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Chess for Children: How to Play the World's Most Popular Board Game Hardcover – April 1, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 206 customer reviews

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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 gained the chess Grandmaster title by winning events in New York and Amsterdam. During 28 years as a professional player, he has taken part in over 150 international tournaments, in 32 different countries. His previous books include the best-selling How to Beat Your Dad at Chess.

Dr Helen Milligan is a World Chess Federation woman master (wfm), and a former British Ladies Champion. She has represented Scotland in 10 Chess Olympiads.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Gambit Publications (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904600069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904600060
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.

This review first appeared in the magazine En Passant.
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Format: Hardcover
We took the extended family on a trip to Florida a couple of months ago, and picked up a plastic chess set together with this book for the children. We hoped they might learn, but we could hardly predict they would become besotted. The book was a mega-hit.

Although both my father-in-law (from Switzerland) and I had played a fair bit of chess in our younger days, neither of us were completely up with the rules. Having this book was useful as both a refresher course and to consult in case of dispute.

I had expected CHESS FOR CHILDREN would be at least an adequate book, as a local chess coach had steered me towards it, but it was better than that, which has prompted me to do this review. The content is brilliant, and I can only agree with other reviews that this has the clearest lay-out of any chess beginner book.

Another unexpected bonus was that the kids were able to follow everything in the book without the help of an adult, even learning chess notation. Visually the book scores well, being a solid hardcover with a good mix of chess moves and illustrations.

The book divides nealy into six parts, starting with setting up the chessboard, and progressing to how each piece moves and some elementary advice on strategy. The first holiday where arcade games were almost forgotten!

Highly recommended.
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A Kid's Review on October 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed it because it does a good job in telling you about the rules of chess and gives you some strategies to. It has good pictures and was enjoyable to read. A sixth grader will probably not like it as much as a second grader because of the lay out, but it is still good for both of these ages.
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Format: Hardcover
I gave this book to my son, aged 5, and was impressed when he sat down and read it for two hours straight. As an elementary school teacher as well as a chess player, I would recommend this book for teaching a child how to play. It is well-organized and starts with the basics - the name of each piece, how each piece moves, how to set up a chessboard.
The format is large and the diagrams and arrows are attractive. My son was particularly excited by the Terribly Tough Tests that were set every few pages, with solutions at the back of the book. The authors have got the level exactly right, which in my experience very few beginner books achieve. There are sections on chess notation, draws, basic checkmates and some simple tactics, but these are all extras - the primary aim is to teach the rules and moves of chess to a youngster, and in this the book succeeds well.
The benefits of chess in teaching logical thinking are well known, and it has even been proved that chess can improve a child's skill at maths. As a genuinely instructional primer, this is easily the best I have seen.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent place to start teaching children chess. I almost gave it four stars because I don't think children under 7 or 8 will be able to tackle it themselves without an adult. It would still serve as an excellent guide for older children and teens and with an adult's help any younger child would love it. It has great outlines and pictures of how the pieces move, the rules, special rules (en passant for example) and can be referenced easily by anyone. Great job by Mr.Chandler.
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Format: Hardcover
The picture stuff is a little too much for a slightly older kid like me. I am on the chess team at my school and thought it would be a good idea for me to read up some. But for someone in 6th grade I found I needed a more serious book (I think the pictures are cute for little kids, not for anyone beyond first grade). It was not consistant that some parts of the book are for little kids, but the reading level needed was way beyond that. But the book isn't bad. It still had somegood learning things in it.
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