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Chess: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Your Quick Guide to Setting Up a Chess Board
How to correctly place the board and pieces at the start of a chess game.
The 10 Most Common Chess Openings
A list of the most common chess openings.
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.
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
Some of the most common variations in the Ruy Lopez opening.
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.
The Common Lines of the Sicilian Defense
A guide to the most common lines seen in the Sicilian Defense, a chess opening.
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.
Illustrated Guide to the Chess Pieces
The first step towards playing chess is learning how each piece moves. Each of the six pieces moves differently, and this guide will help you understand how to use each one.
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.
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.
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 basic chess tactics, including forks, pins and skewers.
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.
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.
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!
Common Lines in the French Defense
The starting position of the French Defense, a chess opening.
This Opera Distraction Became the Most Famous...
Paul Morphy's famous Opera House Game is presented, with each move by each side explained.
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.
Can I Checkmate With These Pieces?
A list of the pieces with which a player can or cannot checkmate an enemy king.
Mistakes When Setting Up a Chess Board
A few common errors players make when setting up a chessboard for the first time.
Basics of Chess Strategy: Bishops
Learn how to use the bishop in chess. Improve your chess strategy with this tutorial on bishops.
Top Five Chess Books: Intermediate Improvement
A list of five books that will help beginners advance to the intermediate level.
Scoring Systems in Chess Tournaments
A look at common scoring systems used in chess tournaments.
Five Great Chess Movies
A list of five excellent chess movies that any fan of the game should check out.
Basic Rules of Tournament Chess
Before you play in your first tournament, learn some of the most important rules in competitive chess.
Learning Openings for Beginners
A discussion of the best ways to learn the openings in chess.
Is Chess a Sport?
Is chess a sport? Here's a look at both sides of this classic debate.
How to Read and Write Algebraic Chess Notation
Learn how to read and write algebraic chess notation.
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.
Suicide Chess
An article describing how to play suicide chess, along with some basic strategy to employ when playing suicide chess.
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.
What is the Swiss System?
A look at the Swiss system, a popular tournament structure in chess.
Top Five Chess Books: Tactics
A look at five great books on the subject of chess tactics.
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!
The Relative Value of the Pieces
Learn how much each piece is worth in chess, from the pawn to the queen and king.
World Chess Champions
A list of the world chess champions throughout chess history.
A Guide to Chess Titles
An overview of the different titles awarded by national and international chess federations.
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.
Chess: The Musical
A discussion of the musical Chess, a musical that has remained popular for nearly 30 years.
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.
Don't Underestimate These 10 Crazy Chess Openings
A guide to some of the most common unorthodox chess openings.
Top Five Chess Books: Openings
A look at the best chess books on the opening.
The 9 Moves That Start Most Chess Games
Learn why these are the nine most popular moves for opening a chess game.
Understanding Chess Ratings
Learn what chess ratings are, and how to earn a chess rating.
The Evans Gambit
A look at the Evans Gambit, a chess opening.
Ten Great Chess Quotes
Ten of the best quotes about chess, with discussion on what they mean for your chess game.
Popular Chess Variants
A list of popular chess variants, with basic explanations of their rules of play.
Basic Pawn Endgames
The rule of the square is explained as it relates to basic pawn endgames.
Time Controls
A guide to understanding how time controls work in chess.
The Ten Most Famous Chess Games
A list of ten of the most famous games played in the history of chess.
Popular Lines in the Caro-Kann Defense
The starting position of the Caro-Kann Defense, a popular chess opening.
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.
Avoiding Blunders in Chess
How to cut down on the number of blunders you make during your chess games.
Why is Stalemate a Draw?
A review of the history behind the stalemate rule in chess.
Speed Chess
An overview of blitz and bullet, two forms of speed chess.
Scholastic Chess Tournaments
A look at scholastic chess tournaments, including what to expect and how prizes are awarded.
2 Boards, 4 Players, 5 Minutes: Learn Bughouse,...
Learn the rules of bughouse chess, a popular form of team chess.
When (and Where) to Castle
A quick guide to choosing when and where to castle during a chess game.
How to Study Chess Openings
A guide to studying openings for chess players of different levels.
Could Changing Scoring Systems Save Corresponde...
Arno Nickel has proposed that some draws be worth more points than others in correspondence chess.
Improving with a Chess Engine
A guide to using a computer chess engine to improve your own chess game.
Six Free Online Chess Resources
A list of the best free chess resources you can find online.
Top Five Female Chess Players of All-Time
A list of the top female chess players in the history of the game.
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.
Here's How to Play Chess on Your iPhone
A look at the top chess apps for the iPhone.
This Woman Has Played More Than 13,500...
Brigitta Sinka set a new world record by playing more games in simultaneous exhibitions than any chess player in history.
Knights vs. Bishops
A look at how knights and bishops stack up in chess.
Choosing an Opening Repertoire for Beginners
Tips for how to choose an opening repertoire for the novice chess player.
Chess and Poker
An article about the similarities between chess and poker.
Chess for Android Devices
A look at several ways to play chess on your Android device.
Correspondence Chess
A short description of correspondence chess, a form of chess traditionally played by post.
The Tiger of Madras: Meet Vishy Anand, India's...
A look at the career of Viswanathan Anand, World Chess Champion.
Playing Chess on Facebook
Learn how to play chess on Facebook.
Today's Best Chess Players
A guide to the best chess players today, including the top chess players in the world.
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.
Kindle Chess Books
Looking for a good chess book for your Kindle? Here are five recommendations.
Team Chess
Learn all about team chess, in which teams of chess players compete against each other.
Is This Young Norwegian The Greatest Chess...
Magnus Carlsen holds the record for the highest rating ever by a chess player.
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.
Checkmate for Children by Kevin Stark
A review of the chess book Checkmate for Children, by Kevin Stark.
Cheating in Chess
A look at the many ways in which players have tried to cheat at chess.
Major Pieces
Queens and rooks. Chess.
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.
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.
Kasparov vs. Deep Blue
A summary of the two famous matches played between Garry Kasparov and IBM's supercomputer, Deep Blue.
Review: Bobby Fischer by Karsten Muller...
A review of the book Bobby Fischer: The Career and Complete Games of the American World Chess Champion, by Karsten Muller.
How to Play Chess960
A short article about Chess960, also known as Fischer Random Chess or Shuffle Chess.
Viswanathan Anand
A profile of World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand.
Three Things Grandmasters Do That You Shouldn't
These three habits of grandmasters don't work for the typical club chess player.
The Touch-Move Rule
Understanding the Touch-Move rule in chess.
What’s the Peak Age for Chess Players?
When do chess players tend to hit their peak performance?
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.
Armageddon Tiebreakers
A quick look at the Armageddon tiebreak in chess.
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.
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
How to Take Advantage of Open Files
A guide to taking advantage of open files in chess.
The First Move Advantage in Chess
A discussion of the advantage of moving first in chess.
Celebrity Chess Players
A page listing some of the most famous celebrities to have played the game of chess.
What Would Chess Look Like With Bluffing?...
SecretChess is a chess variant in which you can rarely be sure of exactly where your opponent moved.
Atomic Chess
Learn how to play atomic chess, one of the fastest-paced chess variants in the world.
King Safety Throughout the Game
A discussion of what it means to keep your king safe throughout a chess game.
Chess Annotation Symbols Explained
Learn what the annotations in chess games mean.
The Hypermodern School
A look at how the Hypermodern School changed chess theory forever.
1. b4: Theory & Practice of the Sokolsky...
A review of 1. b4: Theory & Practice of the Sokolsky Opening by Jerzy Konikowski and Marek Soszynski.
Did She Cheat? Suspicions, But No Proof, at...
A stronger than expected performance by one player led to cheating accusations, though without any proof, at the European Women's Chess Championships.
Learning to Analyze Your Games
A look at how to start analyzing your own games if you've never done so before.
Paul Morphy
Paul Morphy is widely considered the greatest chess player of his era, and is often referred to as an unofficial World Champion.
Does the Draw Offer Need to Go?
A look at the debate over draw offers in chess.
The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White
A review of The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White, by Larry Kaufman.
Previewing the Next World Chess Championship in...
The 2016 World Chess Championship will feature Magnus Carlsen taking on a challenger who is yet to be determined.
The Bishop Pair
A look at the importance of the bishop pair in chess.
When to Resign
When is it time to give up in a game of chess?
Commonly Drawn Endgames
Here's a look at some of the most commonly drawn endgames in chess.
A History of the World Chess Championship
A brief history of the World Chess Championship.
Review: Bullet Chess by Nakamura and Harper
A review of Bullet Chess: One Minute to Mate, by Hikaru Nakamura and Bruce Harper.
Chinese Chess Prodigy Wei Yi
Wei Yi is a strong young chess player from China.
Types of Online Chess
A short overview of the types of chess sites that are available online.
Your First Time at a Scholastic Chess Tournament
Learn the basics that every parent should know before taking their child to their first chess tournament.
The Development of Modern Chess Rules
A look at how chess rules have changed in the last thousand years.
Comparing Internet Chess Servers
A look at what each of the three major online chess servers has to offer.
Reviewing Chess Training for Post-Beginners by...
Is Chess Training for Post-Beginners the positional manual that's right for you?
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.
A discussion on how to improve your chess visualization skills.
The Five Best French Chess Players of All-Time
A list of the best French chess players of all time, as voted by About Chess readers.
Chess and Go
A look at the differences between two of the world's oldest games of strategy: chess and Go.
Dynamic Equilibrium in Chess
A look at the concept of dynamic equilibrium in chess.
Quarterfinals Set at Chess World Cup
With Levon Aronian out, Fabiano Caruana is the top seed remaining in the FIDE World Cup, and he lived up to that billing in the Round of 16. Caruana scored a
Who Will Win the 2013 World Chess Championship?
A rundown of the 2013 World Chess Championship cycle.
Why Recording Chess Games is Important
A look at why you should be writing down moves in chess tournaments.
Robert James "Bobby" Fischer
A profile of former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer.
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.
Watch People Play Chess Online
Twitch.tv has several channels devoted to live streaming chess action.
Five Famous Television Chess Moments
A list of five famous chess scenes from popular television shows.
Who Will Play Magnus Carlsen for the World...
The 2016 Candidates Tournament will determine the next challenger for the World Chess Championship.
What is Hope Chess?
A look at Hope Chess, a term for a particular thought process used by some chess players that was coined by Dan Heisman.
Review: Chess Openings Wizard
Chess Openings Wizard is a program that can help you learn openings rapidly and accurately.
Judit Polgar
A profile of Grandmaster Judit Polgar, a famous chess player.
World Champion Makes Shocking Mistake in Major...
Veselin Topalov won the 2015 Norway Chess tournament, while Magnus Carlsen uncharacteristically struggled throughout the event.
2013 World Chess Championship (Anand vs....
Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand battled to a draw in Game One of the 2013 World Chess Championship.
Thoresen Chess Engines Competition
The TCEC is perhaps the most prestigious and strongest tournament for computer chess programs in the world today.
Scandinavian Defense: The Dynamic 3...Qd6 by...
A review of the chess book Scandinavian Defense: The Dynamic 3...Qd6 by Michael Melts.
The Clock as a Weapon in Blitz Chess
A look at how the clock can be used as a weapon in speed chess.
Minimizing the Damage
Learn how to keep the damage to a minimum when you're losing material in a game of chess.
The Longest Chess Game
A look at the longest games ever played in the game of chess.
Learn all about Crazyhouse, a chess variant in which captured pieces can be placed back onto the board for the opposing player.
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