How to Get Started in Chess

We aim to use the blog of the Peterborough Chess Club to provide up-to-date information about the club, its members, and its events, but also to host discussions about all-things-chess.  What better topic for the first blog post than ways to get started in a serious way about playing chess.

You know how the pieces move; you know what checkmate is and you’ve even caused one or two to happen, wittingly or not; you even know the more recondite rules like capturing en passant.  Ok, so now what do you do?

Here are some ideas:

  1. Join an internet chess site like (or and work through the free lessons, the tactics puzzles, the visualization exercises, and the videos.  But most importantly: play lots and lots of chess!  Probably better to play longer games (10 minutes or more) than to play “blitz” or “bullet” games if you are a beginner.  Longer games allow you to practice thinking through positions, looking for threats, and putting your lessons to work in real games.
  2. Buy a book.  There are more books written about chess than there are books written about all other games combined.  That may seem daunting, but it means there are many, many good books geared to beginners.  Some excellent ones include Patrick Wolff’s The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chess; James Eade’s Chess for Dummies; Irving Chernev’s Logical Chess; and Yasser Seirawan’s Play Winning Chess.  These are all highly accessible to complete beginners and will take your game to the next level.
  3. Come to the Peterborough Chess Club on Wednesday evenings, 6:45pm to 9:45pm

We hope that the Comments section of this blog will fill up with suggestions!  Tell us what helped you to take your chess game to the next level!  Was it a book, and if so, which one?  Was it something else?


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