Learn to Play Chess: from a Novice to a Fierce Competitor
4.7 (15 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
126 students enrolled
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Learn to Play Chess: from a Novice to a Fierce Competitor

The easiest and fastest way to learn chess - covering all the fundamentals plus how to gain an upper hand from the start
4.7 (15 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
126 students enrolled
Created by Dr Alex Davidovic
Last updated 2/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Play chess with confidence, and fight for an advantage
  • Know how to quickly and harmoniously develop your forces
  • Repel the quick checkmate attempts by your opponents
  • Deliver the checkmate in a whole variety of ways
  • Keep your king safe
  • Avoid the common opening tricks and pitfalls
  • Get the upper hand at the very start of the game
View Curriculum
  • No prior knowledge required, this course gives you all the right foundations

This course takes you from your first chess moves to a player brimming with confidence who knows how to develop the forces efficiently, keep the king safe, repel the opponent's attacks, obtain an advantage early on, and deliver the checkmate.

What makes this course unique? Dr Alex is combining both, his experience as an International Chess Master and a coach, and his experience in programming teaching and adaptive systems, to give you the combination of training videos and the exercises through the 'Chess Mates Companion' software. This way, you get to apply your new knowledge in practice immediately, and learn chess in the fastest way possible.

You start playing chess in less than one hour, and build your strength from there.

If you're already a seasoned chess player, this course is not for you - but watch for the follow-up courses soon!

If you're a beginner and want to learn to play chess confidently, quickly, and with the best foundations, this course is ideal for you.

Who is the target audience?
  • If you're a beginner and want to learn to play chess confidently and with the best foundations, this course is ideal for you
  • If you're already a seasoned chess player, this course is not for you - but I'll be publishing the follow-up courses soon!
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Curriculum For This Course
26 Lectures
2 Lectures 04:02

Welcome to the course, you'll be playing chess and enjoying it in no time! This video outlays everything that you're about to learn, from the essentials such as setting up the pieces and how each piece moves and captures, to delivering the checkmate, avoiding the common opening mistakes, and how to develop your forces to fight for an opening advantage.

Preview 01:04

Learn to setup the pieces on the chess board. The two rules to help you out:

  • The lower-right square must be white. If it's black, rotate the board by 90 degrees.
  • The white queen always goes on a white square, and the black queen always goes to a black square.
Preview 02:58
How Pieces Move and Capture
8 Lectures 40:18

Learn how the pawns move and capture. Pawns cannot go backwards. When the pawn reaches the back rank, it is promoted into another piece: queen, rook, knight or a bishop, but never the king.

Do not forget to download the how-pieces-move-and-capture.pdf. Print it out or keep it handy whenever you want to remind yourself about what each piece can do.

How Pawns Move

Learn how the rook moves and captures. Rooks move horizontally or vertically, by any number of squares, but never diagonally.

Preview 02:33

Learn how the bishops move and capture. The bishop only moves diagonally, by any number of squares. The light-square bishop can never go to a dark square, and vice versa: the dark-square bishop can never go to a light square.

How Bishops Move

Learn how the queen moves and captures. It's the most powerful piece on the board, and can move any number of squares, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

How Queens Move

Learn how knights move and capture. It's the only piece that can jump over other men, and it always does it in the shape of the letter 'L'.

How Knights Move

Learn how the king moves and captures. Unlike other pieces, the king can only move by one square, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

How King Moves

It is easier to attack the king stuck in the middle of the board than the castled one. Learn how to castle, bringing your king to safety.

Castling: the Safest Place for Your King

The value of chess pieces changes all the time depending on the situation on the board. As a guide, the rook is worth 5 pawns, knight 3, bishop 3, queen 9, and the king is the game. This helps you work out what is good for you in the situations when you can trade pieces.

The Value of Pieces

Reinforce all you've learned about how pieces move and capture.

Knowing Your and Your Opponent's Forces
3 questions
How to Checkmate the King
9 Lectures 39:17

Check is when the king is under attack. This needs to be addressed, the king cannot remain under check. The options are: moving the king out check, taking the piece giving the check, or putting a defender in-between. This third option is not there if the piece giving the check is the knight.

What is a Check?

When the king is in check, has nowhere to run, cannot capture the piece attacking giving the check or block the check, then it's a checkmate. When you deliver the checkmate, it's the end of the game, you win.

What is a Checkmate?

When one side cannot make any legal moves and the king is not is check, it's a stalemate. Nobody wins, the game ends in a draw. If you are down on material, the stalemate may be your last defensive resource.

What is a Stalemate?

Checkmating the king with 2 rooks is perhaps the easiest way to end the game in your favor. Two rooks do not need the help of your king. While one rook is cutting off the escape route, the other one pushes the king further towards the edge of the board.

Checkmating with Two Rooks

Learn how to checkmate the king with one rook, assisted by your king.

Checkmating with One Rook

Chess is a social game, and it's best to learn and practice with a friend - but when others are busy or unavailable, the ' Chess Mates Companion' software is there to help you practice the positions that we cover in the course. It is always available, day or night.

Chess Mates Companion Software

Learn how to checkmate with the queen, helped by your king.

Checkmating with the Queen

2 knights cannot force a checkmate, but 2 bishops can. Learn how to checkmate the king with 2 bishops, helped by your king.

Checkmating with Two Bishops

There are 3 possible results in chess: white wins, black wins, or a draw - no-one wins. The opponents can agree to a draw, or the remaining material may not be enough to deliver the checkmate.

Draw: When No-one can Win
Promoting Pawns
4 Lectures 15:15

When the pawn reaches the 8th rank (or 1st if you're playing with black pieces), promoting it into a pawn is usually the best. Usually, but not always - learn when promoting into a queen is a costly mistake.

When NOT to Promote the Pawn into a Queen

Sometimes promoting a pawn into a queen leads to a stalemate. Here's how to avoid it.

Avoiding the Stalemate

In most cases, obtaining a win with 2 pawns is quite easy: one pawn advances with the help of the king, and the second pawn is used in the end to win a move and force the opponent's king out of the way.

How to Win with Two Pawns

Here's a great example of a tricky pawn promotion. Promoting into a queen, while tempting, definitely does not work in this case.

Preview 06:00

Promoting a pawn into a queen is usually the best, but there are positions whereby this would be a big mistake.

Pawn Promotions
3 questions
Starting the Game
3 Lectures 35:08

When you're just starting with chess, many players will try to finish the game quickly and checkmate you in only 4 moves. Here's how to repel the attack, and how to gain the advantage from your opponent's early queen incursions.

Preview 17:17

Mistakes in the opening may lead to a quick checkmate. Learn how to defend, and how to fight for an advantage.

Defending against Quick Checkmates

Here are the common mistakes in the opening, and some nifty tricks that can net a quick win. After going through the lecture you'll be able to avoid the opening pitfalls that often lead to a swift loss. Furthermore, you'll be able to put pressure on your opponents and take advantage of their mistakes at the early stage of the game.

Opening Tricks

Test your knowledge on the opening part of the game.

Starting the Game
2 questions
About the Instructor
Dr Alex Davidovic
4.6 Average rating
60 Reviews
1,939 Students
4 Courses
International Chess Master, Olympian and Software Engineer

Dr Alex Davidovic is the father of 2, a seasoned computer programmer and a chess coach.

Dr Alex is passionate about chess. He is an International Chess Master, played professionally for 5 years, and competed in two Chess Olympiads, in Manila (Philippines) in 1992 and Elista (Kalmykia) in 1998, playing the total of 20 games for the Australian team and only losing one, either winning or drawing all other games.

Following Dr Alex's teaching methods, many of his chess students achieved extraordinary results, including one World Champion under 20 and over 10 adult or age-group national champions.

Ever since completing his PhD in Computer and Information Science on the topic of adaptive tutoring systems, Dr Alex has been applying the results of his research to make learning complex concepts such as computer programming and chess easy to master.

He has been a computer programmer since 1991. Over one million people use the software developed by Dr Alex and his company C Point Pty Ltd:

  • Antechinus C# Editor, the first-ever integrated environment for the C# programming language
  • Antechinus JavaScript Editor, which is used by web designers and programming students alike
  • Antechinus Animator Professional, for creating stop-motion animations
  • ...and 300+ other major software projects.