Beginners’ Openings and Tactics – GM Varuzhan Akobian – 2013.01.13

Chess Grandmaster Varuzhan Akobian presents a lecture for beginners at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.


  1. 55:08 is the perfect example of how terrible advanced chess players are at teaching. The reason for taking the knight (the entire point of this puzzle) is never explained, but the purpose is to gain a single piece over the opposition, which is also never explained. Given beginners don't know the significance of having one single piece more than the opponent in the first place, the entire teaching session becomes focused on which kid the teacher is going to choose, and which waiting students is he going to dishearten by giving knockout clues to a puzzle that only he can make any sense of.

    The suggestion to move the white bishop to A6 seems the best move at a glance but he shows that this will lead to white being put in check and goes no further with how that would play out. Now as the students wonder why this matters given how powerful this setup has become for white he has moved on at a dizzying speed, whacking all beginners off balance while those with experience nod at the conventions they accept without question – prerequisite information vital to even beginning any conversation about strategy. We assume we're barracking for white because we've finally caught up with the teacher that white is who matters most in this random puzzle – not that these are two perspectives of equal worth, not that we're black and learning how to defend from white – because 'convention' has it that the colour on the bottom of the board layout is YOUR side, a pretty freakin important thing to know from the beginning but its NEVER explained or reiterated).

    So in summary, VITAL information is taken for granted and never explained or reiterated, there is no title written anywhere to give us clarity about what topic we are studying, the entire class becomes a lottery of which student will get chosen to participate, while hands are up in the lottery clues are given that dishearten students, the puzzle solution is meaningless to students in context, and even when context is understood the reason for the context is never explained.

    Its disgusting to see it time and time again. Clarity costs nothing.

  2. Since this is a beginners class, it would be more helpful for me, to hear the students asking the questions.

  3. I really enjoy GM Akobian! 4Million views is credible!

  4. Teaching is an art that to few teacher's master. This man seems to have done so. Lucky kids.

  5. I must be playing a child's game the players I play have no book of openings stored in their memory, but rely on a faulty foundation for their moves in the opening which is an excuse that leads to a flabby under worked chess mind. I have watched this three times already trying to devote to memory some basic openings so that I have a good book of openings as a foundation to playing chess openings and the reasons behind it that make it fun, my favorite opening move when I play white is pawn f-4 and play for the center control of the board depending on blacks next move, but I need a broader understanding of how openings work and avoid problems early in the opening. So I am starting hear TY

  6. Anyone knows what software / app he is using?

  7. I love this teacher. I wish I would have had a teacher like this. He's a blessing to these kids and they will remember him fondly for the rest of their lives. You can tell this guy is kind.

  8. That checkmate by white Queen h7 at 33.40 was quite interesting … I thought black King could take white Queen, but in this case it cannot… would like to understand why

  9. I really do need someone to explain it to me like I'm 5. Even this one hour long lecture it too much for me to grasp in one sitting. But hey I think I'm slightly better at chess than when I started

  10. nice…learning the basics but solid knowledge

  11. Absolutely useful. I wish I knew these things a lot earlier making me a better player. Thank you!

  12. Guess what guys….even at 64 I am still able to learn so much more..

  13. What if black does make Pawn H6 to make pressure on bishop at queens gambit declined instead of castle?

  14. I love the way he explains, with such patience and humbleness, he completely caught my attention. Great teacher.

  15. my 6 old daughter understend it in 3 plays whith me.

  16. wow, i never knew joe rogan was so good at chess

  17. I'm 30 years. I am starting this game. Any advice?

  18. Isn't this the guy who was aggressively fighting with Hikaru in that endgame that went viral?

  19. Mr. Akobian you are not only Grandmaster in Chess but also in teaching.

    Great how you explain things plus the motivation in teaching.

    The game of chess has only made me more enthusiastic. Thanks for this!

  20. Ive never thought i could get mad at someone saying ok tell i saw this

  21. I have a Question here

    when I play Chess on my Fone The other side Sometimes Does En pasant and Takes my Pawn

    How does that work

  22. when he askad audience whats here the best move or whats the name of the move i felt kinda super smart coz i had it right. And i asked myself why the audience couldnt tell so fast. And im super beginner.. then at the end i realized hes talking to kids😂

  23. Too late to start chess career after the age 22 … Wtf …. I really want to be a Grandmaster but everyone saying ' Impossible' 'Never happen' ,Never Happened .. it's too Late .. seriously ? I'm so disappointed …. Negativity. …. Discouragement ….
    Today : 12/1/2022….

  24. WOW… I just tried to play for the first time the system you explained against kings indian defense…It went exactly like you said it would! he took the bishop en I finished the game with a chess matt.

  25. Oh it’s actually kids chess lmao 6:17. Nice. 8 year olds can mate me.

  26. In queens gambit declined after bishop to G5, what would I do if the opposition plays H6 to harass me……

  27. An incredibly generous man, Grand Master and freely giving of his time, I really appreciate his conversational style, ideas, replays and possibilities, an excellent learning resource; age 64 here just learning the game … thankyou!

  28. In the opening example, is it the White Queen that refers to the Queen's Gambit Accepted?

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