Assuming no previous knowledge of the game, Grandmaster Paul van der Sterren teaches you how to play and draws you into the fascinating world of modern chess.

This carefully crafted chess course is divided into true lessons, each building on what has been learned in the previous ones. Before moving on from a topic, you have the chance to test that you have fully understood it with the help of thoughtfully graded exercises.

This is a 21st-century guide. Throughout, there are references to online chess resources and suggestions for online activities, such as training, playing and live broadcasts, and chess-related social media.

Also dotted throughout the book are pieces of chess lore, practical tips and information about great players past and present.

Grandmaster Paul van der Sterren has won the Dutch Championship on two occasions, and in 1993 reached the Candidates stage of the World Chess Championship. He is an internationally renowned chess writer and editor: he was one of the founding editors of New in Chess, and is author of the bestselling user-friendly opening guide Fundamental Chess Openings.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

“This is a book I can – and will – take into class and use to make points to my beginners. Quite often I want to reach for a book to lend to a beginner and actually that can be quite tricky. This book has filled that void for me and I look forward to more people learning to play our great game because of it” – Carl Portman’s Book Reviews

“Grandmaster Paul van der Sterren comes with a brilliant guide for beginners, where the rules of the game can be learned in no time! Part one of this book is devoted to all the chess rules and section two holds a number of highly instructive lessons, which will take the reader step by step through the main elements of the game. Included are a collection of simple exercises to help the reader to make the transition from merely reading about chess to actually thinking about it” – John Elburg,