Countless thousands of books have been published on the game of chess, for a variety of players and readers. Your best choice can be greatly influenced by the following:
- Are you a beginner, post-beginner, lower-ranked club player, or tournament player?
- Do you need a book on openings, middle games, or end games?
- Are you looking for help with tactics or strategy? (They’re not the same thing)
- How old are you? (child, teenager, or adult?)
Chess books can be as basic as instructions on the rules or as advanced as the few that are of value to masters, but most of them are for players between those extremes. Consider now three publications on the royal game.
Chess for Children
This popular book on Amazon is listed as “Age Range: 9 and up,” but this can be misunderstood. The ideal child for Chess for Children would be about 4-6 years old, with an adult reading the book out loud to him or her. An eleven-year-old could easily be disinterested in it, for it’s obviously for small children.
Chess for Children has many pages for teaching the rules of the game, and this instruction is done in a way to entertain small children. This is not for teenagers.
Beat That Kid in Chess
Like the previous book reviewed, this is not for handing over to a small child, but for different reasons. The concepts are simple and explained to make them easy, compared with most chess books, yet this was not written for little kids.
The reading level is for a wide range: adult, teenager, older child. It assumes the reader already knows the rules of the game—how to move the pieces, castle, and respond to check, etc. The new book Beat That Kid in Chess teaches you how to win a game, if you’re a beginner with little experience in winning. It teaches tactics.
For the true beginner who already knows the rules, this could be the best book available for quickly learning what it takes to win games. It uses a new teaching method: NIP (using nearly-identical positions for training in tactics). This may be the first publication to systematically use this new technique in chess education.
Winning Chess Tournaments
This book is not new, published in 2007, yet it has no Amazon customer reviews, suggesting it was poorly promoted. It appears to have been written for players with some experience or training or book learning—not for the raw beginner.
This appears to be a valuable guide to the young competitor who has not yet played in a tournament but would like to try. It may be best for the player who has already won many informal games and now feels a desire to compete in formal competition.
It was the best of books; it was the worst of books. For average chess beginners or the lower-intermediate-level players, how can this book simultaneously be the best and the worst, this bestseller on the royal game: How to Beat Your Dad at Chess? It’s complicated.
For most chess players, tactics is king if you want to win more often. Does a typical chess game resemble a battlefield? It’s more like a savage street fight in a narrow alley.
We’ll look at a few of the new chess books available on Amazon.
Most of these publications have been to help players to improve their abilities over-the- board . . .