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Simple Checkmates Paperback – April 30, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Here is the classic guide to winning chess for beginners. Recommended by chess coaches the world over, it presents a wide range of specific chess positions and asks the reader to find the next move or series of moves that lead to checkmate -- with two diagrams per page and the answers spelled out underneath.

The beauty of Simple Checkmates is that it turns learning into a game. It's fun, it's fascinating, it's fundamental -- an invaluable tool for anyone who wants not only to play chess, but to win at chess. With more than 430 diagrams in all, this book is certain to take you -- or your children -- to a whole new level op play.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (April 30, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034540307X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345403070
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
67%
4 star
24%
3 star
10%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 21 customer reviews
This is very simple book with lots of simple checkmate problems.
Amazon Customer
I also like the fact that the answers are at the bottom of the page which keeps a student from having to flip through the book to check their answer.
Kat on Kindle
If you're new to chess, a casual player, or just one who likes running through chess problems quickly, this is a good book.
"kbk1121"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By C. Dunn on February 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
I use this book at the gym while I'm exercising. That forces me to see the patterns without thinking too much. I am trying to see the solutions as quickly as possible. Chess is pattern-matching (i.e. tactics) first, strategy second, and MAYBE memorization of opening lines a distant third.
This is the method suggested in Rapid Chess Improvement. After you've completely mastered these positions, so that you solve them instantly, you can proceed to a harder set, maybe something by Reinfeld.
The format is designed for children, but that doesn't bother me at all. If it makes you feel better, donate it to a child after you've read it 5 times.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is like a workbook of checkmates. It is a perfect book for a beginner and has hundreds of simple (very basic) checkmate positions to find the checkmate in. I like this a lot better than "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess" because it has a lot more problems. There are not a lot of books that teach basic checkmates in a workbook form so get this book if you are a real beginner before going to the next step where I recommend "1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate" and "Winning Chess Traps for Juniors".

My teacher in school uses this book to set up problems for us to solve!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By George R Dekle on July 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you know next to nothing about chess and would like an unchallenging exercise in learning the basic mates, then this book is for you. If you are above the rank beginner stage, you can spend your money better buying another book. Koltanowski & Finklestein's "Checkmate!" entertains as it educates, and it challenges your grey matter too. Renaud & Kahn's "Art of the Checkmate" is another good primer, probably more scholarly than "Checkmate!" but not as entertaining. Once you've read either of those two books, go to Fred Reinfeld's "Win at Chess," a brief collection of mating problems divided into 1 movers, 2 movers, and 3 movers. When you get through with that, buy Reinfeld's "1001 Checkmates," and unless you're an expert or master, you'll have all the mating problems you'll ever need for practice.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tim B on July 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is great preparation work before taking on Fred Reinfeld's classic 1001 Checkmates book. I really like the format, which is two problems on each page, with the answers at the bottom. This is a lot easier than having to flip to the back of the book to find the answer.
The book starts off with a bunch of mate in one problems, and then moves on to the mate in two problems. It is crucial for chess players to really ingrain these patterns into their head, especially if you like to play speed chess. There are about 430 problems all together.
If your rating is under 1000 you definitely need this book. If you are under 1400 it might still be good, so that you can make sure you can see the answers quickly. Most of them should pop out at you, so that in a five minute game you don't even have to think of it. These are the types of micro drills that Michael de la Maza talks about in his how to gain 400 points in 400 days articles that are critical to know.
good luck!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sir Bowen on October 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book does a great job of helping the reader develop a really strong feeling for the strategies of chess. All of the exercises are in the form of mate-in-one or mate-in-two puzzles, but they are carefully crafted to illustrate the power of different pieces, and how different pieces may work together. This new insight improves one's games tremendously.
You don't have to be a rank novice to benefit from this book. It can be of help even to people who have played the game, but who just want to broaden their understanding.
Also, since the material is presented in the form of puzzles, it doesn't contain wordy discussion of strategies. This is good in two ways: 1) it helps develop your ability to see the strategies directly on the board during a game, and 2) it makes this a perfect book for kids (I've used it with kids as young as 8, with a lot of success).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dr Aaron J Bellette on January 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a long-time casual chess player who recently decided to take his chess to the next level and begin to learn more about this wonderful game, I found this book simply outstanding.
The layout of the book is uncluttered, with two problems per page and the answers to these problems listed at the bottom of the page. This feature adds greatly to the "user-friendly" nature of the book and avoids repeated excursions to the back of the book, which in a book of this nature (with over 400 problems to solve) would be a major headache.
There is instructional content in this book, but it is clear, concise and doesn't detract from the purpose of the book: to impart an understanding of basic mating concepts in chess and a recognition of these patterns in gameplay.
I would still consider myself a beginner to intermediate level player but it has helped me immensely in my understanding of this aspect of chess.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "riley8" on December 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
I own 20-25 chess books and this is the one I pick up most often. It sharpens my game quicker than any other book I own. After I breeze through the majority of this book (30 min.) my mind is constantly looking for two move tactics on the board. I usually play quick timed games (1 & 2 min games) so the tactics pay off big for me. After tuning my game w/ this book I am a different player. --- Seriously.
SW
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