Chess Lab for Amateurs:

I enjoy teaching people how to improve their chess play.  This page is designed to show new or casual players how to improve their game. Please contact me at if you have questions or would like individual lessons.  As I find good ideas on the process of learning chess I will continue to add to this site.

Basic Stuff:

** Knowing the Rules of chess is very important.

** How do you know who is winning? Part of the process is to keep track of the material value of the pieces on the board. Some pieces are more valuable than others. After you visit the Value of Chess Pieces try to understand why these pieces are assigned this value.

Games showing why each move was made:

** Here is a game I played in the Corpus Christi Optimist Open. This was in the 2nd round and my opponent had won the first game and was the highest rated player in the tournament. I played white. Each of us  had 45 minutes to make all of our moves. Click on the link below to play over the game. I have annotated almost all the moves so you can get a feel for my thinking during the game.  McCorkle v Valasquez 

** Here is my study and annotations on a game by Charles Jaffe vs Jose Raul Capablanca in New York 1911. Capablanca was World Champion from 1920 until losing the title in 1927 to Alexander Alekhine. He is a very good player to study and I plan to show more of his games here. I have included the questions I had as I went thru the game, many of which are answered in the later notes. Hope you enjoy it. Jaffe v Capablanca

** This is a Blitz (5 minute) game showing some common errors: McCorkle v Montyesq. Here is another Blitz game with notes. anathanatoid1360bobbymac310

** This is a good game by Frank Marshall against Amos Burns in 1907. Marshall was a great attacking player and many manouvers and opening gambits are his invention: Marshall vs Burns - 1907

Instructional Sites and Videos:

** This link shows how to force checkmate with a King and a Queen against a King.

** video on how to checkmate with a King and Rook against a King.

The links below are articles on improving your chess. You can visit and play chess here for free, but you need to join to get the full value of the learning resources available.

** Beginning Mating Patterns Part 1 is the first in a series of articles  by IM Silman on common checkmate patterns. Pattern recognization is a key point in a players ability at chess.

** This link will take you to a very good engame lesson published on The lesson is by IM Bryan Smith on an endgame break thru. There are a lot of such lessons on and I highly recommend this site for chessplayers wanting to improve their game. The Epic Breakthrough.



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