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Step-by-Step Training Guide
Welcome to the ChessLecture.com Step-by-Step Training Guide. This is designed to help you improve your game through a progressive process. All of the videos below have been selected from our archive. Send us feedback on this guide!

Rating: 0 - 600
OBJECTIVES:
  • Don't give away any free pieces.
  • Try to develop your pieces and control the center in the opening.

  • COMPETENCIES:
  • Rules of the Game
  • Master checkmating your opponent with a Queen

  • VIDEOS:

    The Chesslecture Training Guide: from 0 - 600

    How the Pieces Move

    What is Check and Checkmate

    What is Castling and When Can I Do It?

    The En Passant Capturing Rule

    Basic Checkmates Q + K vs. K, R + R vs. K


    HOMEWORK: Problems 1-50; Mate in Ones from Chess by Laszlo Polgar


    Rating: 600 - 800
    OBJECTIVES:
  • Be a Materialist; no free stuff!
  • Improve your ability to develop your pieces quickly and control the center in the opening.
  • Learn to take your time

  • COMPETENCIES:
  • Learn the basic chess terms
  • Learn to checkmate with a rook
  • Master the mate in one

  • VIDEOS:

    The Chesslecture Training Guide: from 600 - 800

    Mating Basics K+R vs. K

    Mate on f7

    Basic Tactics: Pinned Pieces

    Introduction to the most basic terms

    The Principles of Opening Play


    HOMEWORK: Problems 50-306; from Chess by Laszlo Polgar


    Rating: 800 - 1000
    OBJECTIVES:
  • Perfect your dogmatic existence as a strict materialist

  • COMPETENCIES:
  • Master K+P vs K
  • Learn the names of the openings
  • Do all of the Mates in One again!

  • VIDEOS:

    The Chesslecture Training Guide: from 800 - 1000

    K+P vs K

    The Gang Fight

    What is a Tempo in Chess

    Openings Overview 1.e4

    Openings Overview 1.d4

    Openings Overview 1.c4/Nf3

    Openings Overview a4,b4,g4,h4


    HOMEWORK: Problems Mates in One, 1-306 from beginning to end again from Chess by Laszlo Polgar


    Rating: 1000 - 1200
    OBJECTIVES:
  • Try to understand how time, material and quality of position are interrelated

  • COMPETENCIES:
  • Learn an opening against 1.e4
  • Master the B+B vs K checkmate
  • Memorize the game Morphy vs The Duke
  • Develop your mating patterns with Mates in Two

  • VIDEOS:

    The Chesslecture Training Guide: from 1000 - 1200

    Why Shaq Plays Center

    Bishop & Bishop vs King Checkmate

    Balance of Time, Material and Quality of Position: Part I

    Tactical Motifs: 101: Forks Part I

    Strategic Decisions 104: Where Should I Put My Rooks?

    Tactical Motifs: 102: Forks Part II

    Tactical Motifs: 103: Skewers and X-Ray Attacks

    Tactical Motifs: 104: Discovered Attacks and Armageddon

    Tactical Motifs: 105: In-Between Moves (Zwischenzugs)

    Tactical Motifs: 201: Trapped Pieces

    Eight-Dimensional Chess

    Strategic Decisions: 101: When Should I Chase the Bishop?

    Strategic Decisions: 102: When Should I Trade Queens?

    Exploiting a Lead in Development

    Endgame Strategies: Critical Rules You Should Know

    The ABC's of Pawn Breaks


    HOMEWORK: Problems 307-400; Mates in Two from Chess by Laszlo Polgar. Difficult!


    Rating: 1200 - 1400
    OBJECTIVES:
  • Become comfortable in sacrificing material for tempi and quality of position

  • COMPETENCIES:
  • Master the B+N vs. K checkmate
  • Continue developing your mating patterns
  • Learn to critique your own play
  • Learn an opening against d4

  • VIDEOS:

    The Chesslecture Training Guide: from 1200 - 1400

    A Universal Training Program

    B+N vs. K

    Sending Your Kids Off to College

    Tesuji of the Knight

    Tactical Motifs 202: Reversing the Move Order

    Tactical Motifs 203: Mating Nets

    Tactical Motifs 204: Berserker Pawns

    The Greek Gift

    Double Bishop Sacrifice

    Pawn Endgames: Zugzwang Opposition and Triangulation

    Rubinstein Endgames: King in the Center

    Rubinstein Endgames: King in the Center: Part II

    Capablanca Endgames: Part I

    Capablanca Endgames: Part II

    Capablanca Endgames: Part III

    Master Endgames: Two Bishops vs Two Knights

    Active Defense in the Endgame

    Value of King Position in the Endgame

    A Pawn is Worth Three Tempi: Part I

    A Pawn is Worth Three Tempi: Part II

    When Doubled Pawns Are Good

    Two Minors vs. a Rook: Part I


    Do twenty annotated games of your choice
    HOMEWORK: Problems 400-1000; from Chess by Laszlo Polgar


    Rating: 1400 - 1600
    OBJECTIVES:
  • Learn to talk to your pieces

  • COMPETENCIES:
  • Master the Lucena and Philidor positions
  • Develop your white opening repertoire
  • Master Q vs. Rook

  • VIDEOS:

    The Chesslecture Training Guide: from 1400-1600

    Lucena Position: Rook Endgames Part I

    Philidor Position: Rook Endgames Part II

    Endgame Tactics: Queen vs. Rook

    The Greek Gift

    Shifting Gears Between Strategy and Tactics

    Master Endgames: Good Knight vs. Bad Bishop

    Learn From Your Fellow Amateurs, Episode I

    Learn From Your Fellow Amateurs, Episode III

    The Pin as an Element of Positional Play; Part I Nimzovich

    Petrosian's Classic Xchange Sacrifice

    The Advantage of the Bishop Pair

    The Advantage of the Bishop Pair: Part II

    Fundamentals of Isolated Queen Pawn Positions: Part I

    Fundamentals of Isolated Queen Pawn Positions: Part II

    Fundamentals of Isolated Queen Pawn Positions: Part III

    The Hook and Ladder Trick

    Sending Your Kids Off to College


    Do 40 annotated games of your choice
    HOMEWORK: Problems 1000-2000; from Chess by Laszlo Polgar


    Rating: 1600 - 1800
    OBJECTIVES:
  • Develop your calculation abilities

  • COMPETENCIES:
  • Deep calculation in pawn endgames
  • Develop a system against Nf3/c4

  • VIDEOS:

    The Chesslecture Training Guide: from 1600-1800

    Pawn Endgames 101

    Pawn Endgames 102

    Stategic Decisions 105: Using Your Rooks Together

    Pawn Endgames 103: Triangulation and Shouldering

    Pawn Endgames 104: GM Blunders

    Pawn Endgames 105: Queen versus Pawn and Other Studies

    The Color Complex

    Learn From Your Fellow Amateurs, Episode II

    Balance of Time, Material and Quality of Position: Part II

    The Queenside Majority

    The Minority Attack in the Queen's Gambit Declined

    The Advantage of a Central Pawn Majority

    Move Orders in the Opening

    The Calculation of Variations

    The Novotny Theme (Interference) in Study and Practice


    Do 100 annotated games of your choice
    HOMEWORK: Problems 2000-4462; from Chess by Laszlo Polgar Problems 1-354; from Encyclopedia of Chess Endings by Kalinichenko (Note that the first 76 are very challenging) If you can't find Kalinichenko then Problems 1-403 from Encyclopedia of Chess Endgames (Vol. I; Pawn)


    Rating: 1800 - 2000
    OBJECTIVES:
  • Become confidant and strong in the rook endgame

  • COMPETENCIES:
  • Rook Endgames
  • Review and reconstruct your black opening repertoire

  • VIDEOS:

    Rook Endgames 101: A Review

    Rook Endgames 102

    Rook Endgames 103

    Rook and Pawn Endings

    Rook Endgames: A Real Life Example

    Yugoslav with a Rook Ending

    Rook Endgames by the Masters

    Two Minors vs. a Rook: Part II

    The Minority Attack in the Queen's Gambit Declined

    A Paradigmatic Bind Position

    Steinitzian School of Defense: Part I

    Steinitzian School of Defense: Part II

    Steinitzian School of Defense: Part III

    A Practical Endgame Example from Linares

    Endgame of the Week: 3+1=3: Part I

    Endgame of the Week: 3+1=3: Part II


    Do 200 annotated games of your choice
    HOMEWORK: Problems 1-4462; from Chess by Laszlo Polgar Problems 355-960; from Encyclopedia of Chess Endings by Kalinichenko Problems 1-712 ; from Encyclopedia of Chess Endgames (Vol. II; Green Rook);


    Rating: 2000 - 2200
    OBJECTIVES:
  • Become more sensitive to dynamic imbalances

  • COMPETENCIES:
  • Understand bishops of opposite color
  • Master the exchange sacrifice
  • Develop your ability to weigh the relative value of the pieces

  • VIDEOS:

    Opposite Bishop Endings; Not Always a Draw

    Bishops of Opposite Color

    Fundamental Positions: Opposite Colored Bishops

    A Master’s Example: Why Bishops are Better than Rooks

    A Master’s Example: Why Rooks are Better than Bishops

    The Practicalities of an Exchange Sacrifice

    The Exchange Sacrifice: A Personal Account

    The Exchange Sacrifice on c3 in the Sicilian: pt I

    The Exchange Sacrifice on c3 in the Sicilian: pt II: The Dragon

    Avoiding Queen Exchanges When the Enemy King is Exposed

    Balance of Time, Material and Quality of Position: Part III

    The Six Point Bishop


    Do 400 annotated games of your choice
    HOMEWORK: Encyclopedia of Chess Combinations by Kalinichenko (Do the whole book) If you can't find Kalinichenko then do everything in Anthology of Chess Combinations (Do the whole book)


    Rating: 2200 - 2400
    OBJECTIVES:
  • Master the minor piece endgames
  • Become friendly with the endgame study

  • COMPETENCIES:
  • Rework the openings in which you are scoring poorly
  • 2N+K vs K+P
  • R + rook pawn vs. Bishop
  • R+B vs R

  • VIDEOS:

    The Chesslecture Training Guide 2200-2400

    2N+K vs K+P

    Rook and Rook Pawn vs. Bishop

    Introduction to Knight Endgames

    A Practical Knight Endgame

    Two Bs and a Rook Pawn vs a Rook

    A Salov Bishop Endgame

    An Instructive Bishop Endgame

    Endgame of the Week: Knight and Pawn vs. Bishop

    Endgame Studies Pt I

    Endgame Studies Pt II

    The Development of a Player’s Style



    HOMEWORK: Problems 961-2991; from Encyclopedia of Chess Endings by Kalinichenko Work through Endgame Virtuoso by Vassily Smyslov Work through 713-1727 from Vol II of Encyclopedia of Chess Endgames and the whole of vol. III (Orange Rook)


    Rating: 2400+
    OBJECTIVES:
  • Improve!

  • COMPETENCIES:
  • Now is the time to take the openings seriously
  • Improve your accuracy and vision in calculation

  • VIDEOS:

    Players Point of View: IM Paschall vs. WGM Radziewicz

    Players Point of View: IM Kraai vs. GM Yermolinsky

    Kramnik Wins Dortmund 2006

    Nuke the Sicilian! How to Sac Your Queen on Move Six and Win

    Think Like a Grandmaster: Part III

    Ulf Andersson's Positional Mastery

    Eye on Linares: Ivanchuk vs Topalov: Round 2

    Think Like a Grandmaster: Part IV

    Karpov Swallows His Own Medicine

    Kasparov/Karpov: A Bishop Entombed

    Epic Battles: Part IV (The Second Half)

    My Best Games from the Spice Cup Invitational: Part I



    HOMEWORK: Perfect your Chess by Volokitin, Grabinsky


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