Coach's Corner
Resources for the Chess Coach
by the Webmaster

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How to Play Chess
This PDF presentation is suitable to teach how to play chess.

When games are drawn in chess.

How to read Algebraic Chess Notation
This PDF presentation is suitable to teach algebraic chess notation.

How to read Descriptive Chess Notation
This PDF presentation teaches descriptive chess notation, which was standard until the 1980s and is useful to access older chess books such as most of those recommended below.

PDF Scoresheets that you can save or print out right from your web browser:
  • Scoresheet #1 — has generous margins for notes.
  • Scoresheet #2 — has larger writing area for moves.

    Five Easy Principles to Begin a Chess Game:

  • Control the center of the board
  • Move Knights before Bishops
  • Castle early
  • Don't move the Queen too soon
  • Don't move too many Pawns

    Moving the Queen too early or too often can result in loss of the Queen or other material. For example, after 1. e4 e5 2. Qh5 Nc6 3. Bc4 g6 4. Qf3 Nf6 5. Qb3?! Nd4 6. Bxf7+ Ke7 7. Qc4 b5! the Queen is overloaded: White is unable to hold the Bishop at f7 and Pawn at c2. Any Queen move results in loss of the Queen or ...Kxf7 and Black is up a piece.

    Opening memorization: we discourage beginners from memorizing opening moves. Instead focus should be on endgames and tactics, and openings should be played on general principles listed above. Any opening is playable, even 1. g4; what's important is to recognize traps and tactics. By playing through the following games, you will find many opening traps and tactics leading to quick wins in 10 moves or less.

  • Wall's 100 Miniatures
  • Short Games of El Greco

    Here are two more well-known traps:

    Scholar's Mate: 1. e4 e5 2. Qh5 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Qxf7 mate.

    Legal's Mate: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 d6 4. Nc3 Bg4 5. Nxe5 Bxd1 6. Bxf7+ Ke7 7. Nd5 mate.


    King and Queen versus King
    King and Rook versus King
    King and Pawn versus King
    King and Two Bishops versus King
    King, Bishop, and Knight versus King
    King and Two Rooks vs. King

    A beautiful stratagem: pawn versus rook

    How to practice endgames on the FICS server:

    (1) Go to
    (2) Click on "Play Now" Button
    (3) Click on "Endgames" Dropdown
    (4) Select on "kqk" for King and Queen versus King
    (5) Select on "krk" for King and Rook versus King
    (6) Select on "kpk" for King and Pawn versus King

    To repeat, click on the "Stop Examining" button. Click on "Play". Click on "Endgames" drop-down. Select the endgame you want to practice.

    Recommended Books:

  • Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess by Bobby Fischer
  • Chess Fundamentals by Jose Raoul Capablanca
  • My 60 Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer
  • Zurich International Chess Tournament, 1953 by David Bronstein
  • Chess Openings: Theory and Practice by I.A. Horowitz
  • A Guide to Chess Endings by Max Euwe and David Hooper
  • Rook Endings by Levenfish and Smyslov
  • Maxims of Chess by John W. Collins
  • 500 Master Games of Chess by Tartakower and DuMont
  • Capablanca's Best Chess Endings by Irving Chernev
  • The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played by Irving Chernev
  • New York International Chess Tournament, 1924 by Alexander Alekhine and Herman Helms
  • My Best Games of Chess by Vasily Smyslov
  • 500 Miniatures Series by Bill Wall

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  • Bill Wall