Happy American Chess Day

September 1st is American Chess Day. It is often called “The Game of Kings”. Let’s celebrate it by playing chess. You can play chess the old fashioned way with another player in person, or on the computer with opponents from all over the world. Watch the videos from the list below and check out books to improve your skill. 

Videos from Kanopy

The Livingston Public Library offers Livingston cardholders access to Kanopy,  an award-winning video streaming service providing access to independent and documentary films. You can learn how to play chess by watching the videos.

How to Play Chess: Lessons from an International Master

Video 12 hours 34 minutes

Chess is a sport, a science, and an art. For more than a thousand years, people around the world have enjoyed this game of skill and tactics and intellectual prowess. From Parisian nightclubs to Hollywood films to everyday dining rooms and dens, you can find people furrowing their brows in concentration over their next strategic move. The fun of the game is that anyone can play, and there is always something more to learn—especially with the right guide.

Casting, Checkmate, Chess Engines, Draws

Video 37 minutes

Complete your review of the basics of chess—including how to castle, the difference between checkmate and stalemate, and the etiquette of play. Then shift your attention to some astonishing aspects of the game and find out about simultaneous exhibitions, blindfolded play, and chess computers.

Must-Know Tactical Patterns in Chess

Video 27 minutes

Build your arsenal of tactical skills by looking for winning patterns on the board. After covering three go-to punches-pins, skewers, and forks-Mr. Silman turns to decoys, double attacks, discovered attacks, and more. Armed with these patterns of play, you now have a major tactical advantage. 

Open Files and the Positional Rook

Video 25 minutes

Almost everyone enjoys tactics, but tactics are not the most important element of the game. Begin the first of several lessons on positional play and chess strategy, starting with the rooks. Learn why and how to create an open file and employ your rooks to best advantage. See examples of these mighty pieces at work.

Livingston Public Library Books & DVD

Learn to Play Chess Like a Boss by Patrick Wolff

How do you make the first move to learn the rules and transform from a pawn to a king? The path to a perfect checkmate is in your hands! In the pages of this book, you’ll find an introduction to all the chess pieces including their strengths and weaknesses, tips on how to protect your pieces and prevent their capture, and guidance on when to attack and defend like a boss. You’ll also find a bonus tear-out card to take your new tactics on the go!

Chess: Beginners & Intermediate Openings, Strategies and Endgames by Hugh Thomas Patterson

Chess is a popular and fascinating game, it’s good for the mind, and satisfying to play with others, in clubs, or alone, in travel, against a computer, or an app. This new book will take you quickly through the movement of the pieces to good opening strategies, middle game techniques, and how to either finish off or defend against your opponent.

100 Endgames You Must Know: Practical Endgame Exercises for Every Chess Player by Jesus de la Villa Garcia

Jesus de la Villa’s worldwide bestseller 100 Endgames You Must Know successfully debunked the myth that endgame theory is complex and endgame books are necessarily tedious. Reviewers praised its clarity and completeness and thousands of players significantly improved their endgame understanding (and their results!). In the past couple of years, De la Villa’s students sometimes complained that when they had to apply what they had studied in 100 Endgames, they didn’t have the material ready at their fingertips.

Amateur’s mind : turning chess misconceptions into chess mastery by Jeremy Silman

This book takes the student on a journey through his own mind and returns him to the chess board with a wealth of new-found knowledge and the promise of a significant gain in strength. Most amateurs possess erroneous thinking processes that remain with them throughout their chess lives. These flaws in their mental armor result in stinging defeats and painful reversals.

1001 Chess Exercises for Club Players: The Tactics Workbook that Also Explains all the Key Concepts by Frank Erwich

Erwich has created a complete tactics book for ambitious club and tournament players. He teaches you how to reach the next level of identifying weak spots in the position of your opponent, recognizing patterns of combinations, visualizing tricks and calculating effectively. Erwich has also included a new and important element: tests that will improve your defensive skills. 

Master Pieces: The Story of Chess: The Pieces, Players and Passion of 1,000 years  by Gareth Williams

This text explores the long history of chess with a mix of historical fact and colorful anecdote. The book features 30 of the most influential chess sets, because the chess pieces themselves tell a story of war, revolution, peace and religion, technology, art and sport.

Amateur’s Mind: Turning Chess Misconceptions into Chess Mastery by Jeremy Silman

This book takes the student on a journey through his own mind and returns him to the chess board with a wealth of new-found knowledge and the promise of a significant gain in strength. Most amateurs possess erroneous thinking processes that remain with them throughout their chess lives. These flaws in their mental armor result in stinging defeats and painful reversals.

The Survival Guide to Competitive Chess by John Emms

John Emms reveals the secrets of how to maximize potential and improve results in competitive play. Drawing upon years of his own experience, Emms tackles the all-important practical aspects of chess playing: studying ones own strengths and weaknesses, and those of prospective opponents; concentration and manner at the chessboard; handling time trouble; tackling cheats; playing for a win or a draw; saving difficult positions; avoiding silly mistakes; building an opening repertoire; using chess computers and software; choosing the right tournaments and much more besides.

Coach Yourself: A Complete Guide to Self Improvement at Chess by Neil McDonald

Many players are serious about their chess but become stuck at a certain playing strength. It’s rarely a lack of talent or practice or opening knowledge that holds them back. Usually they get left behind because they don’t know how to make best use of the time they have available to study chess. This book addresses this problem and is your self-improvement plan. It shows you how to work on your own games to root out mistakes.

Us Chess Federation Official Rules Of Chess

The U.S. Chess Federation’s Official Rules of Chess is the only official rulebook for chess. Serious players at every level as well as chess club teachers, directors, and tournament sponsors should have it on hand during every match. This new edition features the latest rules, including guidelines for the popular game of speed chess, an updated quick rating system, and the latest conventions of governing tournaments. It also contains explanations of every legal move, a guide to calculating lifetime rankings, guidelines for sponsoring and running a tournament, and a lesson on how to read and write chess notation.

Survive & Beat Annoying Chess Openings: The open Games by Eric Schiller

There are hundreds of annoying opening traps used to defeat unprepared chess players. Survive and Beat Annoying Chess Openings prepares beginning and intermediate players to meet them all and teaches them how to set traps to work in their favor.

303 Tricky Checkmates: [Two, Three & Four Move Checkmates] by Fred Wilson

Both a fascinating challenge for chess players and a great training tool, “301 Tricky Checkmates” is a fun and entertaining compendium of two- and three-move checkmates for the advanced beginner, intermediate, and expert player. The examples provided, drawn from actual games, illustrate a wide range of chess tactics.

A Kid’s Guide to Chess: Learn the Game’s Rules, Strategies, Gambits, and the Most Popular Moves to Beat Anyone! by Ellisiv Reppen

Learn all of the basics like how the pieces move and then progress to the more complicated ideas behind the best moves for the different phases of the game. This book offers something for beginners who have never picked up a chess piece as well as more advanced instruction for experienced learners who are looking to become expert players.

300 Most Important Tactical Chess Positions by Thomas Engqvist

A comprehensive book from the Swedish International Master Thomas Engqvist for understanding the most important tactical chess positions in the opening of a game, the middle game and the endgame. It cuts to the chase on the must useful tactical positions at each stage of the game. Knowing the positions is one thing but this experienced coach shows you how to create them, even out of nothing, in the spirit of Tal and Alekhine.

My First Chess Book: 35 Easy and Fun Chess-based Activities for Children Aged 7 Years + by Jessica E. Prescott

Chess is easy to learn, and anyone can play it. Jessica E Prescott teaches you how you can get good at it—and start winning. Improve your skills through 35 fun activities—this isn’t just a textbook about the rules of the game! Why not have a game of Pawn Football (pawns line up at their starting rank and race to the other side), or do the Queen Dance (make a checkmate using only a queen and king)? Try Scholar’s Mate—the four-move checkmate every beginner needs to know—and when you’re really good, play Bughouse, a crazy four-person game with two chess sets.

Algorithms [videorecording (DVD)] 

100 min

In India, a group of boys dream of becoming Chess Masters, driven by a man with a vision. But this is no ordinary chess and these are no ordinary players. This is a documentary on the thriving but little known world of Blind Chess in India. Filmed over three years, it follows three talented boys from different parts of India and a totally blind player turned pioneer who not only aims to situate India on a global stage but also wants all blind children to play chess.

-Hongmei, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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