Chess Endgames and the King’s Magical Powers
Episode 18 of How to Play Chess

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How to Play Chess - Lessons from an International Master
Chess is a sport, a science, and an art. For more than a thousand years, people around the world have enjoyed this game of skill and tactics and intellectual prowess. From Parisian nightclubs to Hollywood films to everyday dining rooms and dens, you can find people furrowing their brows in…
Triangulation and Two Critical Rook Endgames
Episode 20 of How to Play Chess
Round out your study of endgames with an examination of triangulation, a key tactic for gaining control (called "the opposition") in a king-versus-king standoff. Then turn to two common rook endgames: the Lucena Position and the Philidor Position. Mr. Silman offers several general rules for handling these situations.
Kings and Pawns in Next-Level Endgames
Episode 19 of How to Play Chess
Continue your study of endgames, especially those involving the king and one or more pawns. Here you'll find out how to avoid--or create--stalemates and draws, as well as the critical techniques for getting pawns to the end of the board--or blocking those dangerous pawn advances.
Positional Weaknesses and Targets in Chess
Episode 13 of How to Play Chess
Continue your study of pawn movements by examining a number of potential weaknesses. Mr. Silman helps you notice and make use of vulnerabilities such as isolated pawns and doubled pawns. By sharpening your powers of observation, your chess game will take a giant leap forward.
Open Files and the Positional Rook
Episode 11 of How to Play Chess
Almost everyone enjoys tactics, but tactics are not the most important element of the game. Begin the first of several lessons on positional play and chess strategy, starting with the rooks. Learn why and how to create an open file and employ your rooks to best advantage. See examples of…
Chess Psychology and the Known Unknown
Episode 22 of How to Play Chess
Chess is riddled with psychological traps--particularly if you find yourself playing a daunting opponent. Mr. Silman offers insight into several of these traps and helps you maintain your confidence, whether you're playing a peer on your level or one of the most sophisticated computers on the planet.
Chess Statics vs. Dynamics: An Eternal Battle
Episode 15 of How to Play Chess
Much of chess boils down to the tension between static play versus dynamic play. Static play encompasses the long game and positional advantage, while dynamic play is all about tactics and aggressive attacks. Find out when to rely on each approach.
The Chess Amateur’s Mind
Episode 23 of How to Play Chess
See how amateur chess players tend to approach the game--giving away pieces and neglecting to defend against enemy attacks. By studying several common amateur mistakes, you'll strengthen your own chess skills and get into the mindset of thinking through your opponent's best reply to every move.
Chess Combinations and Kings in Check
Episode 5 of How to Play Chess
Continue your study of patterns--this time with combination moves that require crafty calculations. Whether you're wondering when (and why) to sacrifice a piece, or you're looking to trap kings in tight corners, or you simply want to unleash a torrent of carnage on the board, the tactics from this lesson…
Pawns: The Positional Soul of Chess
Episode 12 of How to Play Chess
In this lesson, you'll find out why "pawns are the soul of chess." Train your eye to see the pawn structures of a game and their strategic implications. After honing your ability to read a position and see patterns, study a few strategies for making the most out of the…
Must-Know Tactical Patterns in Chess
Episode 4 of How to Play Chess
Build your arsenal of tactical skills by looking for winning patterns on the board. After covering three go-to punches--pins, skewers, and forks--Mr. Silman turns to decoys, double attacks, discovered attacks, and more. Armed with these patterns of play, you now have a major tactical advantage.
Castling, Checkmate, Chess Engines, Draws
Episode 3 of How to Play Chess
Complete your review of the basics of chess--including how to castle, the difference between checkmate and stalemate, and the etiquette of play. Then shift your attention to some astonishing aspects of the game and find out about simultaneous exhibitions, blindfolded play, and chess computers.