But chess is not easy. Although played on a simple board with simple rules, there are an infinity of possible strategies, styles and outcomes. Chess is an art as much as it is a science.
This course – written by Grandmaster and widely published author Simon Williams - teaches you how to understand the intricate mechanics of chess to ensure that your play is watertight without forgetting to enjoy the beauty of the game. No stone is left unturned.
The basic rules and operation of the game
Avoiding mistakes, thinking ahead, check, patterns, timing, tactics, positional play
Winning points, exchanges, deciding between moves
Control the centre, develop your pieces, respect your king and queen, give your pieces purpose, gain time
Some basic opening for you to consider and learn
Some opening traps and pitfalls to avoid
An overview of the features, dynamics and considerations common to the middlegame
An overview of the features, dynamics, considerations of the endgame, plus some common checkmates
An introduction to tactics and an overview of the most common and powerful tactical tools
How to cope with threats from your opponent and how to execute successful and sensible threats
The important things to consider when attacking an exposed king
The important things to consider when attacking an castled, and some common approaches to doing so
An overview of some of the most common checkmate dynamics
Treating your king with respect, using pawns as bodyguards, assessing threats against you, maintaining safety first, strong defensive pieces and not panicking
Pawn structures, piece manoeuvering, controlling areas of the board, piece exchanges and positional transformations
The 'beauty prize', whether a gambit or sacrifice is worthwhile and two famous gambit openings
Advice and methods to help improve your memory and ability to think ahead
Why individual style is important and what your personal style is
Every move has a purpose, stopping your opponent, making chess competitive, long-term solutions and identifying critical positions
Internet sites, studying Grandmaster games, chess etiquette and how to prepare for tournaments
The history of chess computers, the benefit of playing with computers, the difference between human and chess players, how to play against a computer and making the most of computer play
Simon Williams became a Chess Grandmaster at the age of just 27. He has since won the British Speed Chess Championship and finished runner-up in the British Chess Championship, and has consistently been ranked as one of the best players in Britain. More recently, Simon's focus has been on teaching chess, both in person and as a presenter and author. He has released almost twenty critically-acclaimed DVDs and nine books - the first of which was voted as one of the ten best chess books of all time by NewInChess. Simon's pupils come from all walks of life, and have finished as high as 3rd in the World Junior Championships.