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How to Beat Your Dad at Chess (Gambit Chess) Hardcover – October 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 6
  • Series: Gambit Chess
  • Hardcover: 127 pages
  • Publisher: Gambit Publications (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901983056
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901983050
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Gambit Publications specialises in chess and has an unrivalled reputation for originality and editorial excellence. The company is owned and staffed entirely by leading chess masters and grandmasters.

About the Author

Murray Chandler is a chess Grandmaster, and a former editor of the British Chess Magazine. He was a key member of the England team that won the silver medals in Chess Olympiads three times during the 1980s, and went on to captain the team in 1994. He remains to this day one of the few players in the world with a 100% score against Kasparov.

Customer Reviews

It teaches tactical pattern recognition in a fun and challenging way.
F Tilley
If you are looking for a beginner chess book, get the Idiot's Guide to Chess.
Science Geek
Kids will benefit, but so will anyone with a USCF rating below ~1500.
Michael P. McGuire

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

358 of 374 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I got this book. My dad didn't fall for all but one of these checkmates. But then I was happy. I tried them all, but he would get me down too much to use any of them so I think just the beginners book for juniors worked better anyway. I did get him in the backrank one because he was upset by my little sister tossing stuff when she didn't get her way and he was not paying attention. I got a beginners book for juniors and and a traps book and both worked better. I now beat my dad more than half the time.
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101 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Jack Reader on July 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are only two weaknesses one could find in this book. The first is the cover: a work like this should not have the cover of a fifth grade drawing project. The second is the title: it should have been "Fifty Deadly Checkmates You Could Beat Your Dad With". Based on the principle of pattern recognition the author introduces you to fifty checkmate patterns and emphasizes the elements necessary to attain them. From "Anastasia's Mate" to "The Fischer Trap" it does an excellent job depicting the deadly patterns that would lead to mates. But there are no discussions of openings or middle game antics, not to mention the tedious end game struggles. Certainly, pattern recognition plays an important role in chess, but so does elemental principles of positional and tactical plays, of which this book shows only few examples. Taken together, these checkmates reinforce principles such as the value of the defensive f-pawn and the beauty of seemingly senseless decoy sacrifices. But students of elemental principles of sound chess may find this book somewhat disappointing.
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121 of 126 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
After reading my Chess For Juniors and Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess books I got this one. I loved Chess For Juniors a lot but found Bobby Fischer to cover checkmates but not as good at this book. Bobby Fischer was too easy and some of this book was hard but I stilled learned from it.

If you are thinking of getting Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess then don't and get How To Beat Your Dad At Chess instead because it is better.

You can learn the back rank and legels checkmates and a lot more to help you win.
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115 of 121 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
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.
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87 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. McGuire on March 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I found the title to be an unfortunate choice; it makes the book look like a kids book. Kids will benefit, but so will anyone with a USCF rating below ~1500. This is not a book about how to move the pieces. It doesn't outline basic strategy such as controlling the center, developing your pieces, or castling early. Instead, almost the entire book is devoted to "The 50 Deadly Checkmating Patterns." These range from the simple back-rank mate to four variations of the Greek gift sacrifice to methods of salvaging a "Petrosian draw" in the endgame. Chandler argues that these are common themes, and that by working through the well-diagramed, two-page-per-example sections, we will notice these possibilities in our play. He includes a test section at the end to how well the material has sunk in. The text is easy to read with clear, well-anotated diagrams (the key move is indicated by an arrow as well as the text), and the hardcover version withstands abuse in your gear bag. This is a superb book to glance at while you're waiting for the tournament to start.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
After my first book "Chess For Juniors" (the absolute best first book to get when learning chess - the entire series is great) I got "How to Beat Your Dad at Chess". I found it to really help me improve my checkmating skills! And, I recommend it very much. It could use more problems, which is why I gave it 4 instead of 5 points.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Pat Wooten on October 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I started off with CHESS FOR JUNIORS (my third book was UNBEATABLE CHESS LESSONS FOR JUNIORS) as my first chess book (excellent first book) dove right into HOW TO BEAT YOUR DAD AT CHESS. I really found the checkmating patterns to be well organized - a great tactical workbook! I wouldn't hesitate to get all three of the first books I read. I have moved on to others, and come right back and say - these are the best three books to start off with!!!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Tim B on December 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first saw this book at a display by a chess book vendor at a large chess tournament that was being held in Denver last year. I am an adult active tournament player, currently with a 1570 USCF rating. A friend was walking out and said he had bought a book. As a joke I said "How to beat you dad at chess"? and everyone laughed, since my friend was also an experienced player.
A few months later one of the people who was with me when I made that joke told me he had looked at the book at a store, and was really impressed, and bought it. He said that I would really like it. I had a gift certificate to amazon.com, so I decided to buy it also.
It turns out that my joke was not really as funny as I thought it was! This book is not really for people who want to learn how the pieces move. It is a collection of mating patterns.
While most of the material was not new to me, I really liked how the book was laid out. You can read it in little chunks, which is really nice. Each mating pattern is about 2 pages, so it is easily digestable. You can also read it without a board setup, which is really nice too, when you are on a plane, or just want to lay on the couch.
I would recommend this to players from about 1000-1500 USCF strenght, or those that want to brush up on their mating patterns. Again, not for people just learning the game. It might look a little embarrassing if you are an adult, and leave it out on the coffee table, but just remember to "not judge the book by its cover". I am glad I didn't!
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