Chess is a game of almost infinite possibilities. Even the most powerful computers struggle with its complexities. History tells us that chess was invented to teach military generals how to win real battles. What makes chess so much fun is the battle of the minds fought out over a board in the space of a few hours. There are few other games that can match chess in its emotional ups and downs. Winning is exhilarating. Defeat can be painful. Luckily for us chess fans, there are ways to get better at playing chess.


The club library has an excellent selection of chess books. If you need advice on what you need, please do reach out to Alan Young, who will pick just the right one for you.


Here’s a selection of some of the best and free online tools available that will improve your play.

Name URL Description
Chessbase This vast database of grandmaster games will help you figure out how the best players play a particular opening.
Tactics If you find yourself making one too many blunders or missing that easy checkmate then you probably need to practice your tactical combinations a bit more. This great tool will help you do just that.
Endgame Simulations The most common endings are Rook and Pawn endings. This great tool will let you practice those and many others.
Lichess Online blitz can be an effective way to test out new ideas or openings before a big game. Lichess is one of the best online sites to get some practice.
agadmator Go through master games in short 10 min videos
GM Danny King Go through master games in short 15 min videos
St Louis Chess Club Go through master games in hour long videos

Smartphone apps

There are an increasing number of good chess training apps. The best high quality ones we’ve found and used are the comprehensive training courses by the publisher Chess King. The links below are for iOS. We’re listing a small selection below and if you need advice on which apps may be right for you, just ask at the club.

Name URL Description
Tactics This version includes 2,200 basic exercises and 1,800 auxiliary exercises, divided into 50 topics.
Strategy 1800-2400 many instructive positions with 18 most important strategic themes such as Advantage in development, Advantage in space, Attack on the king, Attack on the queenside, Weak squares, Pawn structure, Open files and diagonals and others.
Endgames 1600-2400 600 games/lectures, each of them illustrating theoretical and practical endgame methods, and training section, with more than 2400 endgame exercises, classified according to 500 endgame themes

Tournament play

There’s no substitute to tournament play. You should take part in the club tournaments, league and weekend congresses. Playing serious games makes you try harder and gives you a good reason to learn more about the game.