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Beat That Kid in Chess: For the early beginner to win games Paperback – September 2, 2015
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We liked that the first chapter in this book was on Checkmate. My daughter has been playing chess since she was four, but she would still struggle with finding checkmate when it was possible for her. As we went through this book, I set up the board according to the diagrams shown, and we worked together on finding checkmate when it was available. I think this provided a good confidence boost for her, and this added confidence helped give her the motivation to want to keep learning and discovering how to spot the sorts of moves that would eventually lead her to a possible checkmate during a game.
Other things we found particularly helpful were the pages about spotting potential knight forks, and the pages about the values of various pieces. I think sometimes for children it can be easy to just think a piece is a piece and not think about the greater value a rook has over a bishop, for example, when making an exchange. And for little girls, especially, it can be tempting to consider the knight as the most valuable piece simply because it’s shaped like a horse. Going over the values of the pieces was a helpful lesson.
The back cover states that this book is for the “early beginner”. On some level I would agree with that, but I do find it necessary to clarify that this book is for someone who already has a strong grasp of how the pieces move. I would describe this book as being a great fit for someone who knows all the basics of how to play chess but who struggles with spotting checkmate and spotting the “right” moves. For the beginner who doesn’t yet understand how all the pieces move, I would recommend finding another resource first, and then moving on to this book after the basics are understood.
Overall, this has been a great resource and a great “next step” for my daughter. There was, of course, a lot more to this book than the things I’ve mentioned already. This book has ten chapters, and I thought they were all well-done. I anticipate going through it again with my other daughter in a year or so when she is ready for it.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
planning and foresight, and more. Who doesn't want that for themselves and their loved ones?
This book is perfect for someone who knows the basic rules of chess but needs additional help to actually win. I learned chess as a child, but as someone who hasn't played in over a decade, this is a great refresher. I sometimes find myself in a rut, playing mainly defense and moving each piece carefully so as to not lose material. My weakness is seeing how I need to position my pieces to move forward to a checkmate. I love the way this book is organized: It's starts with a few simple chess terms, progresses to chapter topics that start where most puzzles start-the end, and then ends with simple and advanced exercises, as well as a thorough index.
This is going to help me get back into the game, so to speak, as well as help me know in what order to teach my own children, so that they too can enjoy the benefits that come with playing chess.