Chess For Novices - A Guide for Fresh Beginners and Aspiring Novices

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About is a guide for fresh beginners and aspiring novices. We publish easy to follow materials that help chess amateurs learn about the game and improve their play. is created and maintained by Avatara Software.

What is Chess?

"Chess is in its essence a game, in its form an art, and in its execution a science."
- Baron Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa

Chess is a game played between two opponents, who alternate moving pieces on the chessboard. The object is to capture the opposing King, while protecting your own.

When was Chess Invented?

Chess is ancient, probably several thousand years old. The exact origins of chess are shrouded in mystery, and remain a controversial scholarly topic. Famous philosophers, scientists, conquerors, and kings have played chess across the globe. Exact records of games from hundreds of years ago still exist, allowing famous battles from the past to be replayed as if the clock was turned back.

Where is Chess Played?

Chess is played in parks, schools, coffee shops, clubs, and stadiums. It can be played face-to-face, over the internet, and even through the mail.

Who Plays Chess?

Tens of millions of people all over the world play chess. Young and old; male and female; amateur and professional; American, Canadian, English, and all nationalities - chess is truly a worldly game. At the lowest levels, school children play chess for enjoyment and as a way to open their minds to new avenues of thought. At the highest levels, grandmasters compete in world championship matches for millions of dollars.

Why Should I Learn Chess?

There are three compelling reasons to learn chess.

  1. Chess is fun. As the former world champion Tarrasch put it, "Chess, like love, like music, has the power to make people happy."
  2. Chess improves your intelligence and keeps you sharp.
  3. Given time and practice, anyone can become a chess master.