The Method

The Chess Step-by-Step method was developed in 1987 by Rob Brunia and Cor van Wijgerden in order to teach children to play chess.
Embraced by the Royal Dutch Chess Federation this method became the single most popular method in The Netherlands. It spread throughout Europe and is now available world wide. The Chess Step-by-Step method is praised as one of the most innovative chess instructional programs in the world.

 575495Countries using the Chess Steps:

The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, America, South Africa, Switserland, Belgium, Australia, Turkey, Canada and France

This step by step method consists of six steps. Each step has a workbook with exercises and summaries for the student and an accompanying manual for the teacher / coach / parent.

The exercises in the workbooks are categorized by subject. A typical page has a title indicating the problem and 12 puzzles diagrammed. The workbooks are very useful for self study as well.

The manuals contain complete scripted lessons for the teacher, as well as aids that address the learning stages and development of children. The answers of the workbook exercises can be found within the manuals too. The Chess Step-by-Step Method works well in all teaching situations including schools, chess clubs and individual lessons. The step by step approach is an effective teaching tool for all ages.

Books for teaching and learning chess

The Chess Step-by-Step method is an educational system for teaching and learning chess. The combination of workbook and manual creates a school like situation. All lessons are structured and contain clear goals. The books cover everything from how the pieces move in Step 1 to important endgame strategies in Step 5 and 6.

Most attention is given to tactics. The strength of the system is that it chops all tactics into little building blocks. Solving a chess problem with a subject is significantly easier then a problem without. Not only are all tactics categorized, the chess method offers a search strategie for every subject as well. Students will develop a feeling for tactical positions, a sense for when to be alert and take advantage of badly placed pieces and weaknesses. The cooperation between pieces becomes more important with each Step.

The Manual

The manual offers a wide variety of support. It contains complete scripted lessons for every subject, making chess knowledge less important. It addresses the goal of the lesson, the needed knowledge prior to the lesson and gives examples to use for demonstration and the answers of the exercises. It also discusses how to handle questions, both chess and didactic related.

For the chess trainer without teaching experience articles about the development of children specified for chess are included. It increases the didactic skills of the trainer and addresses learning stages. The system offers ideas on how to keep the children motivated and how to structure lessons to keep concentration optimal.


The workbooks are filled with exercises. Ideally every student has his/her own workbook (just like in school) to work from. This way the trainer can easily follow the student’s progress.  To solve the problems the student can draw lines (especially in the easy exercises) or notate the moves under the diagrams.

For young children, The method has introduced two additional books: Stepping Stones 1 and Stepping Stones 2.

Learn the way the world is learning! All my classes are based on this step method and workbooks for all levels are available.



Read more about the Step method including an exclusive interview with the creator Cor van Wijgerden.
Part I – Why we use the Dutch Learning System
Part II – Exclusive interview with the Step Method Creator Cor van Wijgerden


If you are working from home, trying to teach your children or just want to check if you got it right – please check the answers here. Of course remember, that it is always best to discuss your results with a chess coach for firther learning.



















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