Susan Polgar - Learn Chess The Right Way

Learn Chess the Right Way!
Book 1: Must-know Checkmates Paperback – May 23, 2016


Extensive review:

The Polgar Way to Better Chess!

Learn Chess the Right Way is a five-volume chess puzzle book series aimed at the novice, beginner and intermediate level player, using the unique methods of the award-winning coach and former world champion Susan Polgar. It introduces the most important checkmate and material-winning tactics, as well as defensive techniques to the new chess player. Each of the five volumes will consist of 500+ puzzles.

In Book 1, the focus is on one-move checkmate exercises. In each of the first five chapters, a specific piece delivers checkmate (in Chapter 1: the queen, Chapter 2: the rook, and so on). In Chapters 6-8, checkmates which involve special tactics (such as pins, discovered attacks, etc.) are introduced. Chapter 9 has a mixed collection of puzzles, without any hint about which piece is to deliver checkmate. Chapter 10 builds on the previous 9 chapters, and introduces basic patterns of checkmate in two moves.

With over 40 years of experience as a world-class player and coach, international grandmaster Susan Polgar has developed the most effective way to help young players and beginners Learn Chess the Right Way. Let her show you the way to understanding the most common and critical patterns and let her show you the way to becoming a better player.

SUSAN POLGAR is a winner of four Women’s World Championships and the top-ranked woman chess player in the United States. She became the #1 woman player in the world at 15 and remained in the top 3 for over 20 years. In 2013, she received the U.S. Coach of the Year Award and the following year, she was named the Chess Trainer of the Year by the International Chess Federation (FIDE). She thus became the first person in history to be accorded both honors. Under her guidance, SPICE chess teams at both Texas Tech University and Webster University have won a combined six consecutive National Division I Collegiate Chess Championships.

  • Series: Learn Chess the Right Way!
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Russell Enterprises, Inc. (May 23, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1941270212
  • ISBN-13: 978-1941270219

About Susan Polgar

– Winner of 4 Women’s World Championships (Under 16, Blitz, Rapid, and Classical)
– First World Chess Champion in history (male or female) to win the triple-crown (Blitz, Rapid and Classical World Championships)
– 5-time Olympiad Champion with 10 overall medals (5 Gold, 4 Silver, 1 Bronze)
– Head Coach of 6 consecutive Division I Collegiate Final Four Championship teams (2011-2016)

– Previously held 5 world chess records (* still unbroken):

– * 56 consecutive Olympiad game Scoring Streak (A record of 31 wins, 25 draws, 0 loss [77.7%] over 4 Chess Olympiads from 1988 – 2004, all on board 1)
– Most Simultaneous Games Played (326 players: 309 wins, 14 draws and 3 losses = 96.93% in 16 hours and 30 minutes)
– Most Games Won Simultaneously (309)
– Highest Simultaneous Winning Percentage (96.93%, beating the old record of 95.64%)
– * Most Consecutive Games Played (1,131 games against 551 opponents: 1,112 wins, 16 draws and 3 losses = 99.03% – Previous record: 1,102 games)


– Break the gender barrier to qualify for the Men’s World Championship Cycle (1986)
– Earn the “Men’s” Grandmaster title (1991) through traditional FIDE requirements
– Receive the Grandmaster of the Year Award (2003)
– Win the U.S. Open (Men) Blitz Championship (2003, 2005, and 2006)
– Coach a Collegiate Men’s Division I team to win the National Championship (2011)
– Coach a Collegiate Men’s Division I team to win 6 straight Final Four National Championships (2011-2016)
– Coach a College Men’s Division I team to win the Final Four National Championships with 2 different universities (Texas Tech 2011-2012, Webster University 2013-2016)
– Be named National College Chess Coach of the Year (2013)
– Be named Chess Trainer of the Year (2014) by FIDE (World Chess Federation)


– Won the Girls’ Budapest Championship under 11 at the age of 4 with a perfect 10-0 score!
– #1 ranked woman chess player in the world at the age of 15 (remained in the top 3 in the world for 25 years)
– Still currently rated as the #1 female in the United States
– Award-winning and best-selling chess author in numerous languages
– Winner of the prestigious Cramer Award for “Best Chess Column of the Year”
– 3-time winner of the Chess Journalists of America Award
– First ever recipient of the “Chess Educator of the Year” award
– First ever recipient of the “US Scholastic Chess Ambassador” award
– Ambassador and final torch bearer for the 2008 Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany
– Chess for Peace Ambassador with former World Champion Anatoly Karpov and former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev
– A pioneer in women’s chess and a true role model to millions of young people worldwide
– Founder of the Susan Polgar Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization to promote chess, with all its educational, social and competitive benefits throughout the U.S., for young people of all ages, especially girls. The foundation has awarded over $4 million in chess prizes/scholarships to young chess players on behalf of various supporters/sponsors
– Founder and Managing Director of, the world’s most popular chess blog

Book 2: Learn Chess The Right Way – Winning Material is about to go to print.

Learn Chess The Right Way I - Susan Polgar -001

Book 3: Learn Chess The Right Way – Mastering Defensive Technique is about to be edited now.

Leanr Chess The Right Way Book 3 - Susan Polgar

Susan Polgar Power Principles of Chess
Susan Polgar win with grace lose with dignity photo

Click (Susan Polgar SPICE chess training guide) to download your FREE copy of Chess Training Guide for Parents and Teachers (Over 600,000 copies have been downloaded and distributed worldwide).

FREE chess training guide for parents and teachers via Webster University:

One of the most common questions I face as a chess coach is what are some of the basic chess rules every novice player must know. Here is my recommendation:

Susan Polgar Power Principles of Chess

1. Control the Center!
The center of the board includes the squares e4, d4, e5, and d5. When you start a game, place your pawns in the center to occupy and control as many of these squares as you can. Location, location, location!

2. Develop Your Pieces as Soon as Possible!
Get your Knights and Bishops out right away. This should be done before you try to checkmate your opponent, some time in the first 6 or 7 moves if possible.

3. Castle as Soon as Possible!
Castle at the very first chance you have in order to keep your king safe. Remember, you can’t win if your king isn’t safe and you get checkmated first. So don’t forget to castle! Then after you castle, connect your rooks by developing your queen.

4. Keep Your Pieces Protected!
Don’t leave your pieces hanging without protection. Each and every piece you have is very valuable, so don’t forget to protect them. Protecting means if your opponent can take your piece, then you can take your opponent’s piece.

5. Have Fun and Win with Grace, Lose with Dignity!
This is my motto in chess. First and foremost, chess should be fun. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, it’s all part of the game. When you win, be a good sport and don’t trash talk or make fun of your opponent. When you lose, be an even better sport and not a sore loser. Shake hands and congratulate your opponent. This will go a long way toward making good friends.

For young players under the age of 10, I recommend Learn Chess in 30 Minutes DVD as well as the book A World Champion’s Guide To Chess (

Recommended First Book: A World Champion’s Guide To Chess

World Champion's Guide To Chess by Susan Polgar

I just received the first shipment of the new version of my best selling chess book A World Champion’s Guide to Chess. This book is aimed for beginners/novice players. It is a perfect book for parents / teachers to teach youngsters how to play chess.

The best-selling A World Champion’s Guide to Chess is available again!! Winning Chess the Polgar Way!

In A World Champion’s Guide to Chess, Women’s World Champion Susan Polgar’s exclusive training methods will have you playing winning chess! Topics include Chess Essentials, Tactics, Strategy, Pattern Recognition, Endgames, Chess Etiquette, Advice for Parents & Coaches and much more! SUSAN POLGAR is a winner of four Women’s World Championships and the top-ranked woman chess player in the United States. She became the #1 woman player in the world at 15 and remained in the top 3 for over 20 years. In 2013, she received the U.S. Coach of the Year Award and the following year, she was named the Chess Trainer of the Year by the International Chess Federation (FIDE). She thus became the first person in history to be accorded both honors. Under her guidance, SPICE chess teams at both Texas Tech University and Webster University have won a combined six consecutive National Division I Collegiate Chess Championships.

PAUL TRUONG is winner of eleven national titles, a prolific chess trainer, and award-winning chess author. He was also captain and manager of the historic 2004 US Women’s Olympiad team which won two gold and two silver medals, as well as the coach of the six-time national champion SPICE chess teams.

Some of the reviews:

By Michael P. Sullivan on September 17

First let me tell you what this book is not. It is not designed to teach you the movements of the pieces. Ms Polgar does cover the material, but dedicates only about 2 pages per piece. This is enough for adults or teenagers, but not enough for children. It does not spend much time on strategy or openings. It focuses on tactics.

I am a chess coach for an elementary school and find that focusing on tactics is probably the most important area for a beginning to intermediate player. More and more research shows that while openings and traps can have a short term boost in winning games, the best way to become a strong player is tactics. I’ve seen numerous beginning books, but this by far is the most important chess book that I know of for players that have learned “at home” or already know how the pieces move. As of this writing, when I lookup “chess” on Amazon, I see over 62000 results. This is my favorite book for teaching chess.

This book is easy to use and easy to read. It introduces a tactic (such as pins) with a paragraph or two and then jumps right into exercises. The exercises themselves start easy and get tougher farther along. It is also one of the few chess books that is easy to reuse (Ms. Polgar recommends going through the exercises again and improving speed.) Ms Polgar is not only a GrandMaster, but she has been focused on teaching the game. This book is an excellent product and shows how good she is at teaching chess.

I don’t think this is the only chess book you need when learning the game, just the most important.

Format: Paperback

I tried Chess for Dummies, Idiot Guide and others. Nothing can compare to this one. This is the most complete book for beginners ever. It covers everything from the absolute beginning to very important tactics. This is a great book! I highly recommend this book to all parents and teachers.
See the title of my review. Great for Novices and good up to 2000 ELO in my opinion. For the first time ever, pattern recognition is explained in relation to seeing ahead. Fantastic!

By Andrew on February 5, 2006

As a volunteer chess teacher in an elementary school, I desperately need a book that can help me do my job. This book is very complete and perfect for my needs. It includes everything from the abc of chess, important chess strategies, essential tactics, tips for young players and their parents/coaches, and much more. No other book is this so complete. Kudos to Ms. Polgar.
My son’s chess coach recommended me to buy this book to help my son improve. I followed his advice and I can see the difference immediately. I set up the positions in this book for my son to solve. He is doing about 10 puzzles a day and he starts to see so much more on the board after about 50-60 puzzles. The exclusive pattern recognition mentioned in the book is fantastic. I am truly impressed. I highly recommend this book for other parents and chess teachers.
on October 1, 2015
I have several books by Susan and I am working my way through them. I know I will never be a grand master but I know with her teaching I will better learn to be a weekend chess player and more. Thanks Ms Polgar.
on July 9, 2013
My wife and I are interested in learning chess, and we thought that learning from a champion would make the most sense. Susan starts with the very basic information needed, then progressively takes the student through the learning steps necessary to become a very competent chess player. She shows all the strategy of planned attacks, protecting your pieces and getting out of trouble when it happens. I love her training exercises where she asks you to identify how to attack or capture the opposing piece, and the answer explains why her choice is the best action. After a while, you choose the correct action more and more often; and that is what this book is designed to do. What a totally great book !! I can’t praise it highly enough. On a slightly different note- I wish she had written a book on how to fix computers!!
on April 24, 2011

‘Practice’ before you ‘Play’

This book teaches the game in small steps, such as how to checkmate if you have specific pieces, how to avoid a loss by using perpetual checks etc.
This book helped me in developing a “radar system” that scans for various parameters such as identify the vulnerable pieces, finding the pins and at the same time protecting your pieces from opponent’s attack.
I have taken a printout of dos and don’ts section and keep it with me while practicing with my chess simulator program.
I feel confident with basics and ready to read advanced material.
Great book for beginners. I give 5/5.

on August 15, 2008

I know almost nothing about chess. I suppose a very lucky head of cabbage might mate me in 6 moves (leaving me to make excuses). I don’t care about chess. No one will ever pay me a dime to play chess. I do have the sort of mind that is attracted by that sort of geometric strategy game. I wanted a book that would give me quick insight into how “real” chess players might think. I wanted a book that would let me think in a new way—as an exercise—and to see patterns that I missed before.

This is just a splendid book. There aren’t thousands of self-serving pages saying how great Ms. Polgar is (she probably is great—I wouldn’t know a grandmaster from a lucky head of cabbage). There aren’t tens of pages of motivational drivel. It’s short, it’s to the point. It has CONTENT. It’s all about real chess, and it’s written in chess language. It doesn’t waste any time, and it lets me learn by doing. It is as good as having a decent teacher around to show me how it’s really done.

I don’t think it would be possible to serve the vast mass of unwashed and uncultured boors—like myself—in any kinder or better way. We get to see how the real people play chess and think about it. Does that mean we get to see everything and all the issues and all their subtleties? No, how could that be possible. But we can go from zero knowledge and zero sophistication and zero chess to at least having some appreciation of that way of thinking.

In the end, the person with the most mental flexibility in their whole life—in all the ways they have to think about any situation—that person wins life, not just chess.

More reviews here:


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