Greater Peoria Chess Foundation

The Greater Peoria Chess Foundation is a 501(c)3 non profit organization dedicated to encouraging chess in our community and school systems. Chess helps students to develop many life skills that will help them as they navigate with challenges that lay ahead.

Playing Chess


How to Play Chess - Learn how the pieces move and some basic ideas about how to play the game. This presentation by Chess4Life is an ideal introduction to the game for the young beginning player. Chess4Life also has some interesting ideas about chess clubs in the lower grades.

A List of Basic Tactical Motifs - Many tactical patterns share similar ideas with other named patterns and because of this overlap it’s difficult to say exactly how many unique tactics exist. But on this page you will find a fairly comprehensive list of chess tactics, 56 in total, with simplified examples of how they work.

A List of Basic Check Mating Motifs - A checkmate pattern is a particular and recognizable arrangement of the pieces that deliver the checkmate. You can further improve your chess tactics skill by studying all the different checkmates that commonly occur in chess games. Learn the names of the patterns and impress your friends.

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly of Chess Training - Susan Polgar one of the leading experts in chess training (and one of the historically best chess players) shares her insights on how to train to become a strong chess player efficiently, without wasting time & energy on things that don't work or may even harm your potential.

Chess Advice for Parents and Young Players - Susan Polgar has participated at every level of chess up to and including becoming a World Champion. She is also one of America's most forceful proponents of youth chess. Here she shares her thoughts on tournament etiquette for both players and their audience.

Why some players fail to reach their full chess potential - Susan Polgar discusses some of the controlable reasons why some players succeed and others don't. You can change your training regimen and advance further by incorporating these traits in your own play.

Daily Chess Improvement: World Champion Tactics! White to move! What is the best plan for white? Please write it out or explain.

Chess Openings
- Every game starts from the same position, so you can plan some moves before the game even starts.

Learn how to play the opening. Common Opening Themes include:

  • Control of the Center
  • Development of your pieces to their Best Squares.
  • Including ALL your pieces in your Game
  • King Safety is most important

The key to opening play is to "Play What You Know and Know What You Play". This means don't play an opening in an important game unless you have studied it and tried it out successfully in off hand games first.

The best way to learn your openings is to keep a note book which contains your tabiya of preferred lines. As you play, you will eventually reach the end of your known analysis. At that point you should research your position and learn the next move(s) so that when the opportunity appears again you will better know what to play. This method will slowly build your opening knowledge and expand your tabiya with useful moves. An automated way of tracking your tabiyas is to use Bookup, also known as Chess Openings Wizard. ChessBase also has some features for saving and analyzing your tabiya.

One mistake that many players make is to try and study too many openings and not learn to play any one of them really well. Using the above method will give you an opening book of lines that you play without wasted effort of learning parts of openings that you never play.

Learn to get the initiative and get a head start on your opponent.


Chess Tactics
are the basis of chess play in the middlegame. A tactic is a short sequence of moves that creates a tangible gain either in material or checkmate. Common Tactical themes include:
  • Double Attacks and Forks
  • Pins and Skewers
  • Discovered Attacks and Checkmates
  • Removing the Defenders

10 Underrated Reasons to Study Chess Tactics

You need to do more than just tactical puzzles, you need to be good enough that you see them in your own games. You can't play what you don't see.


Chess Strategy
is a long term plan or idea which improves your position in the absence of playable tactics. Common strategical themes include:
  • Mobility
  • Space
  • Time
  • Pawn Structure
  • Every Move should have a Purpose

Every piece has strengths and weaknesses. Learn to place your pieces on their best squares to create winning tactics.


Chess Endgames: If there isn't a checkmate in the middle of the game you can still win in the endgame when there are few pieces on the board and the strategy turns from checkmate or the winning of material to Queening a pawn. Common endgame ideas include:

  • Activating the King once it is Safe
  • Creating a Passed Pawn
  • Opposition, Triangulation & Square of the Pawn
  • Theory of Two Weaknesses
  • Simplify to a Known Winning Endgame

Learn how push your pawns through while blocking your opponent.


Chess Puzzles Chess puzzles let you practice on the board all the situations mentioned above which you will find in a game. A good puzzle will challenge you to detect the patterns you look for in a game.