Learning to play chess with ChessBase

by Albert Silver
8/1/2022 – As a chess site, it is not an exaggeration to say that the first and foremost obligation is to have the means to teach the game. ChessBase has programs such as the Fritz & Chesster series, but another way is through the Learn Chess app in the ChessBase Account, a beginner courses, which teaches the moves and then the core fundamentals. Here is a small tour.

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Although not immediately obvious in the list of app available to ChessBase Account users, there is an app created and dedicated to teaching chess from scratch. This app does far more than just teach the moves, it also teaches fundamentals in positional play, tactics, and the endgame!

Link to Learn Chess beginner courses

Rules and exercises

The first page starts with the basics such as mastering the moves of the pieces

This is the first of three beginner courses. The first will start by teaching how all the pieces move, then will proceed to rules such as castling, stalemate, and even basic opening principles to avoid 'analysis paralysis' at the very start.

Here is a sample of the tutorial on castling. The diagram in the lesson is dynamic and you can move the pieces.

After you have reviewed the lesson, you will be able to test your understanding with some basic exercises. Above we can see a multiple choice question to verify the student's understanding of castling rules.

Fritz and Chesster - Learn to Play Chess

Learn to think strategically, try out tricky mental exercises and master fun and exciting challenges – all with a generous helping of chess knowledge.

Mating patterns with pieces

Very logically, the next phase of the course, aka Beginners Course II, shows how the pieces can work to create mating patterns both alone and in tandem with other pieces.

Once again, the course presents its concepts in a very gradual presentation, allowing the new student to become ever more familiar with the dynamics of the pieces.

The exercises are all dynamic, so you can actually play the solution on the board.

If you solve it correctly, you are congratulated and given a follow-up comment.

Tactics and endgames

The final stage of the course really takes the student to the next level by providing ample tutorials on all the classic tactical motifs such as double attacks, pins, skewers, and more.

The lessons are presented with clear explanations and illustrations. The lesson explains:

"Those who understand the typical motifs of double attacks have a huge advantage among amateur players."

Oh, how so very true!

An example of the lesson on double attacks. Here we see the pawn fork, but there will be other forks and types of double attacks.

This introduction is quite thorough. Still, this last stage also does the student a service by providing them with a primer on the most basic endgame concepts such as mating with king and rook against king, opposition with the kings, and finally the rule of the square.

Conclusion

This beginner's course really does go far beyond just teaching the student the rules, it provides them with the tools to progress and defeat their nearest rivals as well as a taste of what lies down the rabbit hole. 

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.
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