How can you improve your chess during a day off work or on holiday? Internet play is by far the most popular, most convenient method.

I recommend the free site, which offers a variety of time limits with or without per move increments. No registration is needed, and you can be completely anonymous. At faster time limits, you can expect to be paired in a few seconds. Opponents vary greatly in skill and, because the games are unrated, it is simple to abort a mismatch.

Lichess also offers puzzles and guides, plus rated play for more serious players.

Another free site,, has master collections where you can study the openings and strategies of your favourite players, while provides entertaining and informative news reports on all major events.

Lastly, even as a casual player it helps to keep an audit of your results. If you can be ruthless and discard openings that do not work for you, rapid improvement is possible.


Nils Grandelius v Arkady Naiditsch, Sweden v Azerbaijan, world team championship, Astana 2019. Black to move. White’s last turn was Ke3-d4, which appears a losing blunder because of Nc2+ and Nxa1 followed by the advance of Black’s b4 and c3 pawns. But Grandelius is Sweden’s No 1, and his king move was intentional. Can you spot White’s cunning plan?

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