Reading the Board

Reading the Board

Learn full board awareness to find the best plan!

Have you ever wondered which pawn to push and why? Have you ever wondered if you should exchange a piece or keep it on the board? Then this course is for you! By learning about different types of positions and how we should act in them we can learn about the entire board. These important strategical ideas are the key to finding the right plan and winning more games!

Here is what you will learn:

  • The difference between open, semi-open, and closed positions
  • Space and how it can be used effectively
  • Pawn structures and pawn chains
  • When to trade pieces and when to avoid the exchange
  • How to deal with pawn tension!

Pawn Structures

Connected pawns can defend each other as they advance. Doubled pawns block each other. Pawns, with no other pawns next to them are isolated and are frequently easy to attack.
3 min
5 Challenges

Pawn Chains

A group of pawns that protect each other on a diagonal is called a pawn chain. The only unprotected pawn in the chain is the base pawn at the back.
5 min
5 Challenges


The more space you control on the board, the more room your pieces have to maneuver, and the less space your opponent has. A great way to claim space is to put your pawns in the center.
4 min
5 Challenges

Open, Closed, Semi-open Games

There are three main categories of positions, in terms of how blocked they are, open, closed, and semi-open. Watch the video to learn how each of these affects your strategy.
7 min
6 Challenges

Push, Capture, or Ignore

Learn how to deal with pawn tension and decide when to push, capture, or play elsewhere.
4 min
5 Challenges

When to Trade Pieces

It's usually helpful to trade if you can get ahead but what should you do if a potential trade doesn't gain or lose material? Watch the video for insights.
5 min
7 Challenges

Advanced Chess Notation

Beyond basic notation, there are a few key symbols to know. Watch the video for more details.
12 min
5 Challenges

Reading the Board

Key Concepts
7 Lessons
40 Minutes
38 Challenges
Released December 21, 2018