Online Resources

Please find the list of resources for students to access. An emphasis has been placed on identifying FREE resources. This page includes mostly links to videos, blogs, websites, downloads, and some CII developed materials. We will continue to update this site, so check back for more and let me know if a link no longer works.


The Chess Magnet School provides an on-line tutorial for the rules of the chess:

The United States Chess Federation also has some introductory information

Learn to play chess from these two free videos from


  • Arena is a free Graphical User Interface (GUI) for chess. Arena assists you in analyzing and playing games as well as in testing chess engines. It runs on Windows XP or higher or on Linux with Wine 1.0 or higher.
    • Download the application in the "Download" section. I recommend the Arena 3.5 setup for easy installation
  • Houdini is a world class chess engine. Current version 4.0 sells for €39.95 but version 1.5 is free and can be downloaded for free.

TACTICS (Chess Puzzels) Online

This could fall just about any category, but since Chess Tactics are so vital, I am putting this at the top of the list.

  • Idea Chess: Chess tactics organized by winning material and checkmate. A nice computer interface for chess tactics programs and an android app that can be downloaded to your tablet or phone.
  • ChessTempo: Free Unlimited Chess Tactics. Other features are premium service
  • (see more on this site, below). You only get 10 free per day unless you have a paid membership.
  • A new site that I just added to my list. In addition to standard tactics, there is a ery nice with innovative training tool with puzzles on opening moves.


  • Free Internet Chess Server - The name says it all. Requires downloading freeware, but it makes playing chess online so much easier and faster.



This has become my favorite all-around site. There is lots of "free stuff" but I must admit that I have a paid membership that gives me access to a lot more of the great stuff on this website. Training videos, a tactics trainer, chess mentor, videos, chess tv, and game play.

Click here to see an introductory video.

Click here to see the membership options including what is offered for free

As with many online sites, you get some content free on most of the different stuff and with premium memberships you get additional access and usage. I float in between Gold and Platinum, which runs me between $2.50 and $4.00 per month. My handle is ChessHodina....please look me up and list me as a referral if you join!

My recommendations for student learning on this site are:

This site is for kids 12 and under. There are similar features as but it is build for kids. There are special account controls that can be administered by the Chess Coach and the Parent. The Chess Videos are made for kids and are well done. The pricing plan is built for a scholastic chess club. You can get 20 memberships for 4 months for $100; that's $5 per kid.

Click here to see an introductory video

Some our scholastic players found this site. I checked it out and think it is quite nice. There is a training tool that I hadn't seen before - an opening trainer. The opening trainer doesn't test your memorization skills, though. Rather it gives you an opening position and asks you for 2-4 good moves. Its very principled and well worth the time.

This is a free chess site that let's you practice tactics, checkmate, and endgames. You can play online against other players as well. This is a great alternative to if you are looking for a free site and don't mind a few advertisements.

Chess Tactics Server

This website is free online database of chess problems (tactics). You will need to register with a user name and email address. A password will be sent to your email address. Every player aspiring to improve must dedicate time to practicing tactics. Start here for free. Its a reasonable interface (for free) but if you want more, then try out the chess tactics puzzles on

Chess Cafe

A great website for the chess enthusiast. There are lots of great online content. You won't be able to read all of the columns on this website. So here are couple of my favorites that we use in our chess clubs.

United States Chess Federation

JRobiChess - Blogging and Vlogging the Great Game of Chess

I guess the "Vlogging" is the video equivalent of blogging. I put JRobiChess in my video links below, but he has other very good blogs, downloads, and tools that are worth checking out.

Kennilworth Chess Club

I stumbled across the website just recently, but was impressed the the great articles and nice web interface that was used where you can play through the games online.

Chess Base Online Database

This free online database has tens of millions of games stored online. Go to this website, enter the first several moves of a games and click search. You will get a list of all of the games that have been played from that starting position. Click on the game to view. Click on "Tree" and you'll see a list of the different moves played from that position.


This website dedicated to chess videos. Take and look at tell me what you think. You'll need to register a username and password, but this is protect the content of the website as the videos are uploaded by fellow chess players.

Visit their User Guide at: before getting started.

Here are some of my favorite YouTube channels. These YouTube channels are well index with good quality chess instructional video. Watch embeded video below for an example, which demonstrates how to move the pieces:

Can't find what your looking for, then try this chess video search tool


True, these download sites have lots of good chess content, but I want to get you to the downloads first.

  • ChessBase Light, from Chess Base on
    • Download ChessBase Light. You can replay games from the ChessBase Library of master games. Turn on the free chess enginer, Fritz, to explain why moves that look good to you might actually be a mistake. Many features are disabled in this free version including your ability to save games or changes.
    • Once you have downloaded ChessBase Light, you'll want to download some games to view. ChessBase, along with many websites, have free games to download.