Chess-Steps is a step by step method 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 Chess-Steps is that it chops all tactics into little building blocks. Solving a chess problem with a subject is significantly easier than a problem without. Not only are all tactics categorized, Chess-Steps offers a search strategy 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.
In the first stages of learning chess, positional play is far less important. Games are decided by blunders. Once players have reached a decent level and losing points in one or two moves deep becomes rare, positional play increases in importance. Chess-Steps starts dealing with positional factors in Step 4. The stronger a player becomes the more effective it is to analyze his/her games. The analysis of a game is a great opportunity to address the positional aspects of chess.
The workbooks are filled with exercises. Ideally every student has his/her own workbook (just like school) to work from. This way the trainer can easily follow the student's progress. Students with 3 or more mistakes a page may need extra attention. To solve the problems the student can draw lines (especially in the easy exercises) or notate the moves under the diagrams. For young children, Chess-Steps has introduced two additional books: Stepping Stones 1 and Stepping Stones 2.