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Power Chess for Kids: Learn How to Think Ahead and Become One of the Best Players in Your School [Paperback]

Charles Hertan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

8 April 2011
Learn How to Think Ahead and Become One of the Best Players in Your School A power move, explains experienced chess teacher Charles Hertan, is a winning master tactic that requires thinking ahead. To become one of the best chess players in your school you need to be able to think just 1.5 moves ahead, and this book teaches the four basic tricks do so. You will learn how to weed out silly moves and just consider a few important ones. Charles Hertan introduces the four main characters who will help you to learn these basic skills: Zort (a teenaged computer from the planet Zugszwang), the Dinosaurs, Power Chess Kids and the Chess Professor. The most complete and fun kids book ever on learning how to win games!

Frequently Bought Together

Power Chess for Kids: Learn How to Think Ahead and Become One of the Best Players in Your School + Chess for Kids: How to Play and Win + How to Beat Your Dad at Chess (Gambit chess)
Price For All Three: 21.84

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: New in Chess (8 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9056913301
  • ISBN-13: 978-9056913304
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 16.8 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 421,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful reading 25 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Power Chess for Kids is fantastic! A great resource for improving your chess game. It really does encourage you you think several moves ahead. Wonderful strategic ideas in language easily accessible for children. A highly informative and practical guide to the great game of chess.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great chess lessons in a fun book 9 Dec 2011
By Christopher J. Falter - Published on Amazon.com
I've coached chess kids for many years, and have always sought good material to recommend to students who want to make progress. For the student who is at the appropriate stage in development, Hertan's work is among the best I've seen.

Hertan teaches four "power tricks" to get better:

1. Know and use the value of the pieces.
2. The 'Quick Count' - Count the defenders and attackers to see whether a piece can be safely captured
3. Takes Takes Bang! - Make a trade to set up a winning (bang!) move
4. Check Moves Bang! - Use a check to set up a winning (bang!) move

The last 2 power tricks are a very useful introduction to forcing moves, which every chess player must master in order to become strong.

Hertan then shows how to use these power tricks with 4 different tactical motifs: forks, pins, skewers, and interference moves. The last 4 chapters contain a total of about 150 teaching positions, along with 30 exercises to reinforce the reader's grasp of the concepts.

The book closes with a useful glossary of chess terms (like "endgame" and "perpetual check") for the chess learner. The author references a forthcoming second book, which will presumably cover how to apply the 4 power tricks with other tactical motifs like discovered attack, deflection, and removal of the guard. Keep an eye out for it; it's sure to be worthwhile.

The 4 cartoon characters add zest and quirky humor, making it a fun read. I asked my teenage son, a retired chess prodigy, to read the book and give me his opinion. He said he really enjoyed it and found it helpful; in fact, he wished he had been able to read it when he was playing chess. That, in a nutshell, is why I award the book 5 stars.

That said, I must disagree with the notion that this is the most complete chess book for kids:

* It is too advanced to serve as a second book for chess learners, who need more grounding in fundamentals like not leaving your pieces unguarded, and not playing with just your queen. It also assumes a mastery of chess rules, and the explanation of chess notation is quite rudimentary.

* It does not cover some important topics, like checkmate patterns, openings, and endgames. I understand the author's desire to narrow the scope of the book, as it provides greater focus on the 4 power tricks. Moreover, middlegame tactics are the single most important topic to learn if you want to become strong. However, you forfeit the right to call the book a "complete" set of chess lessons when you exclude these other important topics. After you finish this little gem, I'd suggest the following reading program --

For checkmate patterns, you'll want to obtain Checkmate for Children: Mastering the Most Important Skill in Chess or How to Beat Your Dad at Chess (Gambit Chess). For openings, you might try The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess Openings. And for endgames, you should consider Silman's Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner To Master.

Like pretty much every chess book, the work under review has some minor flaws:

* The terms "interpolation" and "hook-up" are used without definition, and do not appear in the glossary.

* A few examples have unexplored alternative solutions.

* Chess mastery is gained more from practice than from conceptual understanding, and this book is light on the exercises that would provide practice opportunities.

So it has a couple of warts and limitations...who cares? It's still a fun, instructive and helpful book for anyone--kid or adult--rated 600 to 1400 who wants to get better at chess.

Full disclosure: The publisher provided a review copy of this book to me. I have endeavored to remain completely unbiased and helpful, and feel confident that the review reflects my commitment to objectivity.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brush up for adults. Impressive for kids. 26 Nov 2011
By J. Rubin - Published on Amazon.com
As a child, I used to play tournament chess. Now, many years later, after reading this book, I find myself wishing that Mr. Hertan was around back then. This book would have held my attention far better than the books of old. This is because this book works on many levels. It is fun to read and to go through the exercises. It not only teaches chess but points the way to greater intuition. In a world of souped up computer games, it shows that an ancient game has no end, capable of holding our attention for a life time. This book is destined to be a great teaching tool for kids. Few adults really know how to teach children in a way that motivates them to do their best. Mr. Hertan has this gift.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars dougv 25 Sep 2012
By douglas van antwerp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Some cautions:

1. The chess boards used to show chess moves are only 1 1/2" square, and the print is too small for a child to read.
2. The chess examples used are too hard for beginners.
3. The author exaggerates when he calls simple chess tips "Power Tricks".
4. He does does not give many principles for tactics. He mostly shows types of captures.

Thus a child should not buy this book.

The examples are helpful for an intermediate player, but you may need a chess board to follow what he says.

Finally, $16.95 is a lot for a 153 page book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power Chess is wonderful! 6 Mar 2012
By coinguy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my grandson and immediately got drawn into the lessons as I examined the book.
This is a wonderful book for any youngster who is serious about improving his or her chess skills.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My daughter loves her 'book chess master' 11 Nov 2011
By Sara C. C. Ohen - Published on Amazon.com
Best kid's chess book I've seen yet!
My daughter loved the funny characters and the instruction is really top-notch.
Breaks things down to an understandable level. The problems are just right, challenging but not too frustrating.
Should be a must read for kids (or parents) who want to learn how to begin thinking ahead. The graphics and layout are beautifully done.
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