This is mainly about the book How to Beat Your Dad at Chess. What I now declare may appear weird: I have just written a chess book that appears, on the surface, to compete with this book, and yet I proclaim that a certain kind of player may benefit from How to Beat Your Dad at Chess and benefit from it more than from any other book ever written on chess. Yes, my apparent-competitor’s book may be the best one of its kind ever written, for certain competitors, among perhaps about 100,000 books that may have been written on playing chess. That’s my opinion.
I Don’t Give a Plea of Insanity
No, I’m not crazy for promoting my competitor with such high praise. The book by Murray Chandler (How to Beat Your Dad at Chess, abbreviated HBYDC) does not really compete with my book Beat That Kid in Chess, in my opinion. At least to me they seem to work best with different potential readers. Chandler’s book can be great for the advanced beginner or the intermediate player; mine is best for the early beginner.
Who Would Most Benefit From HBYDC?
Chandler’s book is best for chess players who compete in the general USCF rating range of about 800-1400. (It can be a very poor choice for early beginners, who could easily become discouraged by the deep-move combinations that fill this book.) The subtitle, Including the 50 Deadly Checkmates, is not 100% accurate, as a few of those fifty are not actually checkmates but other tactical themes that win material. As a practical tool for the advanced-beginner and intermediate competitor, however, this chess book can be of great value to players of that approximate level of ability.
Contents of How to Beat Your Dad at Chess (a partial list)
Here are thirteen of the fifty themes from the table of contents:
- Anastasia’s Mate
- Arabian Mate
- Philidor’s Legacy
- Damiano’s Mate
- The See-Saw
- Blackburne’s Mate
- Double Rook Sacrifice
- Morphy’s Mate
- Greco’s Mate
- Removing the f6 Defender
- Lolli’s Mate
- Back-Rank Mates
- Legall’s Mate
Amazon Comments on How to Beat Your Dad at Chess
The following are brief excerpts from reader-comments on the Amazon pages for Murray Chandler’s book:
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.
Based on the principle of pattern recognition the author introduces you to fifty checkmate patterns and emphasizes the elements necessary to attain them. . . .
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. [a kid’s review]
One-star reader-comments (3% of all reviews) and two-stars (6%) are not quoted here.
A Plea to Consider my own Book
I propose that my new book, Beat That Kid in Chess, may be the most useful one ever written for the raw beginner, the person who knows the rules of the game but knows nothing, or next-to-nothing, about how to outplay an opponent. I don’t know of any other book that even uses the nearly-identical-positions (NIP) approach to chess training, a new and effective way to train competitors in tactics and combinations.
The paperback ‘Beat That Kid in Chess’ was published by Createspace on September 2, 2015 . . . How few chess books are for the raw beginner!
. . . for the early beginner, the player who knows the rules of chess but almost nothing else about the game.
‘Beat That Kid in Chess’ (BTKC) is for the early beginner, who knows the rules of the game but little or nothing else, who would like to win but has little idea how. ‘How to Beat Your Dad at Chess’ (HBYDC) is best for the more experienced player
The reading level is teenager/adult, although some twelve-year-olds could understand and enjoy it.
I’ve looked through other chess books that appear, on the surface, to be for the chess beginner. Not one of them impressed me . . .
Beat That Kid in Chess and the apparently (on the surface) similar book How to Beat Your Dad at Chess are compared.