Wonders - Home Best chess books Chess books for beginners too Queen versus rook endgame of chess
© 2015 Jonathan Whitcomb
Brief Reviews of Books on Chess Some for beginners and some for those with intermediate skills
Wonders of Chess Books        Choosing the best book for you
How to Beat Your Dad at Chess has been very popular, considering sales on Amazon in 2015. But this chess book is not best for the beginner who knows little about how to get the upper hand in a game. This book is better for the intermediate player, the competitor who has won chess games before but wants to win more often. It is devoted almost entirely to checkmate patterns, many of which the beginner is unlikely to see in games against other beginners. But for average tournament players, this chess book could be one of the best for improving their performance against other experienced competitors. ISBN-13: 978-1901983050      $16.95  suggested retail
Chess Tactics for Champions is probably best for those who have some experience in competition but need help in improving performance. On page 27 it says: “A pin always has three participants: the pinning piece, the pinned piece, and a piece behind the pinned piece which is located on the same line. There are two different kinds of pins. In an absolute pin, the pinned piece has no legal move because the piece behind it is the king, which would be ex- posed to check. In a relative pin, the pinned piece may move, but that would cause some kind of problem, like losing a piece or allowing checkmate.” [Actually, there is more than one kind of absolute pin: partial and complete, but that is splitting hairs on pins.] ISBN-13: 978-0812936711      $18.99  suggested retail
Beat That Kid in Chess is a new book, especially for the “raw” beginner, the novice who can move the pieces around but who has little or no experience in actually winning a game. It uses a new method of chess training:  nearly-identical positions (NIP), that may not be found in other chess books, at least not in such a systematic way. It allows the reader to go over the diagrams several times, actually making it benefit the reader who goes through the book several times. Beat That Kid in Chess is for the adult, teenager, or older child who knows the rules of the game already but wants to learn the basics about how to improve and win against other novice players. This may be the best book for that kind of reader. ISBN-13: 978-1508856221      $13.40  suggested retail
Chess for Children is usually the #1 best-selling book on chess according to Amazon sales. That does not mean it must be the most popular chess book among all ages of kids, however. In fact, some older children find it “too much of a baby book.” Near the beginning of the book, the cartoon characters have the following conversation (brief excerpt): “It was raining, and George was bored with watching TV. ‘I know what to do,’ said Kirsty, his pet alligator. ‘Let’s play chess. It’s really easy. I’ll teach you.’ ‘That’s a great idea,’ said George. ‘But I want to learn chess properly. So NO TALL TALES, or I’ll . . .’” Many pages in Chess for Children are for teaching the rules. ISBN-13: 978-1904600060      $16.95  suggested retail