on 23 June 2006
This is great introduction to chess. It's beautifully produced, and takes you steadily through the basics: piece moves, tactics, openings and endgames; the puzzles are challenging, and the tone unpatronising. After finishing it you feel ready for you first game. It doesn't make Chess out to be darkly complex, played just by awkward men, but keeps the emphasis on the fact that it's a profoundly beautiful, fun game that will grow as you do. I dislike the fact that it's marketed for kids - that'll put adults off buying it, or make them feel stupid if they find this 'kid's' book challenging. It has been a great start for me, and a reminder that even the greatest player in the world had to be a beginner once.
on 30 April 2015
Great book by one of the all-time great Russian chessmasters.
The graphics may appear "childish" but actually I think they're aesthetic and will appeal to any age. Came across this book almost ten years ago as a 12/13 year old from the library and we used it for a while then, now recently decided to buy my own. It really is one of the simplest, most plain-language introductions to the game from the ground up, and will take anyone to a reasonably decent playing level.
The board and its coordinates, set up of the pieces and their values and moves (and sometimes even mnemonics on how they move) are spelled out, and goes on to illustrate various strategies and tactics, even openings and endings played from real high-level matches. The author's experience is pitched to the reader by saying what advanced/experienced players will do compared to novices.
Subtleties, including set-up and during play, are stated plainly and clearly.
There are lots of useful bits of information which I was aware existed but didn't concretely know about until reading the book the first time, such as the standard board coordinates, values of the pieces, and chess notation.
The price is nothing compared to its content. An outstanding book, worth far more than every penny.
on 22 July 2012
We bought this book for our daughter, who was just beginning to learn chess. We learnt loads of things from it ourselves, and our game has improved immensely! Our daughter beats us both regularly, after only six weeks! She is eight!