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Starting Out in Checkers Paperback – July 1, 2001
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A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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The book contains material about all facets of the game, presented in careful order, with good illustrations and other excellent learning devices (such as easy-to-remember names for various game themes). The book offers a very rare combination of accessibility for casual browsing when time is limited, and material for serious study over a more extended period. But obviously to benefit the most, a serious study of the complete book is in order. Mastering this book, in fact, should put you well ahead of the average club player, and in a good position for study of more advanced literature.
The book treats openings a bit lightly, keeping the rating from just quite reaching five stars. Four and a half stars would actually be a better call.
If your library includes this book, Reinfeld's book, and Pike's two puzzle books, you have a great checkers collection at a very modest cost.
I was much happier to find Millard Hopper's book "How to Win at Checkers" at my university library. I'm sure it is not as complete as Pask's book, but for me, it is actually enjoyable to read. I also get the feeling that the Hopper book builds on each example, introducing only one or two more logical steps between board configurations. This is something that Pask's book could have used: fewer examples, with better connections between them.
Sorry, I really want to like "Starting Out in Checkers". It seems there's a lot of good material there; it's just presented too quickly and without enough explanation.