Site hosted by Build your free website today!

  Article # 1  for CV Chess 

  Click  HERE   to go to the list of chess problems for this site.

"Starting out – Your first steps in chess"

By A.J. Goldsby I (main site -

July 21st, 2003.


"Hi!" I would like to introduce myself. My name is A.J. Goldsby I. I am a USCF LIFE-Master. The President of your organization, Mr. L. Causey, has asked me to do a regular series of articles for CV-Chess. I was very pleased and proud to say "yes" to Mr. Causey’s request.
(These articles will also be covered on-line on my "Games 4" … HOME PAGE.   See item number FIVE. {# .5}
Make sure you check out the on-line version of this article …  {you are here now};  
each one of the positions has its OWN web page. And the examples are examined 
in GREAT detail!!!)

I have also told Lamar that I would do a "Game of The Month" for your organization. This is a fairly well-annotated game – the first one runs about six double-column pages – and this (hopefully) will be printed in your newsletter and also made available on your website. This will be exclusive to CV-Chess, and will NOT be found anywhere else.

I thought I would start out with one article … where I could just cover the basics. Let’s say you just recently took up chess. I wanted to write an article basically giving you a few pointers. At the same time, I did not want to bore the more experienced reader. So I decided to make this a "dual" effort. Let me explain what I mean. In the first example, (on the left); I will offer a very basic King and Pawn ending. But right next to it, (on the right); I will offer a very advanced K+P ending.

So let’s get started, shall we? 

So you have taken up chess, and decided to get serious at it? The FIRST thing you should do is make some commitments! You should make a concise list of your chess goals … all of the things you would like to accomplish. Make it positive. ("I will study chess 1-2 hours a day." "I will be 1600 in two years." "I am going to be the best player in my school in 3 years." That sort of thing.)
It must be written down neatly and posted in a place where you will look at it every day!

The second thing you need to know is that you will require a lot of help and support from your parents. You are going to need equipment, books, etc. The best thing you can do … and to prove to your parents that you are committed is to set down with one or both of them and have a VERY frank discussion. Explain to them that you very serious about this and that you are in this for the long haul. Volunteer for some extra chores and promise to help around the house more. Ask your parents to get you the basic equipment you need - and promise to take care of it and not leave it laying around the house. And make it more than just words and empty promises! Explain to your folks that chess is GOOD FOR YOU! (Studies have proven that chess cultivates good decision making, develops your higher-level thought processes, develops very advanced problem-solving abilities, and just generally makes you smarter.) Try to get the whole family involved, if you can.

The next thing you should do is make an equipment list. One of the first requirements is a good chess set and board, the ones sold by the  U.S. Chess Federation  usually fit the bill. You will also need a special bag to carry your equipment and a chess clock. You should also get 2 or 3 books almost right away. I highly recommend a general opening reference – like MCO. You should get a good general book on chess. Two good ones are "Chess Fundamentals," by Jose R. Capablanca, and/or "The Complete Chess Player," by Fred Reinfeld. You should also look for a good book on the endgame. (Naturally you don’t have to buy all these books at once, maybe you can just check one out or borrow one from a friend - until you get your own.)
(If you would like to see a more complete list, Check out my "Beginner’s Chess Library" {13 books} on You can also check out my "Best Books" page  on my Geo-Cities site.)

The next thing you need to do is to have a good study program. Set up a regular time for you to study … and stick to it!!! And the very FIRST basic ending you should study is the following:


  A simple K+P end-game: "White to move and win."  (art1_cv-chs_pos1.gif, 07 KB)

(Diagram # 1, White to move.)


  One of the most difficult K+P endings I have ever seen: "White to move and win." (art1_cv-chs_pos2.gif, 07 KB)

(Diagram # 2, White to move.)


Diagram # 1 is a very simple K+P ending, but you MUST be able to master these endings … BEFORE you move on to more complex examples. ALL MASTERS AND TEACHERS AGREE THAT A BASIC MASTERY OF THE "KING-PLUS-PAWN" END-GAMES IS A REQUIRED STEP ON THE ROAD TO CHESS MASTERY!! Diagram # 2 is an extremely complex K+P ending … that has baffled some of the world’s best masters!!
(If you are a beginner, do the ending on the left; {Given first} ... more advanced players can tackle the ending on the right. {Given second.} Solutions will be given at the end of the article. And if you go to the on-line version, you will see I have devoted an entire page, or section of a web page, to a complete and detailed analysis of all of these different endings.) If you would like a complete basic pawn endgame course, see my "Endgames – Lessons & Challenges Page" on my main chess website.

A good way to really master pawn play is to find a study partner and play {my version of} "little game." (Place White’s King on e1; and his pawns on h2, g2, and f2. Place Black’s King on d8; and his 3 pawns on h7, g7, and f7. White moves first. Play both sides … White and Black … 5-10 times in a row. Try timing yourself, say 2-3 minutes a game. Not only will you master the basics of pawn play, you can have a lot of fun as well!)

So one of the first things you need to do is to set up a regular schedule for studying chess, especially if you really want to improve. I highly recommend that you try to study on a daily schedule. If this is not possible, then you should at least try to study 3-4 times a week. 
(I cover this in greater detail on my "Training Page" of my main chess website.) 
A regular study schedule is one of the biggest keys to success!!


  White to move and win - - - one of the most basic of all endings/mates. (art1_cv-chs_pos3.gif, 07 KB)

(Diagram # 3, White to move.)


  A nice problem: "White to move and mate in THREE moves."  (art1_cv-chs_pos4.gif, 07 KB)

(Diagram # 4, White to move and mate in three moves.)


OK, now look at the above two diagrams. The example on the left/given first, (Diagram # 3.); is the basic ending of: "K+Q versus a lone King." If you are a beginner, you MUST master this ending!! It is also a king of "building-block" method – before you can tackle a position full of pieces, you must learn to play a position with just a few pieces … PERFECTLY!! So study this one carefully! (On the right/given second – Diagram # 4 – is a sneaky mate in three. Not real hard, but tough enough for the average player.)



Another tip I would like to give you is to be sure to take full advantage of a computer. (Most households today have one.) Make a list of the good (chess) web sites. There is also a lot of free software available! (For example, go to and download ‘ChessBase Light.’ This is a fairly decent version of the chess software I use.) You also want to get a copy of a good chess program. (Some versions of Crafty can be downloaded for free!) And eventually you will want to get a copy of a good chess program.  Fritz 8.0  and  Junior 8.0  are available from USCF … and can match wits and skill against almost any player!! Properly used, a good chess program can be used as a chess coach and is literally worth 100 times its weight in gold! 
(I will go into this more in a future article.)


  "White to move and win,"  - - -  another basic mate the beginner MUST learn and master!  (art1_cv-chs_pos5.gif, 07 KB)

(Diagram 5, White to move.)


   A VERY sneaky problem - with some tricky twists. {White to move and mate ... in FIVE MOVES.}  (art1_cv-chs_pos6.gif, 08 KB)

(Diagram # 6, White to move and mate in 5 moves.)


OK. Now check out the above two problems. The first one, (Diagram # 5.); is the basic ending of "King-plus-Rook vs. a lone King." This ending is a MUST for any beginner to 1000 rated player. (Even Class "D" players may want to make sure their skill is up to snuff here.) And the second problem given, (Diagram # 6.); is a VERY tricky problem, "White to move, and mate in 5." 
(A former Internet student worked on this for 2 days and did not get it right.)  DON’T  use a computer! Analyze on your own. The whole idea of this exercise is for you to learn and grow as a chess player!

Make sure to study on a regular basis. Make sure you alternate your study through all the phases of the game, (opening, middlegame, ending); on a REGULAR basis!! You may already want to start planning your opening repertoire. Play a fairly slow game against a good opponent at least once a week. RECORD this game, and show it to a stronger player. A GM once told me there were  only THREE  ways to better, and carefully studying your own games is one of them.

Well, that’s it for now. Next article, I will go into more subjects like choosing a mentor and a study partner. How to find your style. Etc. I hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, please drop me a note: A.J. Goldsby I; P.O. Box 11718; Pensacola, FL 32524. Also please study the "Game of the Month" in detail. (I spent 3-4 straight days preparing this game for you! You should try to spend at least FOUR hours - at a minimum - studying it!!)

A.J. Goldsby I, July 25, 2003.

Solution to Diagram # 1.)  1.Ke5 Kf7; 2.Kd6 Kf8; 3.Ke6 Kg8; 4.Kf6 Kh7; 5.Kf7 Kh8; 
6.Kxg6 Kg8; 7.Kxh5 Kg7; 8.Kg4 Kg6; 9.h5+ Kg7; 10.Kf5 Kf7; 11.h6 Kf8; 12.Kf6 Kg8; 
13.g6 Kh8; 14.g7+ Kg8; 15.h7+ Kxh7; 16.Kf7 Kh6; 17.g8Q Kh5; 18.Qg3 Kh6; 
19.Qg6#. 1-0  (Click on the link to explore this ending fully.)  

Solution to Diagram # 2.) 1.Kd1 Kd7; 2.Ke1 Ke7; 3.Kd2 Kd8; 4.Ke2 Ke8; 5.Kd3 Kd7; 
6.Ke3 Kd6; 7.Ke4 Kc6; 8.Kf3 Kd5; 9.Kg3 Kd4; 10.Kh4 Kc3; 11.axb5 axb5; 12.Kh5 Kxb4; 
13.Kg6 Kxb3; 14.Kxf6 Kc3; 15.Ke5 b4; 16.f6 b3; 17.f7 b2; 18.f8Q b1Q; 19.Qc5+ Kd2; 
20.Qf2+ Kc3; 21.Qd4+, ("+/-") and White wins. 1-0

Solution to Diagram # 3.) 1.Qc4 Kd6; 2.Qb5 Kc7; 3.Qa6 Kb8; 4.Qc6 Ka7; 5.Qb5 Ka8; 
6.Kg2 Ka7; 7.Kf3 Ka8; 8.Ke4 Ka7; 9.Kd5 Ka8; 10.Kc6 Ka7; 11.Qb7# 1-0

Solution to Diagram # 4.)  1.Kf7!  (Work it out!)

Solution to Diagram # 5.)  1.Ra4 Ke5; 2.Kg2 Kd5; 3.Kf3 Ke5; 4.Ke3 Kd5; 5.Re4 Kc5; 
6.Rd4 Kb5; 7.Kd3 Kc5; 8.Kc3 Kb5; 9.Rc4 Kb6; 10.Kb4 Kb7; 11.Kb5 Ka7; 12.Rc7+ Ka8; 
13.Kb6 Kb8; 14.Rc1 Ka8; 15.Rc8#. 1-0

Solution to Diagram # 6.)  1.Ba6!!  (Work it out!)

    Click  HERE   to go to  (or return to) my  "Games 4"  Home Page.    

    Click  HERE   to go to (or return to) my   "End-Game School."     

    Click  HERE   to go to (or return to) my  "Page for (dedicated to) Paul Morphy."  


    Click  HERE   to go to (or return to)    "A.J.'s Chess Home Page."     
    (This is my main chess web-site.)   

    Click  HERE   to go to (or return to) my  (Chess) "TRAINING PROGRAM."  

    Click  HERE   to go to (or return to) my  "Article List  for CV-CHESS."  

   This page was last updated on 01/06/05  


  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I  

  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 1995 - 2004.   Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 2005.  

  'counter' (counter.gif, 05 KB)