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5 Ways you Need to Engage with Chess


Collage of Chess of Chess Pieces


When people learn to play chess, some get the chess bug, meaning they never want to stop playing; they play for hours a day, months at a time.  There is more to chess than simply playing. There are options to otherwise engage with it. These can be helpful in honing chess skills, and generating further interest and respect for the game. I would argue that these are 5 necessary ways to engage with chess. 


Read on to learn what those ways are.


Chess Movies


Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) 


Searching for Bobby Fischer is a movie based on the true story of International Master (IM) Josh Waitzkin, who as a kid discovers his love for chess after seeing people playing chess in the park. The movie covers his journey as a chess player from being a novice to becoming a chess prodigy after being coached by a Russian chess master. Searching for Bobby Fischer shows how chess helps him develop a bond with his mother and father, Therefore, it is great for the entire family. Watch Searching for Bobby Fischer on Paramount +, Hoopla, or Showtime TV.



Queen of Katwe (2016) 


Queen of Katwe is another great family movie that follows the story of Ugandan Woman’s Candidate Master (WCM) Phiona Mutesi as a kid. Queen of Katwe shows Phiona’s family hardships struggle with poverty to being recruited by a missionary to learn chess from him and compete in chess tournaments. Phiona excels at chess through all her hardships, including almost losing her coach. She eventually became one of the first female chess players in Ugandan history. The Queen of Katwe excellently shows how chess can help students persevere through tough circumstances.  Watch Queen of Katwe exclusively on Disney Plus. 



Brooklyn Castle (2012)


Brooklyn Castle is a documentary that follows the esteemed Intermediate School 318 (I.S 318) chess team of Bronx, New York. Brooklyn Castle follows their experience during and on their way to the 2012 U.S. High School National Chess Championship. The school faces the dilemma of possibly forgoing the Nationals due to budget cuts at I.S 318. However, because of the hard work of the educators and principal of the school in fundraising, the students make it to the tournament and you have to watch to find out the result! This is a great movie to get kids interested in competitive play. Watch the movie on Tubi TV, Apple Tv, or Fubo TV.


Chess Articles


Chess articles help to enrich the knowledge of the game, offer new perspectives, and can be instructive as well (Like the article you are reading now). For those who like to read, this is a great option with hundreds of thousands of articles in existence, you will find something to suit your tastes. 



Instructional Videos


Always continue to learn! Chess is a game of life-long learning that if you like to win, requires you to learn from past mistakes and fill in any gaps in your knowledge to progress. Instructional videos are great for visual/auditory learners who may not like to read or have the time to read (although reading is essential to those capable). For those who learn best by physically engaging with the material (kinesthetic learning), you can always pull out a chess board and follow along. Watch some instructional videos designed for the whole family here at https://www.chessexpresskids.com/videos



Chess Books



Reading is important! I understand that you may hate to read, but that does a huge disservice to yourself. There is a quote that helped me become someone who enjoys reading. “Read what you love until you love to read”. If you love chess, reading chess books would be a great starting point to develop the benefits of reading while also reaping the benefits of your love for chess. Chess books often hold a ton of specific information for your desired goals that will enhance your knowledge of those goals more than any other form of media. Want to learn a new opening? Want to study Rook endgames? Want to learn to think tactically? There is a chess book for you! There are books dedicated to these subjects that will improve your chess play and appreciation for the game. 


Book Recommendations:


-Back to Basics: Strategy by GM Valeri Beim
-Silman's Complete Endgame Course by IM Jeremy Silman
-Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess by Stuart Margulies and Donn Mosenfelder


Chess Puzzles


The holy grail of non-chess-playing chess: Chess Puzzles! Solving chess puzzles consistently grants riches of benefits. Chess puzzles are essential for developing strategy, tactics, and pattern recognition. If you are not improving in chess, you probably are not practicing enough chess puzzles. I can write an entire book on the benefits of chess puzzles but until then...Practice unlimited chess puzzles at lichess.com.


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