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Chess for Juniors: A Complete Guide for the Beginner Paperback – March 20, 1991

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Robert Snyder, national chess master and noted teacher, introduces this timeless game to the young beginner. Snyder teaches the basic principles and then builds on students' knowledge, giving clear instructions on how to choose and employ opening, middle, and endgame strategies to win. In twenty graduated lessons, with over 275 diagrams, Chess for Juniors covers:

-- Basic Rules

-- Check, Checkmate, and Castling

-- Opening Systems, including the Ruy Lopez, the Sicilian Defense, the Nimzo-Indian, the Queen's Indian Defense.

-- Basic Endgame Strategy

-- Tactics such as the Hanging Piece, the Fork, and the Pin

-- And more.

Robert M. Snyder's students have included the 1989 and 1990 national elementary and junior high school champions. He is the founder of the Chess for Juniors chess club in Garden Grove, California, the country's largest club for young people, and his school seminars have been attended by a total of over 50,000 students.

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Product Details

  • Series: Chess
  • Paperback: 237 pages
  • Publisher: David McKay; 1st edition (March 20, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812918673
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812918670
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

CHESS FOR JUNIORS is the first book in the series.
D. Engle
This is also the perfect book for anyone to learn how to play chess from (about a 5th grade reading level) with or without having a chess teacher.
Charles Smith
This is because of a very clear writing style that makes everything that the book is trying to portray understandable.
Hung Nguyen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

985 of 989 people found the following review helpful By David George on February 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
As an elementary school teacher as well as a chess player I have found CHESS FOR JUNIORS to be the perfect text book for introducing my students to this wonderful brain sport.

Chess is a great way of helping my students improve their concentration and studies have shown that chess helps improve reading and math test scores.

CHESS FOR JUNIORS is not only used for the lesson plans it has by myself, but it is clear and easy reading for the students. It was only a few years ago that I came across CHESS FOR JUNIORS after having used a couple of other books. The other books, which had a combination of nice pictures, fancy illustrations mixed in with a reading level that was not suited for upper grade elementary school readers, were ok for a good teacher to read to their students. However, my search ended when discovering CHESS FOR JUNIORS.

Now a little bit about the material in the book:

a. It is logically organized beginning with a little bit of background made interesting to read. It then goes into the basic rules (especially good is how the author covers, "en passant", "castling", "check", "checkmate", "pawn promotion" and the "movement of the Knight" which often confuse first time beginners) and moves into strategy.

b. Each lesson builds upon former lessons, introducing new strategy based on the material covered in previous lessons. This is the way teachers actually cover material in a classroom. It does have the drawback of covering just one subject in an entire chapter like so many other beginning books I have seen.

c. Extreme wide coverage of important tactics.
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293 of 295 people found the following review helpful By Ezra Greenfield on November 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
CHESS FOR JUNIORS is the book I recommend to EVERYONE who looking for their first book on chess. You will be taken on a journey of 20 well organized and informative chess lessons that progress at a nice pace. Lots of digrams (not not pictures and drawings, except for the pieces are nicely drawn to show you what they look like on a staunton design chess set) with problems to work on make it a smooth read.

The book is not skimpy so there is enough of material to take you from absolute beginning well on past being an advanced beginner. It does an exceptionally good job of covering all the important rules and gets into strategy perfect for a new player to the game. This book is not just for kids - it is a great book for adults as well who can handle some of the humor that is designed to keep kids attention.

When you finish this book I recommend getting WINNING CHESS TOURNAMENTS FOR JUNIORS (I rate it *****) that will continue with the same opening system, tactics and endgames where CHESS FOR JUNIORS leaves off (plus much more, including getting into rules for tournament play).

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257 of 258 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
I got this book a couple of years ago and now am chess club presendent at my school chess club in 7th grade. I loaned it out so many times it is getting worn out.

When I went to get a copy now I found out it is temporarily not in print because it is going to be made a new edition. I plan to get the new edition for the chess club.

What I liked about this book is that it isn't a silly little kids picture book. It teaches serious material using an easy to understand method by making the language basic enough and organizing it in an order to make it learning friendly. It would be good for anyone who can read as well as an average third grader right on up to adults. The index in the back makes it easy to find things and relook things up like terms, openings and rules.

Everyone in the school chess club likes it and uses it for continued reference even after having read it. I think this is the best first book for kids and adults.
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346 of 352 people found the following review helpful By James Panoff on November 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
CHESS FOR JUNIORS: A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR THE BEGINNER is very complete in every respect! A solid foundation is laid for anyone who can read a at a second grade level. Clarity and ease of understanding of what many consider to be a difficult game to learn is an important aspect of CHESS FOR JUNIORS.

If you like a stepping-stone approach to learning, where each lesson builds upon the former lessons (expanding on them), then this is the perfect book for you! Lots of diagrams are provided making it easy to visualize the written word. Students are asked to solve basic problems - and this isn't overdone. The author has a wonderful command of the English language.


- A very comprehensive index is in the back of the book. This is a special feature not provided by most beginner's books. Want to look up something quickly? Almost every important chess term, opening or situation that is covered by the book can be quickly located!

-- The rules are taken nice and slowly at a nice pace. You aren't expected to run before you can walk! Special attention is given to explaining the more difficult rules for a beginner to understand, such as "en passant" (2.5 pages!), "castling", "check", "checkmate" and "draws".

--- The principles of development and control of the center are clearly explained before getting into an actual well thought out opening system (well suited for beginners with the Ruy Lopez, Sicilian, Nimzo-Indian and Queens-Indian included with a detailed move by move analysis).

---- All of the basic tactics are covered such as the "pin", "skewer", "fork", "hanging piece", "discovered attack", etc... Later in the book more advanced tactics are covered like sacrifices on "f7".
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