Chess Openings: The Right and Wrong Way
Episode 21 of How to Play Chess

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A Cascade of Short, Brutal Chess Games!
Episode 9 of How to Play Chess
Errors are common among players at all levels. We fall into traps, walk headfirst into an opponent's tactic, or simply miss a good move or hidden vulnerability. Review several ways a game can go wrong, from the quick "fool's mate" to many of the short, brutal takedowns from famous matches.
The World of Chess
Episode 1 of How to Play Chess
Crossing lines of social class, language barriers, and national boundaries, played in family living rooms and local chess parlors and online games around the world, chess is a truly universal pastime. Discover the basics of the game and how it began; what each piece is worth and how it moves;…
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.
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.
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…
Legendary Attacking Greats of Chess
Episode 8 of How to Play Chess
Famous chess players are some of the most fascinating figures in history. Enrich your understanding of tactics by learning about four of the most famous attacking players who ever lived: Paul Morphy, Alexander Alekhine, Mikhail Tal and Garry Kasparov. Examine several of their games to get a feel for their…
Chess Heroes of the Romantic Age
Episode 10 of How to Play Chess
Step back to an era of gaslights and chess cafes in old Europe. The "romantic era of chess" of the 18th and 19th century was filled with raucous characters who employed swashbuckling tactics to please a crowd. Meet three famous players--Joseph Henry Blackburne, Adolph Anderssen, and Baron Ignatz von Kolisch--and…
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…
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.
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.
Legendary Teachers Who Transformed Chess
Episode 17 of How to Play Chess
Meet several key players who advanced the game from the Romantic to the Modern era. In addition to learning about the personalities of players such as Andre Philidor, Wilhelm Steinitz, Siegbert Tarrasch, and Aron Nimzowitsch, you'll study some of their most interesting games to get a feel for how chess…
Chess Endgames and the King’s Magical Powers
Episode 18 of How to Play Chess
While you must have tactical and positional skills to be a formidable chess player, learning the strategy behind a successful endgame is crucial to bringing your understanding of chess to the next level. This first of three lessons on oft-neglected endgame strategy introduces you to the powers of the king.…