How to get better at chess

Hello Fellow Chess Enthusiasts! 

The world of chess has seen a huge surge of interest in response to the pandemic and The Queen’s Gambit, a Netflix series about a young woman on her journey of chess mastery. If you haven’t seen it, you must! 

If you're a total newbie to chess, or even a seasoned player who wants to level up their game, I have created this at-home Summer Challenge to help you get there.  

So, what can YOU do to take your game to the next level??

Continue reading...


Here you will find instructional chess videos, recordings of chess club events, and an opportunity to be part of a community of chess players. 

If you would like to join our virtual chess community, see the links below. 

Join our Virtual Chess Club on Discord:

Watch live on: Chess_Counselor

TikTok: Chesscounselor

lichess • Free Online Chess

“When Peace Come”: The Significance of Juneteenth

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19th to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. But there’s a lot more to know about Juneteenth than meets the eye. 

Facilitated by Dr. Lauranett Lee, Adjunct History Professor, University of Richmond & Public History Consultant

Corey Hancock, Jr., Counselor, Virginia Commonwealth University. 

1 Million Cups Event 

I had a great time talking chess and business. Thank you @1millioncupsrva for inviting me to speak. I very much appreciate the great questions and feedback towards developing my business. You can check out the full video here:

Chess Counselor LLC is an independent chess instruction organization that offers individual and group lessons. We’re proud to offer high-quality instruction by trained professionals. We offer virtual and in-person services with a focus on developing critical thinking skills, improving memory, and learning coping skills. Our students know how to navigate the challenges of academia and life while becoming great chess players.

If you know any groups or organizations that you believe would benefit from an innovative educational service, let me know!

#chess #business #entrepreneur #schoolcounselor #chesscounselor 

3 Tips When Prepping For a Tournament

Chess & Choices

This lesson was spent talking about strategy and problem-solving. Each phase of the game (Beginning, middle, and end) comes with its own set of objectives. We often have an abundance of decisions to make and it can be overwhelming at times to determine which is the best action to take. During these times, we ask ourselves, "Among these choices, which best serves the overall mission?"

I am always fascinated by how much lessons in chess reflect lessons in life.

Earlier today I was talking about how much self-talk impacts our decision-making. Negative self-talk can drive you away from seeing the whole picture. If instead we remain positive and focus on asking the right questions, we are more likely to find better moves or make better decisions.

Reflection Question fo you: When making an important decision in chess or in life, what is your process? What do you ask yourself?

Chess at the park reflection

Here I reflect on my experience playing chess at a local park. I strongly feel that we as chess players spend too much time training alone and not enough time collaborating together. It is always a great time when you get a chance to go out to socialize and show off your skills. However, many of us desperately want to improve our game and I believe we need to start thinking more critically about how we can use each other as resources to make that happen. 

Monroe Park Chess with Analysis 

Over the weekend I participated in a chess gathering at Monroe Park organized by RVA Pieces. I have decided to start recording some of the games that I play in person. I have certainly noticed that I play a bit differently in person than I do online and we often do not carry notations sheets with us to play in casual club games. This is the first analysis video I have done like this and I already feel motivated to make some intentional changes in my play. Something about sitting in front of an opponent versus playing on a screen makes the mistakes/inaccuracies I play more personal. After doing this analysis video I looked over some ways to approach a Kings Indian Defense (With my style in mind) and I found a video that GM Akobian where he recommends the Smyslov Variation as an approach for white to take against the KID. The link to this lecture is here:

By watching his lecture I feel a bit more prepared to play against the KID. As I mention in the video, I did not have a concrete plan. I was making natural development moves and waiting for my opponent to make a mistake. Now I expect that when I reach a similar position again, I have a clearer idea of where I will place my pieces and WHY. 

Music: "Chill Day" by LAKEY INSPIRED is licensed under a Creative Commons License. 

Why play chess? 

Sharing my experience of how I got into chess and why it has meant so much to me for all this time. 

How to Make a Study on 

Here I give an introduction to how to make a study on Making a study, analyzing games, and adding contributors is a great way to improve your chess. If you have any further questions, leave a comment below. 

Checkmate in 1 Puzzles

In every sport, a star player must exercise regularly to maintain a high performance. The same applies to chess! Chess players exercise their brain by practicing to solve puzzles. We do this to build pattern recognition and to develop critical thinking skills. By solving puzzles, you learn more about the game itself while also making it easier on yourself to find solutions to problems in your live games. In this video I walk through 5 checkmate puzzles. Follow along and pause the video BEFORE I give a solution to see how you can do on your own. Good luck!