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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.
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.
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
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.
Fool's Mate - It's the Fastest Checkmate in Chess
A move by move guide to the fastest checkmate in chess, the Fool's Mate.
5 Ways to Improve Your Chess Game
Learn the five best ways for novice chess players to improve their chess.
Common Lines in the Ruy Lopez Opening
Some of the most common variations in the Ruy Lopez opening.
Scholastic Chess Tournaments
A look at scholastic chess tournaments, including what to expect and how prizes are awarded.
The Common Lines of the Sicilian Defense
A guide to the most common lines seen in the Sicilian Defense, a chess opening.
The Best Basic Chess Tactical Tips
A guide to basic chess tactics, including forks, pins and skewers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every Move Explained: Morphy's Opera House Game...
Paul Morphy's famous Opera House Game is presented, with each move by each side explained.
Basic Rules of Tournament Chess
Before you play in your first tournament, learn some of the most important rules in competitive chess.
How to Read and Write Algebraic Chess Notation
Learn how to read and write algebraic chess notation.
History of the Wijk aan Zee Chess Tournament
A history of the chess tournaments annually held in Wijk aan Zee, which are currently named the Tata Steel Chess Tournaments.
Learning Openings for Beginners
A discussion of the best ways to learn the openings in chess.
Common Lines in the Italian Game
A description and guide to the common openings lines which can be reached from the Italian 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.
Chess Titans
A look at the free chess program, Chess Titans.
Top Five Chess Books: Intermediate Improvement
A list of five books that will help beginners advance to the intermediate level.
Can I Checkmate With These Pieces?
A list of the pieces with which a player can or cannot checkmate an enemy 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.
The Ten Most Famous Chess Games
A list of ten of the most famous games played in the history of 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.
Best iPhone Chess Apps
A look at the top chess apps for the iPhone.
Basics of Chess Strategy: Bishops
Learn how to use the bishop in chess. Improve your chess strategy with this tutorial on bishops.
Illegal Moves
A discussion of illegal moves in chess, such as leaving your king in check.
Three Things Grandmasters Do That You Shouldn't
These three habits of grandmasters don't work for the typical club chess player.
World Chess Champions
A list of the world chess champions throughout chess history.
The Relative Value of the Pieces
Learn how much each piece is worth in chess, from the pawn to the queen and king.
Ten Great Chess Quotes
Ten of the best quotes about chess, with discussion on what they mean for your chess game.
Common Lines in the French Defense
The starting position of the French Defense, a chess opening.
Five Great Chess Movies
A list of five excellent chess movies that any fan of the game should check out.
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.
Hikaru Nakamura
A profile of American chess grandmaster and famous chess player, Hikaru Nakamura.
Carlsen Wins Tournament, Sky is Blue
Magnus Carlsen finished strong to win the Gashimov Memorial tournament.
Chess for Android Devices
A look at several ways to play chess on your Android device.
Popular Lines in the Caro-Kann Defense
The starting position of the Caro-Kann Defense, a popular chess opening.
Five Young Chess Stars to Watch in 2014
A look at five chess players under 21 who could shine in 2014.
Avoiding Blunders in Chess
How to cut down on the number of blunders you make during your chess games.
Popular Chess Variants
A list of popular chess variants, with basic explanations of their rules of play.
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 Chess Repertoire Bring Opening Training to...
Chess Repertoire is an opening study program for mobile devices.
Time Controls
A guide to understanding how time controls work in chess.
Understanding Chess Ratings
Learn what chess ratings are, and how to earn a chess rating.
Chess: The Musical
A discussion of the musical Chess, a musical that has remained popular for nearly 30 years.
Scoring Systems in Chess Tournaments
A look at common scoring systems used in chess tournaments.
Today's Best Chess Players
A guide to the best chess players today, including the top chess players in the world.
Five Great Chess Channels on YouTube
A look at some of the best chess channels on YouTube.
What is the Swiss System?
A look at the Swiss system, a popular tournament structure in chess.
Top Five Chess Books: Openings
A look at the best chess books on the opening.
Top Five Female Chess Players of All-Time
A list of the top female chess players in the history of the game.
How to Study Chess Openings
A guide to studying openings for chess players of different levels.
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.
A Guide to Chess Titles
An overview of the different titles awarded by national and international chess federations.
Is Chess a Sport?
Is chess a sport? Here's a look at both sides of this classic debate.
Chess and Poker
An article about the similarities between chess and poker.
Unusual Chess Openings
A guide to some of the most common unorthodox chess openings.
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
When (and Where) to Castle
A quick guide to choosing when and where to castle during a chess game.
Top Five Chess Books: Tactics
A look at five great books on the subject of chess tactics.
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.
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The Rules of Chess The Rules of Chess Learn everything you need to know to start playing the game of
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!
Improving with a Chess Engine
A guide to using a computer chess engine to improve your own chess game.
Avoiding the Biggest Chess Mistakes
Learn how to avoid the largest mistakes you can possible make in a chess game.
Mistakes When Setting Up a Chess Board
A few common errors players make when setting up a chessboard for the first time.
Knights vs. Bishops
A look at how knights and bishops stack up in chess.
Suicide Chess
An article describing how to play suicide chess, along with some basic strategy to employ when playing suicide chess.
Choosing an Opening Repertoire for Beginners
Tips for how to choose an opening repertoire for the novice chess player.
How to Play Chess960
A short article about Chess960, also known as Fischer Random Chess or Shuffle Chess.
The Bishop Pair
A look at the importance of the bishop pair in chess.
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
Playing in Your First Chess Tournament
A guide to participating in your first chess tournament.
Candidate Moves: How to Narrow Your Choices
Learn what a candidate move is, and how candidate moves can help you improve your chess.
Bobby Fischer's Most Incredible Moments
These are the most impressive and incredible feats from the legendary career of Bobby Fischer.
Comparing Internet Chess Servers
A look at what each of the three major online chess servers has to offer.
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.
2013 World Chess Championship (Anand vs....
Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand battled to a draw in Game One of the 2013 World Chess Championship.
World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen
Magnus Carlsen holds the record for the highest rating ever by a chess player.
Six Free Online Chess Resources
A list of the best free chess resources you can find online.
Tactics
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.
Crazyhouse
Learn all about Crazyhouse, a chess variant in which captured pieces can be placed back onto the board for the opposing player.
Cheating in Chess
A look at the many ways in which players have tried to cheat at chess.
Sonneborn-Berger Tiebreaks
An explanation of how Sonneborn-Berger tiebreakers are calculated.
Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting
A look at the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting, an annual tournament featuring some of the world's best chess players.
Betting on Chess
Learn how to bet on important chess matches and tournaments.
World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand
A look at the career of Viswanathan Anand, World Chess Champion.
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
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
Time Management
Learn how to better manage your time during a chess game. Time management is an important, but often overlooked, chess skill.
Viswanathan Anand
A profile of World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand.
Review: Chess Openings Wizard
Chess Openings Wizard is a program that can help you learn openings rapidly and accurately.
Basic Pawn Endgames
The rule of the square is explained as it relates to basic pawn endgames.
Garry Kasparov
A profile of former chess player and world chess champion Garry Kasparov.
Celebrity Chess Players
A page listing some of the most famous celebrities to have played the game of chess.
Don't Play a Move Just Because It Scores Well...
Chess databases are useful tools, but some of the information they provide can be misleading.
Choosing the Right Odds
How to select the best odds for a fair game in chess.
This Simple Game Shows How to Use Pawns in Chess
The pawn game is a simplified version of chess that teaches players about pawn interactions.
Draw
A game that ends without a winner. This can happen in several ways. The players may agree to a draw, there may not be enough material left on the board for the game to end with a checkmate, or there may be a stalemate. In tournament play, there are other situations which can result in a draw, such as triple repetition of position, or fifty moves being played without any progress (this is known as the “fifty move rule”).
Chess and Go
A look at the differences between two of the world's oldest games of strategy: chess and Go.
Paul Morphy
Paul Morphy is widely considered the greatest chess player of his era, and is often referred to as an unofficial World Champion.
The Rules of Bughouse
Learn the rules of bughouse chess, a popular form of team 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.
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.
Shatranj
Learn how to play shatranj, an ancient form of chess that was played in Persia.
Kasparov vs. Deep Blue
A summary of the two famous matches played between Garry Kasparov and IBM's supercomputer, Deep Blue.
Rapid Chess
An overview of rapid chess, an increasingly popular format for chess tournaments.
Robert James "Bobby" Fischer
A profile of former World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer.
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!
Chess Olympiad Winners
A list of the winning countries in the history of the Chess Olympiad.
Free Online Chess Games
A look at the top places online to play free chess.
Pin
A situation in which a piece cannot move because it will leave a more valuable piece vulnerable to attack. An absolute pin occurs when moving the piece is impossible because it would expose the king to check, while a relative pin exists when the piece can legally move, but only at the risk of exposing a stronger piece, such as the queen, to an attack.
Skewer
A tactic in which a valuable piece is attacked and forced to move, leaving a less valuable piece vulnerable to capture.
2013 World Chess Championship
A rundown of the 2013 World Chess Championship cycle.
Does the Draw Offer Need to Go?
A look at the debate over draw offers in chess.
Kindle Chess Books
Looking for a good chess book for your Kindle? Here are five recommendations.
Playing Chess on Facebook
Learn how to play chess on Facebook.
Fork
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.
World Chess Championship 2013: Game by Game...
A game-by-game quick recap of the 2013 World Chess Championship match.
The Longest Chess Game
A look at the longest games ever played in the game of chess.
When to Resign
When is it time to give up in a game of chess?
What’s the Peak Age for Chess Players?
When do chess players tend to hit their peak performance?
Knights Before Bishops?
Chess has a lot of rules of thumb that are regularly stated with some authority, especially when beginners
The 9 Moves That Start Most Chess Games
Learn why these are the nine most popular moves for opening a chess game.
Hou Yifan
A profile of famous Chinese chess player Hou Yifan.
Learning to Use a Chess Clock
Tips on how to get used to using a chess clock for tournament play.
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.
The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White
A review of The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White, by Larry Kaufman.
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
The Touch-Move Rule
Understanding the Touch-Move rule in chess.
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.
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.
World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik
A profile of former World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik.
Endings Every Beginner Should Study
A guide to the essentials beginners need to study in order to improve their chess endgame skills.
Learning to Analyze Your Games
A look at how to start analyzing your own games if you've never done so before.
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.
Reviewing Chess Training for Post-Beginners by...
Is Chess Training for Post-Beginners the positional manual that's right for you?
The Principle of Two Weaknesses
What is the Principle of Two Weaknesses in chess?
Aeroflot Open
The history of the famous Aeroflot Open chess tournament.
The First Move Advantage in Chess
A discussion of the advantage of moving first in chess.
The Five Best American Chess Players of All-Time
A look at the five best chess players in history from the United States, as chosen by About.com readers.
Review: Bullet Chess by Nakamura and Harper
A review of Bullet Chess: One Minute to Mate, by Hikaru Nakamura and Bruce Harper.
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