The Beginning: Chess vs. Derek Walde

For the last couple of years, I have sat back and watched my friends play chess.  I sat on the sidelines with little to no idea of what was unfolding in front of me.  Now I am ready to step into the ring and accept the challenge! So, I am going to learn how to play chess!

309“309” by grotos is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I have a couple of friends that love to play chess and up to this point whether it be ignorance or laziness, I have never even tried to learn.   My big motivation behind learning this game is that one of my best friends is a quadriplegic and he loves playing chess.  So, chess is a great game that we can both partake in! He claims to be a proficient player already so I have my work cut out for me!  My knowledge of the game is very limited as I know most of the names of the pieces and the directions in which they move.  However, outside of that, I have no knowledge of things like opening theories, different plays, and strategies.  The intricacies of the game will require hours of devotion to not only play but also to be a winner.  My goal at the end of this learning project is to be able to play chess with casual players and be able to win once in a while.

My friends’ recommendations and my research on the internet has brought me to a website called  It has a section called Learn to Play, that has different lessons for a beginner chess player to learn.  Ranging from the rules, finding checkmates, and capturing pieces to more advanced lessons like opening theories and endgame moves.  I will start this project by learning and familiarizing myself with the piece’s names and directions and move down the list of lessons.  Supplementing the websites learn to play section, I intend on watching some YouTube videos to add to my learning as well.  Once I feel confident, I will start playing some games online and learn by trial.  I also plan to network with my friends about chess when particular questions or potential move possibilities arise.  Hopefully, I can challenge my friends to a game in the weeks to come.

This should be both a challenging and rewarding game to learn.  If you have any advice or resources that I should look at using, just comment at the bottom or get a hold of me on Twitter: @WaldeDerek


4 Replies to “The Beginning: Chess vs. Derek Walde”

  1. Hi Derek! I have also decided to learn how to play chess for my learning project! Similarly, I’ve been interested in it for a long time, but never took it upon myself to actually learn how to play – until now. We’ll have to keep an eye on each other’s blogs and tweets to share resources and see how we’re doing. Maybe we’ll be able to play against each other some day! (Although I don’t even know the piece names or movement directions, so it might be a while.) Best of luck! – Natasha


  2. Hey Derek,
    I have always thought that Chess looked both fun and extremely difficult. I have thought about learning myself but always viewed it as a daunting task. I am glad that this class has given you the opportunity to finally “step into the ring” as you said! I am so excited to watch from the sidelines and cheer you on as you embark on this journey towards being a chess player (and hopefully chess winner). Keep up the great work,


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