Chess for Children

I have seen countless books on chess aimed at youngsters over the years, but this is probably the nicest introduction I have ever seen, aimed at primary school children. The problem with so many books is that they are too ambitious, too wordy or just downright boring, but such criticisms in no way apply to this latest addition.

The game is taught through the medium of a cartoon character, George, and his pet alligator, Kirsty, a self-proclaimed Grand Alligator of Chess. The large format pages and large diagrams are easier on the young eye, and the language is readily accessible to a young age group.

The book consists of six parts. Part One covers the basics of how the pieces move, then subsequent parts take the young beginner through a succession of easy, welldefined stages, until by the end of the book you are able to play through and understand a complete game. The book is also very much inter-active, as there are tests interspersed at regular intervals throughout.

As I said earlier, over-ambition is the main problem with so many beginners books, but here the authors have set out with the very limited objective of getting the child started on a very basic level. Opening theory, middlegame strategy and endgame technique have no place here. The emphasis is on learning the basics in an enjoyable manner. If you have a young child or relative who wants to learn chess, then I can thoroughly recommend this book, which in addition to everything I have already said comes at a very reasonable price.

How to Reassess Your Chess, Fourth edition

Jeremy Silman is simply the best chess instructional writer I've ever read, and I've read about 70 chess books. Nimzovich's "My System" is the only other book in a class with this one, and this one is better (though it covers different material. Both are great.)

The problem with most chess instruction is that the writer has not taught many students, and so they tend to make statements that seem obvious to them, but are way over our heads. Silman has taught many private students, and he therefore understands what it is we are not "getting." There are several concepts he explains that I've heard before, but never understood until reading him.

Silman's concepts about imbalances in a position are absolute epiphanies to us poor patzers who have been playing chess for years, but never really understood how to analyze a position except to say, "If I go here, and he goes there …" Silman shows that analysis of specific variations should be the last thing one does, and shows – step by step – the proper way to analyze. His chapters on attaining a superior minor piece are in themselves worth the price of the book.

If you're looking for one book to vastly improve your understanding of chess, I highly recommend this as the first, second and third choice. If this recommendation seems almost too glowing, I assure you, I have no relationship with Silman. I am a writer, who loves chess as a pastime, and have had some of my work published in chess life. I seldom get to play in tournaments, but I recently played a USCF Life Master (rated 2200) for the first time, and I drew with Black. I attribute much of my improved understanding of the game to Silman, and the rest to Nimzovich.

How to Beat Your Dad at Chess (Gambit chess)

Do you know how to mate? You can now get actual experience in the most important basic positions. This book will test you and teach you new positions you probably didn't know about before.

Without knowing these patterns you will miss many important opportunities in your game. HOW TO BEAT YOUR DAD AT CHESS has 50 of the most important patterns. By looking at the title and cover it may at first appear to be just a book for kids, but it is for all ages (though not for a beginner).

The cover may look silly, and the title may not really tell you what the book is all about, but it is well organized and should be a fine addition to additional books on other parts of tactics.

I highly recommend this as an important and excellent book for those who are intermediate skilled chess players.

Chess History and Reminiscences (Kindle Edition)

Roughly, the book has 2 parts. The first deals with the history of chess. While the second part is a collection of essays about other more modern aspects of chess.

The history is perhaps the main focus. It has certainly been covered before in other texts, and at greater length. Here, you get a good synopsis of how chess originated in India. Most notably, pawns could only move one square at the start. Hence the naming of Queen's Indian and King's Indian for 2 of black's defenses in the modern game.

We see how chess migrated to the Middle East and thence to Europe, where it slowly changed into its current form. There seems to have been a consensus in the 18th century that stabilised the moves into what was seen as producing a good game, in some esthetic sense. To this day, that consensus has been upheld. Variant moves have garnered little traction beyond mere curiosity value.

Lasker's Manual of Chess

This may be the best chess book ever. I glance over my shoulder at a pile of 50+ chess books that I've purchased over my two year affair with the game of chess. Of these, only a few stand out as being truly worth the time and money. One offers such an exceptional value that I suggest it to everybody: Lasker's Manual of Chess. The prose is stilted and out of date, the section on the openings is wanting, and it starts out with directions for how to play…BUT the sections on combination, positional play, and the model games have few equals. I love endgame studies and this book is full of them. This book never fails to get me out of a rut. BTW, take the positional advantage diagrams and play them out against your chess computer for a fun lesson.

If you love chess, do yourself a favor and pick up this, Tarrasch's Game of Chess, Nunn's Understanding Chess Move by Move, Howell's Essential Chess Endings, and Kotov's Art of the Middlegame. They may be all the chess books you ever need.

Chess Tactics for Kids

This is a great book that compliments "How to Beat Your Dad at Chess." It covers various chess tactics that come up or can be created to win material, gain positional advantages and impose checkmate.

Overall, the book is highly readable with good diagrams and easy to follow text. It is thorough in covering important and commonly used tactics, but not overwhelming for new players.

I think Chess Tactics for Kids is a misnomer in a sense since this book is appropriate for almost any adult and probably wouldn't be very useful to kids under 12 years old unless they have more than a casual interest in chess. However, younger kids could certainly grow into it as their interest peaks and they master more fundamental skills.

I've been playing chess for years and got a lot out of this book. I think it's perfect for teenagers and highly recommend it to adults who have not read seriously on chess and are somewhat intimidated or bored by move-by-move type chess books. I also recommend it to younger kids with more advanced chess skills or who are serious doing their homework to improve their skills.

I wish this book was available when I was learning to play chess. It would have saved me a lot of time learning things the hard way and wading through a lot of overly complicated move-by-move type books that I wasn't ready for.

Practical Chess Exercises: 600 Lessons from Tactics to Strategy

"If you study this book, you will acquire the most important chess skill of all: the ability to think for yourself."

– John Watson, International Master, Author of the award-winning Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy, Chess Strategy in Action, and Mastering the Chess Openings

"In creating Practical Chess Exercises, Ray Cheng has turned a labor of love into a treasury of instructive problems to help non-beginners improve their chess. The problems are of all types — tactical and positional — and all levels. Best of all, they are not labeled in any way other than who is to move, so for each position you have to find the relevant concerns and properly address them. The answers are not just a list of moves, but they also include instructive prose. This book answers the prayers of chess enthusiasts looking for ‘unmarked’ problems to test their skills."

– Dan Heisman, U.S. National Master, Author of the award-winning Novice Nook column at Chess Café and books such as A Parent's Guide to Chess, Looking for Trouble, and Everyone's Second Chess Book.