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Chess-Steps Series (The World's Best Chess Instruction Program!)

Rob Brunia, Cor van Wijgerden (Author)

Reading Level: Ages 4 to 94


Chess-Steps is a step by step method for teaching and learning chess. It is used by some of the best chess teachers in New York City. The combination of the workbooks and manuals creates a school like situation. All lessons are structured and contain clear goals. The books cover everything from how the pieces move in Step 1 to important endgame strategies in Steps 5 and 6.

Chess-Steps was developed in 1987 by Rob Brunia and Cor van Wijgerden in order to teach children to play chess. Embraced by the Royal Dutch Chess Federation, Chess-Steps became the single most popular method in The Netherlands. It spread throughout Europe and is now available world wide. Chess-Steps is praised as one of the most innovative chess instructional programs in the world and can be used in groups, for individual lessons, or at home for self-study.

This step by step method consists of six steps. Each step has a workbook with exercises and summaries for the student and an accompanying manual for the teacher/trainer/parent. The exercises in the workbooks are categorized by subject. A typical page has a title indicating the problem and 12 diagrammed puzzles.

Stepping Stones is intended for young children from ages 4 to 8. Older students may start with the Step 1 Workbook. Workbook Extra and Workbook Plus offer additional exercises and information at each level. The manuals are designed for teachers and also contain the answers for the workbooks. The answers can also be found online at Chess Tutor is a computer program for learning chess with instructions and over 1800 exercised. Only Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 are currently available.

The manuals contain complete scripted lessons for the teacher, as well as aids that address the learning stages and development of children. The answers of the workbook exercises can be found after each subject of the manual. The books are written in such a way that the actual level of the teacher's chess knowledge is of lesser importance.

Most attention is given to tactics. The strength of Chess-Steps is that it chops all tactics into little building blocks. Solving a chess problem with a subject is significantly easier then a problem without. Not only are all tactics categorized, Chess-Steps offers a search strategy for every subject as well. Students will develop a feeling for tactical positions, a sense for when to be alert and take advantage of badly placed pieces and weaknesses. The cooperation between pieces becomes more important with each Step.

In the first stages of learning chess, positional play is far less important. Games are decided by blunders. Once players have reached a decent level and losing points in one or two moves deep becomes rare, positional play increases in importance. Chess-Steps starts dealing with positional factors in Step 4. The stronger a player becomes the more effective it is to analyze his/her games. The analysis of a game is a great opportunity to address the positional aspects of chess.

The workbooks are filled with exercises. Ideally every student has his/her own workbook (just like school) to work from. This way the trainer can easily follow the student's progress. Students with 3 or more mistakes a page may need extra attention. To solve the problems the student can draw lines (especially in the easy exercises) or notate the moves under the diagrams.

Playing a lot of games is very important to improve your chess. When a student only solves chess puzzles, but never plays games, he/she won't be able to implement the learned knowledge into their games. Solving Step 4 problems correctly in your workbook, doesn't do you much good if you still miss Step 1 moves from your opponent. If the level of a student's game doesn't equal the level of solving chess puzzles, it's better to repeat a Step with workbook Extra or train in workbook Plus before proceeding to the next.


Chess-Steps Stepping Stones 1 Workbook
Chess-Steps Stepping Stones 2 Workbook
Chess-Steps Step 1 Workbook (US Chess Federation Rating up to 800)
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Step 1 EXTRA
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Step 1 PLUS
Chess-Steps Step 2 Workbook (US Chess Federation Rating up to 1400)
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Step 2 EXTRA
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Step 2 PLUS
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Step 2 Thinking Ahead
Chess-Steps Step 3 Workbook (US Chess Federation rating up to 1600)
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Step 3 EXTRA
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Workbook Step 4 (United States Chess Federation rating up to 1750)
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Step 4 EXTRA
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Step 4 PLUS
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Workbook Step 5
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Step 5 EXTRA
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Step 5 PLUS
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Workbook Step 6
Chess-Steps Manual Step 1
Chess-Steps Manual Step 2
Chess-Steps Manual Step 3
Chess-Steps Manual Step 4
Chess-Steps Manual Step 5
Chess-Steps Manual Step 6
Chess Tutor Step 1 CD-ROM
Chess Tutor Step 2 CD-ROM
Chess Tutor Step 3 CD-ROM
Chess-Steps Learning Chess Step 3 PLUS