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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.
Common Lines in the Ruy Lopez Opening
The Berlin Defense in the Ruy Lopez.
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.
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
The Smith-Morra Gambit in the Sicilian Defense chess opening.
The Best Basic Chess Tactical Tips
A guide to the fork, a basic chess tactic.
Special Rules: Castling, Promotion and En Passant
A quick guide to the chess rules that cause new players the most trouble: castling, promotion and en passant.
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.
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.
Common Lines in the Italian Game
A description and guide to the common openings lines which can be reached from the Italian Game.
Chess Titans
A look at the free chess program, Chess Titans.
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.
Scholastic Chess Tournaments
A look at scholastic chess tournaments, including what to expect and how prizes are awarded.
This Opera Distraction Became the Most Famous...
Paul Morphy's famous Opera House Game is presented, with each move by each side explained.
Top Five Chess Books: Intermediate Improvement
A list of five books that will help beginners advance to the intermediate level.
Learning Openings for Beginners
A discussion of the best ways to learn the openings in chess.
The Relative Value of the Pieces
Learn how much each piece is worth in chess, from the pawn to the queen and king.
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.
Can I Checkmate With These Pieces?
A list of the pieces with which a player can or cannot checkmate an enemy king.
Basic Rules of Tournament Chess
Before you play in your first tournament, learn some of the most important rules in competitive chess.
Basics of Chess Strategy: Bishops
Learn how to use the bishop in chess. Improve your chess strategy with this tutorial on bishops.
How to Read and Write Algebraic Chess Notation
Learn how to read and write algebraic chess notation.
Is Chess a Sport?
Is chess a sport? Here's a look at both sides of this classic debate.
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.
Five Great Chess Movies
A list of five excellent chess movies that any fan of the game should check out.
The Ten Most Famous Chess Games
A list of ten of the most famous games played in the history of chess.
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.
World Chess Champions
A list of the world chess champions throughout chess history.
Ten Great Chess Quotes
Ten of the best quotes about chess, with discussion on what they mean for your chess game.
Illegal Moves
A discussion of illegal moves in chess, such as leaving your king in check.
Five Great Chess Channels on YouTube
A look at some of the best chess channels on YouTube.
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.
Common Lines in the French Defense
The exchange variation of the French defense, also known as the French Exchange. Page 2.
A Guide to Chess Titles
An overview of the different titles awarded by national and international chess federations.
Top Five Chess Books: Tactics
A look at five great books on the subject of chess tactics.
Top Five Chess Books: Openings
A look at the best chess books on the opening.
Avoiding Blunders in Chess
How to cut down on the number of blunders you make during your chess games.
Best iPhone Chess Apps
A look at the top chess apps for the iPhone.
Scoring Systems in Chess Tournaments
A look at common scoring systems used in chess tournaments.
2 Boards, 4 Players, 5 Minutes: Learn Bughouse,...
Learn the rules of bughouse chess, a popular form of team 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!
What is the Swiss System?
A look at the Swiss system, a popular tournament structure in chess.
Time Controls
A guide to understanding how time controls work in chess.
Chess for Android Devices
A look at several ways to play chess on your Android device.
Popular Chess Variants
A list of popular chess variants, with basic explanations of their rules of play.
Chess: The Musical
A discussion of the musical Chess, a musical that has remained popular for nearly 30 years.
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.
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.
Speed Chess
An overview of blitz and bullet, two forms of speed 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.
Class Prizes and Under Prizes in Chess...
A guide to understanding how chess prizes are awarded in most tournaments, including the difference between class prizes and under prizes.
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
Choosing an Opening Repertoire for Beginners
Tips for how to choose an opening repertoire for the novice chess player.
How to Study Chess Openings
A guide to studying openings for chess players of different levels.
The 5 Moments That Decided The 2014 World Chess...
Five key moments that helped decide the 2014 World Chess Championship.
Hikaru Nakamura
A profile of American chess grandmaster and famous chess player, Hikaru Nakamura.
Improving with a Chess Engine
A guide to using a computer chess engine to improve your own chess game.
Popular Lines in the Caro-Kann Defense
The main position of the Caro-Kann Defense. Page 2.
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!
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.
Suicide Chess
An article describing how to play suicide chess, along with some basic strategy to employ when playing suicide chess.
Who to Watch in the 2014 London Chess Classic
The 2014 London Chess Classic features several of the world's top players.
Basic Pawn Endgames
A discussion on a basic king and pawn vs. king endgame, when the attacking king is in front of his pawn. Page 3.
Avoiding the Biggest Chess Mistakes
Learn how to avoid the largest mistakes you can possible make in a chess game.
Comparing Internet Chess Servers
A look at what each of the three major online chess servers has to offer.
Six Free Online Chess Resources
A list of the best free chess resources you can find online.
Don't Underestimate These 10 Crazy Chess Openings
A guide to some of the most common unorthodox chess openings.
Today's Best Chess Players
A guide to the best chess players today, including the top chess players in the world.
The 9 Moves That Start Most Chess Games
Learn why these are the nine most popular moves for opening a chess game.
Two Games at Once? Understanding the Basque...
The Basque System requires players to compete in two chess games at once.
Mistakes When Setting Up a Chess Board
A few common errors players make when setting up a chessboard for the first time.
Three Things Grandmasters Do That You Shouldn't
These three habits of grandmasters don't work for the typical club chess player.
Playing in Your First Chess Tournament
A guide to participating in your first chess tournament.
Kindle Chess Books
Looking for a good chess book for your Kindle? Here are five recommendations.
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.
Top Five Female Chess Players of All-Time
A list of the top female chess players in the history of the game.
Knights vs. Bishops
A look at how knights and bishops stack up in chess.
When (and Where) to Castle
A quick guide to choosing when and where to castle during a chess game.
Celebrity Chess Players
A page listing some of the most famous celebrities to have played the game of chess.
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.
Candidate Moves: How to Narrow Your Choices
Learn what a candidate move is, and how candidate moves can help you improve your chess.
Why is Stalemate a Draw?
A review of the history behind the stalemate rule in chess.
Chess and Poker
An article about the similarities between chess and poker.
Five Young Chess Stars to Watch in 2014
A look at five chess players under 21 who could shine in 2014.
Is This Young Norwegian The Greatest Chess...
Magnus Carlsen holds the record for the highest rating ever by a chess player.
Rapid Chess
An overview of rapid chess, an increasingly popular format for chess tournaments.
World Chess Championship 2013: Game by Game...
A game-by-game quick recap of the 2013 World Chess Championship match.
The Evans Gambit
A look at the Evans Gambit, a chess opening.
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
Choosing the Right Odds
How to select the best odds for a fair game in chess.
Time Management
Learn how to better manage your time during a chess game. Time management is an important, but often overlooked, chess skill.
A page about chessboxing, a hybrid sport that has recently gained some popularity
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.
The Touch-Move Rule
Understanding the Touch-Move rule in 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.
Correspondence Chess
A short description of correspondence chess, a form of chess traditionally played by post.
Kasparov vs. Deep Blue
A summary of the two famous matches played between Garry Kasparov and IBM's supercomputer, Deep Blue.
The Development of Modern Chess Rules
A look at how chess rules have changed in the last thousand years.
Who Will Win the 2013 World Chess Championship?
A rundown of the 2013 World Chess Championship cycle.
How Anand Can Upset Carlsen in the 2014 World...
Can Anand pull off an upset in the 2014 World Chess Championship?
Viswanathan Anand
A profile of World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand.
The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White
A review of The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White, by Larry Kaufman.
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.
Cheating in Chess
A look at the many ways in which players have tried to cheat at chess.
Paul Morphy
Paul Morphy is widely considered the greatest chess player of his era, and is often referred to as an unofficial World Champion.
Judit Polgar
A profile of Grandmaster Judit Polgar, a famous chess player.
What’s the Peak Age for Chess Players?
When do chess players tend to hit their peak performance?
Playing Chess on Facebook
Learn how to play chess on Facebook.
Robert James "Bobby" Fischer
A profile of former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer.
How to Play Chess960
A short article about Chess960, also known as Fischer Random Chess or Shuffle Chess.
Garry Kasparov
A profile of former chess player and world chess champion Garry Kasparov.
Learn all about Crazyhouse, a chess variant in which captured pieces can be placed back onto the board for the opposing player.
Dynamic Equilibrium in Chess
A look at the concept of dynamic equilibrium in chess.
Tiebreakers Underway at U.S. Championship
I was planning to report on the winners of the U.S. Championship this morning, but that has proven impossible. In both the Championship and Women's Championship
Sonneborn-Berger Tiebreaks
An explanation of how Sonneborn-Berger tiebreakers are calculated.
Five Famous Television Chess Moments
A list of five famous chess scenes from popular television shows.
Ten Great Chess Players You May Not Know
Learn about ten important chess players you may not have heard of, many of whom played hundreds of years ago.
Chess Seconds
A look at the importance of seconds in chess matches.
Carlsen Wins Tournament, Sky is Blue
Magnus Carlsen finished strong to win the Gashimov Memorial tournament.
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.
Chess is a Game of Skill - But Luck Still Plays...
Luck plays a small role in chess, but that doesn't mean it isn't present at all.
The First Move Advantage in Chess
A discussion of the advantage of moving first in chess.
New on the Site in April
April was a month of lists on the site, with several new lists -- mostly dealing with the opening -- being added this month. If you keep an eye on these
Vladimir Kramnik
A profile of famous chess player and World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik.
Carlsen Stumbles, But Leads Gashimov Memorial
Much like during the Kasparov era, it's always notable when current World Champion Magnus Carlsen loses a game. Not that it doesn't happen, but it's enough of a
Are Bishops Stronger Than Knights? It Depends.
Are bishops really stronger than knights in chess?
Fabiano Caruana
A profile of Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana, a famous chess player.
World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik
A profile of former World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik.
Laurent Fressinet
A profile of famous chess player Laurent Fressinet
Major Pieces
Queens and rooks. Chess.
Review: Chess Openings Wizard
Chess Openings Wizard is a program that can help you learn openings rapidly and accurately.
Vladimir Akopian
A profile of Grandmaster Vladimir Akopian, a famous chess player.
Veselin Topalov
A profile of Grandmaster Veselin Topalov, a famous chess player from Bulgaria.
Chess Gems - 1,000 Combinations You Should Know...
A review of Chess Gems - 1,000 Combinations You Should Know, by Igor Sukhin.
Atomic Chess
Learn how to play atomic chess, one of the fastest-paced chess variants in the world.
Mikhail Botvinnik
A profile of former World Chess Champion Mikhail Botvinnik.
US Chess Champions
A list of the US Chess Champions throughout history, including the winner of each US Chess Championship.
Types of Online Chess
A short overview of the types of chess sites that are available online.
Numbers which represent the estimated strength of a chess player. Ratings are issued by FIDE, national federations, chess servers and other organizations. While ratings vary depending on the body that issues them, beginners are typically rated below 1000, average tournament players around 1500, and masters at 2200 or higher. The top players in the world are often rated around 2800. The highest FIDE rating ever achieved was 2851, by Garry Kasparov.
Searching for Bobby Fischer
An overview of the film Searching for Bobby Fischer, along with information on the book, and how the two differ.
Time Trouble in Chess
Tips on how to deal with time trouble in chess, as well as how to play when your opponent is in time trouble.
Vugar Gashimov
A profile of famous chess player, Azerbaijani grandmaster Vugar Gashimov.
London Chess Classic
Learn about the London Chess Classic, an elite chess tournament held annually in London.
The Longest Chess Game
A look at the longest games ever played in the game of chess.
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