tactics
A look at five great books on the subject of chess tactics.
7 Easy Tips for Beating Your Friends at Chess
Want to beat your friends or family members at chess? Here are seven easy ways to get the upper hand without tons of study or hard work.
Scholastic Chess Tournaments
A look at scholastic chess tournaments, including what to expect and how prizes are awarded.
Caruana an American Player Again: Is Team USA...
Fabiano Caruana announced his intention to rejoin the United States Chess Federation in May 2015.
Don't Underestimate These 10 Crazy Chess Openings
A guide to some of the most common unorthodox chess openings.
Common Lines in the French Defense
The starting position of the French Defense, a chess opening.
The Relative Value of the Pieces
Learn how much each piece is worth in chess, from the pawn to the queen and king.
Silman's Seven Imbalances
A look at Jeremy Silman's seven imbalances, and how they can help you form plans and select moves in chess.
Time Controls
A guide to understanding how time controls work in chess.
Suicide Chess
An article describing how to play suicide chess, along with some basic strategy to employ when playing suicide chess.
Six Ways for Black to Fight Back Against 1.d4
Queen pawn openings are popular, so Black needs to have a response ready when they're played. Here are six common responses to 1.d4!
Avoiding Blunders in Chess
How to cut down on the number of blunders you make during your chess games.
Choosing an Opening Repertoire for Beginners
Tips for how to choose an opening repertoire for the novice chess player.
2 Boards, 4 Players, 5 Minutes: Learn Bughouse,...
Learn the rules of bughouse chess, a popular form of team chess.
What is the Swiss System?
A look at the Swiss system, a popular tournament structure in chess.
Top Five Female Chess Players of All-Time
A list of the top female chess players in the history of the game.
Why is Stalemate a Draw?
A review of the history behind the stalemate rule in chess.
Scoring Systems in Chess Tournaments
A look at common scoring systems used in chess tournaments.
Popular Chess Variants
A list of popular chess variants, with basic explanations of their rules of play.
Five Key Ideas for New Chess Players to Work On
A few tips that new players can use to improve their chess results in a hurry.
When (and Where) to Castle
A quick guide to choosing when and where to castle during a chess game.
Ten Great Chess Quotes
Ten of the best quotes about chess, with discussion on what they mean for your chess game.
The 9 Moves That Start Most Chess Games
Learn why these are the nine most popular moves for opening a chess game.
Speed Chess
An overview of blitz and bullet, two forms of speed chess.
Today's Best Chess Players
A guide to the best chess players today, including the top chess players in the world.
Mistakes When Setting Up a Chess Board
A few common errors players make when setting up a chessboard for the first time.
How to Read and Write Algebraic Chess Notation
Learn how to read and write algebraic chess notation.
Understanding Chess Ratings
Learn what chess ratings are, and how to earn a chess rating.
Free Online Chess Games
A look at the top places online to play free chess.
Here's How to Play Chess on Your iPhone
A look at the top chess apps for the iPhone.
These Five Americans Are the USA's All-Time...
A look at the five best chess players in history from the United States, as chosen by About.com readers.
Popular Lines in the Caro-Kann Defense
The main position of the Caro-Kann Defense. Page 2.
Six Free Online Chess Resources
A list of the best free chess resources you can find online.
Carlsen Wins Again in Gashimov Memorial
Magnus Carlsen won the 2015 Vugar Gashimov Memorial, putting in one of the best tournament performances of his career in the process.
Knights vs. Bishops
A look at how knights and bishops stack up in chess.
Playing in Your First Chess Tournament
A guide to participating in your first chess tournament.
Avoiding the Biggest Chess Mistakes
Learn how to avoid the largest mistakes you can possible make in a chess game.
Improving with a Chess Engine
A guide to using a computer chess engine to improve your own chess game.
Chess and Poker
An article about the similarities between chess and poker.
Time Management
Learn how to better manage your time during a chess game. Time management is an important, but often overlooked, chess skill.
Toiletgate: How A Trip to The Bathroom...
An overview of the infamous Toiletgate incident during the 2006 World Chess Championship match between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov.
Basic Pawn Endgames
An explanation of the basic king and pawn vs. king endgame. Page 2.
Candidate Moves: How to Narrow Your Choices
Learn what a candidate move is, and how candidate moves can help you improve your chess.
The Tiger of Madras: Meet Vishy Anand, India's...
A look at the career of Viswanathan Anand, World Chess Champion.
Review: Bullet Chess by Nakamura and Harper
A review of Bullet Chess: One Minute to Mate, by Hikaru Nakamura and Bruce Harper.
Top Ten Chess Players Who Never Won a World...
A list of the top ten chess players who came up just short in their bids for the world chess championship.
Rapid Chess
Chess games which are longer than blitz games, but shorter than standard tournament games. A typical time control for a rapid game might be 25 minutes for each player.
Is This Young Norwegian The Greatest Chess...
Magnus Carlsen holds the record for the highest rating ever by a chess player.
Is Team USA Trying to Poach Top Foreign Chess...
Reports that the USA is recruiting foreign grandmasters for international competition may not be telling the whole story.
Kindle Chess Books
Looking for a good chess book for your Kindle? Here are five recommendations.
Bringing Your Queen Out in the Opening
A look at why it's usually incorrect to move your queen early in the opening - and when that rule should be ignored.
Mariya Muzychuk Wins 2015 Women's World Chess...
Mariya Muzychuk won the 2015 Women's World Chess Championship tournament.
The Development of Modern Chess Rules
A look at how chess rules have changed in the last thousand years.
Fide Grand Prix
A look at the history and impact of the FIDE Grand Prix, a series of chess tournaments that can qualify players for the World Championship.
Team Chess
Learn all about team chess, in which teams of chess players compete against each other.
Pushing Pawns
Should your next chess move be to push a pawn? Be careful before you make a move you can't take back.
The Bishop Pair
A look at the importance of the bishop pair in chess.
The Touch-Move Rule
Understanding the Touch-Move rule in chess.
Dominguez Comes From Behind to Win Thessaloniki
Leinier Dominguez isn't necessarily a household name among chess fans, but that's perhaps unfair to the Cuban grandmaster. Dominguez has had an excellent career
What’s the Peak Age for Chess Players?
When do chess players tend to hit their peak performance?
A tactic in which a valuable piece is attacked and forced to move, leaving a less valuable piece vulnerable to capture.
Short, forced sequences of moves which can be calculated and lead to an advantage, usually the gain of material. Examples of tactical themes include forks, pins, and skewers.
Celebrity Chess Players
A page listing some of the most famous celebrities to have played the game of chess.
1. b4: Theory & Practice of the Sokolsky...
A review of 1. b4: Theory & Practice of the Sokolsky Opening by Jerzy Konikowski and Marek Soszynski.
Comparing Internet Chess Servers
A look at what each of the three major online chess servers has to offer.
Chess for Android Devices
A look at several ways to play chess on your Android device.
The Clock as a Weapon in Blitz Chess
A look at how the clock can be used as a weapon in speed chess.
How to Study Chess Openings
A guide to studying openings for chess players of different levels.
Sonneborn-Berger Tiebreaks
An explanation of how Sonneborn-Berger tiebreakers are calculated.
Paul Morphy
Paul Morphy is widely considered the greatest chess player of his era, and is often referred to as an unofficial World Champion.
Chinese, Led by Wei Yi, Win World Team Chess...
China won the 2015 World Team Chess Championship, with Ukraine and Armenia winning the bronze and silver medals.
Robert James "Bobby" Fischer
A profile of former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer.
Choosing the Right Odds
How to select the best odds for a fair game in chess.
Major Pieces
Queens and rooks. Chess.
Kasparov vs. Deep Blue
A summary of the two famous matches played between Garry Kasparov and IBM's supercomputer, Deep Blue.
Chess and Go
A look at the differences between two of the world's oldest games of strategy: chess and Go.
Learn the chess concept of check, what it means for your king, and how it differs from checkmate.
Learning to Use a Chess Clock
Tips on how to get used to using a chess clock for tournament play.
Garry Kasparov
A profile of former chess player and world chess champion Garry Kasparov.
Top Five Chess Players: The 1800s
The 19th century was filled with number of great players. Here's a look at five of the greatest players of the 1800s!
America's Top Grandmaster, Hikaru Nakamura
A profile of American chess grandmaster and famous chess player, Hikaru Nakamura.
The second phase of a chess game. At this stage, both players have finished developing their pieces. The middlegame is the “meat” of a chess game, connecting the opening to the endgame.
How to Look Up a Chess Rating
How to look up your chess rating, or another player's chess rating on a chess rating list.
The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White
A review of The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White, by Larry Kaufman.
A tactic in which one piece attacks two or more opposing pieces simultaneously. Forks are most commonly made by knights, due to their ability to leap over other pieces.
History of Chess, Part I: Before Chess
The first article in a series on the history of chess, covering the games that led to the current rules of modern chess.
Dynamic Equilibrium in Chess
A look at the concept of dynamic equilibrium in chess.
America's Chess Champions, From 1845 to Today
A list of the US Chess Champions throughout history, including the winner of each US Chess Championship.
Chinese Chess Prodigy Wei Yi
Wei Yi is a strong young chess player from China.
Learning to Analyze Your Games
A look at how to start analyzing your own games if you've never done so before.
Playing Chess on Facebook
Learn how to play chess on Facebook.
Sandbagging in Chess
What is sandbagging in chess?
When to Resign
When is it time to give up in a game of chess?
World Chess Championship 2013: Game by Game...
A game-by-game quick recap of the 2013 World Chess Championship match.
Betting on Chess
Learn how to bet on important chess matches and tournaments.
Correspondence Chess
A short description of correspondence chess, a form of chess traditionally played by post.
Chess Annotation Symbols Explained
Learn what the annotations in chess games mean.
Searching for Bobby Fischer: The Most Popular...
An overview of the film Searching for Bobby Fischer, along with information on the book, and how the two differ.
Learn how to play shatranj, an ancient form of chess that was played in Persia.
Judit Polgar
A profile of Grandmaster Judit Polgar, a famous chess player.
Does the Draw Offer Need to Go?
A look at the debate over draw offers in chess.
Top 10 Holiday Chess Gifts
A look at some of the best Christmas and holiday gift ideas for the chess players in your life.
How to Play Chess960
A short article about Chess960, also known as Fischer Random Chess or Shuffle Chess.
Simplification in Chess
Learn about the topic of simplification in chess.
Corresponding Squares
A discussion of the concept of corresponding squares in chess.
A page about chessboxing, a hybrid sport that has recently gained some popularity
A History of the World Chess Championship
A brief history of the World Chess Championship.
Armageddon Tiebreakers
A quick look at the Armageddon tiebreak in chess.
Chess on Ice
During the Olympics, you may hear curling referred to as chess on ice. Find out why it has this name and what it shares with the ancient board game.
The History of Chess, Part II: The Romantic Era
The second part in our series on the history of chess discusses the Romantic era of chess.
Learn all about Crazyhouse, a chess variant in which captured pieces can be placed back onto the board for the opposing player.
Chessmaster: The Most Famous Series in Computer...
Chessmaster was the most popular series of chess programs for computers from the 1980s to the 2000s.
Cheating in Chess
A look at the many ways in which players have tried to cheat at chess.
Review: Chess Openings Wizard
Chess Openings Wizard is a program that can help you learn openings rapidly and accurately.

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