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
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Instructed by Dr Alex Davidovic Lifestyle / Gaming
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  • Lectures 26
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

Course Description

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.

What are the requirements?

  • No prior knowledge required, this course gives you all the right foundations

What am I going to get from this course?

  • 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

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!

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

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.


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.
Section 2: How Pieces Move and Capture

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.


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


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.


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.


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'.


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


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.


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.

3 questions

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

Section 3: How to Checkmate the King

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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.

Section 4: Promoting Pawns

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.


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


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.


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

3 questions

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

Section 5: Starting the Game

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.


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


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.

2 questions

Test your knowledge on the opening part of the game.

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Instructor Biography

Dr Alex Davidovic, 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.

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