Want to make your chess studies more memorable? Want your students to participate in a chess lesson actively?

Then you should check out the Lichess interactive lesson mode. It’s a unique way to create chess lessons online.

With this feature, you can create puzzles, openings, endgame tactics, and so much more. And the best part is it’s free to use.

Want to learn how to create Lichess interactive lessons? Keep reading to know:

What Is an Interactive Lesson?

Interactive Lesson is a type of analysis mode in Lichess Study. It lets you guide the spectators or players with hints, directives, and feedback.

You can use it for puzzles, opening repertoire, variations, and games. It’s a fun way to learn chess. So it’s ideal for teaching chess to your students.

How to Create Lichess Interactive Lesson

To learn how to create Lichess interactive lessons, you’ll first need to create a Lichess study. Head over to Learn > Study.

Click on the green color plus icon on the top right. To create a study, you’ll be asked whether you want to limit certain features such as cloning, visibility, and chat.

Make sure you select “No: let people browse freely” in “Enable sync” as you want players to go through the study at their own pace. You can go with “Yes: keep everyone on the same position” if you’re teaching a live lesson.

Also, restrict “Computer Analysis” and “Opening Explorer” to yourself, i.e., “Only me.” Then select “Create study,” go to “Chapters” on the top left side and click on “Add a new chapter.”

Over here, select “Interactive lesson” in the “Analysis mode.”

How to Create Puzzles with Lichess Interactive Lesson

Here, we’re using a puzzle from FM Thijs Laarhoven’s Lichess Study as an example.

Step 1: Enter the Position

You can add a position to the chapter in two ways:

  1. Manual method: Select the Editor tab and manually arrange the pieces. Next, select whose turn it is to play.

Then select if white and black can castle kingside and queenside in the puzzle. Keep the variant “standard” and “Interactive lesson” as your analysis mode. 

The orientation of the pieces is the color of the player’s pieces. 

  1. Import method: Select the FEN tab. Copy the FEN of the position from the source and paste it in the box below. 

Next, choose the “standard” variant, “white” orientation, and “Interactive lesson” analysis mode. The puzzle will automatically load in the chapter.

Step 2: Enter the Answer to the Puzzle

Once you create a chapter, add the solution to the puzzle. We can then proceed to add hints, directives, annotations, and glyphs.

Step 3: Help the Player to Find the Initial Move

Click the chat icon below the chessboard to add an introduction of the position, followed by a hint.

Let’s have a look at the following case. Here, white and black have pawns ready to promote. But the black bishop can stop the pawn promotion at f8.

On the other hand, white can’t stop the e2 pawn from promotion. So white’s best bet is to go for a draw. So what should white play to go for a draw?

Step 4: Add a Tip

Suppose the player still can’t find a move and needs more help, then you can give a tip.

On the bottom right side, there’s a box that says, “Give a tip so they can find the right move.” Enter the tip there. We’ve added “Move your knight!” as the hint in our example.

Make sure no move has been played on the board yet. Now, click the eye icon of “Preview” located below the chessboard.

You’ll see the introduction on the right side. The spectator can click on “Get a hint” for more help.

If that fails, they can click on “View the solution” below the chessboard.

Step 5: Comment on The Answer

Click on “Preview” again to return to the editing mode. Now, click on the first move and go to the chatbox again to comment on the player’s correct move.

In the example, we’ll first congratulate the player for getting the first move right and then give its reasoning.

Step 6: Give Feedback on The Wrong Moves

You have two options here: 

  1. Comment on why all other moves are wrong

There will be only one comment feedback for all the wrong moves. It makes sense to go with this option when there isn’t much to say for each move separately.

This comment is after the first move has been played. In our example, you’re on the Ne5 move.

Go to the bottom right side and comment below the red color chat icon. 

If the player plays a wrong move, this message will pop up. They can click on Retry to give the puzzle another shot.

You can verify if your comment shows up correctly by previewing the puzzle.

  1. Comment on the wrong moves individually

Here, you’ll give feedback on all the wrong moves individually. This way, you can explain the reasoning behind each bad move.

Execute the left arrow key to go back to the original position. Enter a variation, i.e., the wrong move.

Then go to the chatbox below the board and enter your comment there. You can rerun these steps for all the variations.

Note:

You can critique specific wrong moves and make a generalized comment for all the other wrong moves simultaneously.

To do so, comment on all the wrong moves in the chatbox first. This chatbox is on the bottom right side of your screen.

Then, you can specifically add feedback for those wrong moves by following the steps in this section.

  1. You can click on the move notation to delete a variation or promote it to the mainline.

Step 7: Add Arrows and Circles

Add tips and comment on the remaining moves. Then you can go back to each move and add circles and arrows.

Illustrating with arrows and circles eliminates the guesswork. The player can also see your analysis more clearly. You can use it to show right or wrong moves and variations.

There are 4 colors available to illustrate a position: green, red, blue, and orange.

ColorCircleArrow
GreenRight-clickRight-click and then drag to the square
RedShift key + Right-clickHold the Shift key first, then right-click and drag to the square.
OrangeShift key + Alt key + Right-clickHold the Shift key first, then the Alt key, followed by a right-click and drag to the square.
BlueAlt key + Right-clickHold the Alt key first, then right-click and drag to the square.

To remove a circle or arrow, follow the same respective steps. For example, if you want to remove a Red arrow, then go to the origin square > press the shift key > right-click > drag the cursor to the destination square.

Step 8: Add Glyphs

You can annotate with glyphs to evaluate or judge a move.

Click on the move first and then go to the exclamation point and question mark icon below the chessboard. You have 24 symbols to choose from.

That’s it! You’ve successfully created a puzzle with Lichess interactive lesson.

How to Create Opening Repertoire with Lichess Interactive Lesson

We’ll create an opening repertoire of Giuoco Piano, also known as Italian Game, with Lichess interactive lesson below:

Step 1: Enter the Mainline

Your first step will be to enter the mainline of the opening. You can do it in two ways:

  1. Manual method: Select the Empty tab. Keep the variant “standard” and orientation “White.” Finally, choose “Interactive lesson” as your analysis mode.

You can then manually move the pieces as per the mainline.

  1. Import method: Select the PGN tab. Copy the PGN of the mainline from the source and paste it in the box below. 

Next, choose the “Standard” variant, “White” orientation, and “Interactive lesson” analysis mode. The mainline will automatically load in the chapter.

Now it’s time to add hints, directives, annotations, and glyphs.

Note:

If you want the spectator or player to be black, click the cogwheel icon beside the chapter name to change the orientation. And then select black from the “Orientation” dropdown.

Step 2: Introduce the Opening

Add an introduction to familiarize the opening to your audience. To do so, click the chat icon and type your message here.

Then add your first question below the introduction. In our example, spectators are simply asked if they know the first move.

Make sure no move has been played on the board. This message will show up before you begin with the Lichess interactive lesson.

Step 3: Add a Hint

What if the player doesn’t know the first move to the opening? That’s where a tip helps them play the first move.

On the bottom right, add a hint to help the player find the right move. In the example, I’ve added the direction “The most common move by white to control the center.”

The player can ask for a clue by hitting the “Get a hint” button.

Step 4: Comment on the Right Move

This message will appear once the player gets the right answer. To comment on the right move, click on the move first.

Then, go to the chatbox tab below the chessboard to add a comment.

Step 5: Add Arrows and Circles

Now, how do you demonstrate control over d5 and f5 squares? This is where arrows and circles help you out.

They avoid confusion and drive your point across. Players can also visualize what you’re saying clearly.

Lichess interactive lesson has 4 color options: green, blue, red, and orange.

ColorCircleArrow
GreenRight-clickRight-click and then drag to the square
OrangeShift key + Alt key + Right-clickHold the Shift key first, then the Alt key, followed by a right-click and drag to the square.
RedShift key + Right-clickHold the Shift key first,then right-click and drag to the square.
BlueAlt key + Right-clickHold the Alt key first, then right-click and drag to the square.

If you want to erase a circle or arrow, follow the same steps taken to create them. For example, if you want to erase a Blue arrow, then go to the origin square > press the  alt key > press the shift key > right-click > drag the cursor to the destination square.

Select “Preview” below the board to check if the sequence of the move and comments is correct.

Step 6: Comment on the Wrong Move

Go back to the editing mode by clicking on the “Preview” again. To give feedback on the incorrect moves, you can share one general message across all the wrong moves, like “Uh oh! This is a wrong move.”

You can also choose to comment on the incorrect moves individually. Let’s check out how to give a remark for both below:

  1. Generalist message

Ensure you have played the move you want to comment on. In our example, we’ll be commenting after e4 has been played.

Check out the red chat icon on the bottom right side. Type the remark below the icon.

The players will see this message when they play any move besides the right move. They’ll have an option to “Retry.”

  1. Specific message

Here, we’ll create variations, i.e., alternate moves on the board.

Let’s go back to your example. Here, we want to comment on wrong moves like Nf3 or d4.

So we’ll go to the start of the chapter as this is the first move. No move has been played on the board.

Then we’ll play the variation, i.e., the wrong move called Nf3, and then navigate to the chatbox under the board to comment on why Nf3 is not the right move.

Ensure that you haven’t played any move on the board if it’s the first move you want to comment on. But if it is, say the third white move you wish to remark, then go to the second black move and create a variation.

Note:

You can right-click on the notation of the move to erase it or promote it to the mainline.

Step 7: Add Glyphs

Glyphs are nothing but symbols that assess a move.

Go to the move you want to add glyphs and then search for an “!?” icon under the board. Simply click on a symbol, and it will be added beside the move notation.

You have now created one chapter of your opening repertoire with Lichess interactive lesson.

Unfortunately, with Lichess interactive lessons, you can’t add variations in a single chapter. This is because the “variation” moves are essentially wrong mainline moves.

You’ll need to create a single chapter dedicated to each variation. So that’s why it’s advisable to make a new study for each opening.

Lichess Interactive Lesson: What’s Next?

Now that you have created a puzzle and an opening repertoire with Lichess interactive lesson, you can share it with friends and other chess players.

To share it with only select friends, make the visibility to “Invite only.” If you want to share it with friends but don’t want to add each one individually, then change the visibility to “Unlisted.” Only the ones with the URL will be able to participate in the study.

Want to make it trending? Then make sure the study is open to the public. You can share the study on social media and chess groups.  The only place you can’t share is the Lichess forum, which goes against forum etiquette.

Lichess Interactive Lesson FAQs

To clone a Lichess interactive lesson, you’ll first need to finish the lesson. Once you complete the chapter, i.e., lesson, you’ll see three options: Next chapter, Play again, and Analysis Board.

Click on the Analysis Board and then search for the share icon located below the chessboard. Suppose the Lichess interactive lesson creator has allowed cloning of the study. In that case, you’ll see a “Clone” button beside “Study PGN.”

This will create a private study with all the chapters, including the Lichess interactive lesson.

Note:

  1. If you don’t see a “Clone” button, the author has disallowed cloning for the study.
  2. You can clone a study but not a specific chapter in the study.

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