Stappenhefte - Der beste Weg, um Schach zu lernen

Stappenhefte - The best way to learn chess

According to many experts, the best method to learn and improve chess is still the Stappen method .

In this article, you will learn what role the Stappenhefte play in improving chess and what different booklets are available to buy.

Hans Niemann and The Big Greek at the Chess Tigers booth Reading Stappenhefte - The best way to learn chess 6 minutes Next Famous chess players
What is the step method?

The Stappen method or step method is an internationally recognized and established teaching method. Its aim is to teach children chess. But adults can also work very well with these books.

What is special about the Stappen method?

The Stappen method books may be a little out of date in terms of graphics, but they are still considered the best books for systematically improving your chess skills . The principle of learning in stages, the large number of exercises and the high level of efficiency achieved through the simplicity of the presentation are crucial to the international success of the Stappen method.

Who invented the step method?

The Dutchman Cor van Wijgerden was the national coach of the Dutch Chess Federation in the 1980s. He noticed a high demand for exercises at a lower level. Together with the experienced trainer Rob Brunia, he developed a teaching method consisting of several stages: the Stappen method.

Who recommends the step method?

Chess streamer The Big Greek swears by the books - like almost every experienced chess trainer. And at the GRENKE Chess Open 2024 in Karlsruhe, Hans Niemann surprised everyone by buying a Stappenheft (Level 6 extra booklet) at the Chess Tigers stand - for nostalgic reasons - because he had worked with it in the past.

What do the levels mean?

The stages can be roughly divided as follows:

  • Level 1: up to approx. 900 DWZ
  • Level 2: approx. 900-1,100 DWZ
  • Level 3: approx. 1,100-1,200 DWZ
  • Level 4: approx. 1,200-1,300 DWZ
  • Level 5: approx. 1,300-1,400 DWZ
  • Level 6: approx. 1,400-1,500 DWZ

These estimates are without guarantee because there is no official information available.

Where can I find the solutions to the exercises?

The Stappenhefte do not contain solutions to the tasks. However, you can download the solutions here .

How well are the magazines selling?

In the Chess Tigers online shop, the Stappen booklets are among the bestsellers in the book section . It is not easy to keep track of everything, as there are a whole range of different booklets for each level.

Which booklets are available?

There are different booklet types for each level, which are explained below. Clicking on the link will take you to the product page for the respective booklet in the Chess Tigers shop.

1. Level booklets (= "normal" level booklets)

There are a total of six booklets that represent the different levels of difficulty mentioned above. They are sometimes also called "basic booklets", "student booklets", "learning chess" or "workbooks".

The booklets consist of so-called memory aids (explanations of certain motifs) and numerous exercises.

After completing a level, it is advisable not to move on to the next level straight away, but to deepen what you have learned with plus or extra booklets.

2. Preliminary stages

Before level 1, preliminary levels 1 and 2 were added so that even younger children under the age of 10 have the opportunity to learn the basics of chess with the step booklets. Children from around 10 years of age can start with the "real" level 1.

3. Extra issues

The six normal booklets are supplemented by six extra booklets, suitable for each level. The extra booklets consist of two parts:

  • The first part contains tasks with the same topics as in the normal grade book. These serve as additional practice and repetition.
  • The second half of the book contains mixed tasks. There is no indication of the theme or motif of the exercise. The tasks therefore resemble a real game more.

4. Plus booklets

Another addition are the Plus booklets, of which there are five. In the Plus books, the topics from the normal booklets are explored in more depth or additional motifs are practiced at the same level of difficulty.

5. Mix booklets

Five mixed booklets have now been included in the Stappen program. The mixed booklets should probably be used as the last special booklet for each level, because they only contain mixed tasks. It is only when the task is solved that the motif becomes clear.

6. Thinking Ahead Booklets

Two further booklets have been published specifically for practicing forward thinking. They belong to levels 2 and 3 respectively.

7. Exam + certificate

A small exam has been set up for the first five levels, which can be purchased together with a certificate for €2 each. The certificates can be a small motivation for the students.

8. Manuals for chess trainers

The manuals for chess trainers take the perspective of chess trainers or parents and provide support to teachers. They contain instructions for working with the level books.

There are six of these books. The first of these is available in the Chess Tigers Shop:


The Stappenheften are definitely the right choice if you want to improve your playing strength and are ready to complete practice exercises. First you should find your own level and work through the "normal" booklet. Before you move on to the next level, you should complete one or two additional booklets for practice purposes.

Still questions?

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