Step 2

The 'real' work begins in the second Step. After the rules of the game and the basic skills from the previous Step, the first principles of tactics and positional play are on the program now.
We are going to teach attacking techniques and how to win material cleverly. Tactics are essential in playing chess. The tactical possibilities seen by advanced chess players originate from good positional play; in the case of the students of Step 2 they come out of thin air. At this level, all games are decided by tactics, so it is logical to pay a lot of attention to this matter. Positional play is still less important at this level than tactics. The problem is that to introduce even the most simple positional concepts is aiming too high. This introduction is made in the second Step, but at the beginning it is better to point out the positional elements when analysing the children's games.

The 'second Step' consists of a manual and 5 workbooks.

•  Manual for chess trainers Step 2

•  Workbook Step 2

•  Workbook Step 2 extra

•  Workbook Step 2 plus

•  Workbook Step 2 thinking ahead

Workbook Step 2 mix

Download excerpts of each book: Samples

Manual for chess trainers Step 2

Manual for
chess trainers
Step 2

5rd edition 2022
232 pages
with drawings


Introductory articles about:

For the students, almost everything is new in the second Step. That is why there is a smaller number of lessons than in the other Steps.
1: Activity of pieces
2: Double attack: queen (1)
3: Double attack: queen (2)
4: The pin
5: Elimination of the defence
6: The 3 golden rules
7: Mate in two
8: Double attack: RBNK
9: Mating with the rook
10: Discovered attack
11: Defending against mate
12: The intermediate move
13: Solving tests

Further 9 lessons for the plus workbook.
1+: Mate
2+: Pawn endings
3+: The opening
4+: Defending
5+: Route planner
6+: Working out mate
7+: Stalemate
8+: Winning material
9+: Playing rules

Workbook Step 2

Step 2
8th edition 2022
56 pages
with drawings

Next to the exercises there are reminders in the workbook. These are short recapitulations of the material from the manual for the students.

There are 10 reminders.

On the remaining 45 pages there are always 12 diagrams.
That means a total number of 45x12-26 ( the drawings) = 514 positions.

Try one?
Double attack with the queen

The themes of the exercises correspond to those in the manual.
See Manual for chess trainers.

Workbook Step 2 extra

Step 2 extra
4th edition 2020
56 pages
with drawings

Read more about the Extra books in info.

In the extra workbook there are 55 pages with exercises, which means as many as 55x12=648-20 (drawings) = 628 positions.
The reminder with hints how to proceed with the mixed tests can be downloaded Step 2 extra

At the beginning come the exercises with the familiar items from Step 2 and some from Step 1 on a higher level:

The last 10 pages are mixed tasks without a theme indication. That means that there is no hint as to the theme of the exercise, with the result that they are more like a real game. Less mixed exercises than in the previous edition, but with the appearance of the mix book this is not much of an issue.
Solving exercises of this sort is difficult for everybody at any level.

Take the challenge!

Workbook Step 2 plus

Step 2 plus
4rd edition 2020
56 pages
with drawings

Read more about the plus books in the info.

The contents of the Workbook Step 2 plus:

More or less new topics:

Elaborating the already introduced material:

Workbook Step 2 thinking ahead

Step 2 thinking ahead
3st edition 2020
56 pages
with drawings

The first of two workbooks: thinking ahead. Boris Friesen is the co-author (trainer of GM Benjamin Bok and Max Warmerdam in their younger years).
The kinds of exercises are different and more diverse than in the other workbooks. However, the themes from Step 2 will be familiar. The reminders can be downloaded.
You can get a first impression by viewing some pages.
Step 2 thinking ahead.

The best moment to introduce the workbook is after Step 2 plus. For students in Step 3 who skipped the extra and plus books the workbook is suitable to raise their skills. Of course you can introduce some exercises from the book while you are still working in the basic workbook of Step 2.

Workbook Step 2 mix

Step 2 mix
4st edition 2022
64 pages
with drawings

Read more about the mix books in info.

In the mix workbook are 61 pages with exercises, which means as many as 61×12=732-14 (drawings) = 718 puzzles.

The themes are known from Step 2, Step 2 plus, Step 2 thinking ahead and the lower Steps. A workbook containing exercises with one ‘simple’ assignment: play the best move. Just like in a real game, you do not know whether you can win or whether you have to defend. First, look at what’s going on? Which targets can you exploit? What is the opponent threatening? Is it time to draw? In short, all kinds of stuff.
Two kinds of puzzles are different: on each page you will find a multiple choice question and a position with a line below the diagram. Only on the last 4 pages there is an indication of the theme: 4 pages with mate in two problems.