Millions of people around the globe play chess. It is one of our favourite ways of pitting our minds directly against one another.

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.


Through a combination of animated videos, screencasts and written text over 138 modules, the course will teach you:

  • The rules and terminology of chess
  • The foundational principles of playing good chess
  • The three phases of the game - the opening, middlegame and endgame – and how to master them
  • The methods behind creating threats, executing tactics, attacking your opponent’s king and achieving checkmate
  • How to develop rock-solid defensive and positional capabilities
  • Advanced techniques such as gambits, sacrifices, visualisation and thinking like a Grandmaster
  • Computer chess and the future of chess
Video Taken From Unit 1.1.6 "Rules Against the Grain - Castling"


Course Content

Course Content

Course Content

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Section 1: The Basics


Unit 1.1 - Refresher

The basic rules and operation of the game


Unit 1.2 - The Foundations of Good Chess

Avoiding mistakes, thinking ahead, check, patterns, timing, tactics, positional play


Unit 1.3 - Captures, Exchanges and Candidate Moves

Winning points, exchanges, deciding between moves

Section 2: Phases Of The Game


Unit 2.1 - The Opening

Control the centre, develop your pieces, respect your king and queen, give your pieces purpose, gain time


Unit 2.2 - Basic Openings

Some basic opening for you to consider and learn


Unit 2.3 - Opening Traps

Some opening traps and pitfalls to avoid


Unit 2.4 - The Middlegame

An overview of the features, dynamics and considerations common to the middlegame


Unit 2.5 - The Endgame

An overview of the features, dynamics, considerations of the endgame, plus some common checkmates

Section 3: Winning Fast


Unit 3.1 - Tactics

An introduction to tactics and an overview of the most common and powerful tactical tools


Unit 3.2 - Threats

How to cope with threats from your opponent and how to execute successful and sensible threats


Unit 3.3 - Attacking the Exposed King

The important things to consider when attacking an exposed king


Unit 3.4 - Attacking the Castled King

The important things to consider when attacking an castled, and some common approaches to doing so


Unit 3.5 - Checkmate Patterns

An overview of some of the most common checkmate dynamics

Section 4: Winning Slow


Unit 4.1 - Defending

Treating your king with respect, using pawns as bodyguards, assessing threats against you, maintaining safety first, strong defensive pieces and not panicking 


Unit 4.2 - Positional Play

Pawn structures, piece manoeuvering, controlling areas of the board, piece exchanges and positional transformations

Section 5: Advanced Techniques


Unit 5.1 - Sacrifices, Gambits and Beauty

The 'beauty prize', whether a gambit or sacrifice is worthwhile and two famous gambit openings


Unit 5.2 - Visualisation

Advice and methods to help improve your memory and ability to think ahead


Unit 5.3 - Individual Style

Why individual style is important and what your personal style is


Unit 5.4 - Thinking Like a Grandmaster

Every move has a purpose, stopping your opponent, making chess competitive, long-term solutions and identifying critical positions

Section 6: Chess 2.0


Unit 6.1 - 21st Century Chess

Internet sites, studying Grandmaster games, chess etiquette and how to prepare for tournaments


Unit 6.2 - Computer Chess

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


Pricing is for 12 months access.

*The AUD price shown above is an estimate. Actual charges are based on the current exchange rate from GBP



  • Required: none

Completion Time: 20 hours (average)

About the Author

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.