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

4.3 out of 5 stars 228 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 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.
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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: 0.8 x 7.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (228 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
This book teaches mating tactics in so many ways!
* 50 patterns, 2 pages each
* For each pattern, a brief description of the elements which must be present. (This is similar to more advanced checkmate books, but at a very simple level.)
* Then, a couple of diagrams with arrows, showing the motion of the key pieces, with the moves written below. Very good for improving visualization, so you might spot the pattern later.
* Then another similar pattern, with 2 diagrams.
* Then a couple of positions for you to work out yourself, with solutions directly underneath.
* And finally, near the back of the book, a set of a few dozen positions. They include theme numbers for you to use as hints if necessary. Solutions are separate. This reinforces the learning.
These are all attacks on the castled king, not How To Take Advantage of Opening Blunders, or How To Solve Unlikely Chess Positions. These positions can actually occur in your games, even Fischerandom. The attacks are simple, but not obvious. Some are even by the Black pieces!
Nice hardcover for a thin book. Large diagrams. Feels great in your hands. Very well-designed.
Excellent book for someone rated between 1200 and 1500. I keep it in the bathroom. (I use different chess books in different ways. I take tactics puzzles to the gym. I always keep a chessboard handy for endgame books. I use a miniature set for studying openings. And I follow along with game anthologies by using a computer database and watching the computer analysis. And I am improving rapidly.)
Do one theme (two pages) per day. In two months you'll have actually finished an entire chessbook, and you'll miss it! You will find yourself improving your own defenses because you'll know what to look out for. One of the few chess books you'll actually read cover to cover, and it's cheap for a hardcover.
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