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4.2 out of 5 stars
How to Beat Your Dad at Chess (Gambit chess)
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2010
This book has proved its worth with so many children - it is pitched at the chess player who has mastered the basics (it is not a beginner's book) understands the need for strategy, but is a little lost in how to move that forward. This book gives them a number of scenarios / pictures they can learn and be confident in moving to checkmate. There are many opportunities for the light bulb to switch on - especially enjoyed is smothered mate - the idea of a checkmate with just a knight seems to give the child more respect for that piece and opens their eyes to the fact that checkmate is not all about throwing in lots of queens and rooks! Subtlety can work well - and most young chess players enjoy the feeling of deviousness in sneaking up with a knight and catching the king unawares... I have bought several copies as presents.
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84 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on 4 June 2003
At my level (around 1200-1300 elo) this is a little marvel! For starters the price is good and it's a quality hardback which is rare for chess books. Unlike the majority of chess manuals this is a doddle to read and doesn't require a photographic memory or multiple chess sets to work through!
The title is a little misleading though. This is basically 50 checkmating patterns, 1 per page. I would suggest reading and re-reading this book until those patterns are burned into your memory. You'll be suprised at how often the opportunity to use these checkmate motifs will appear in your games.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2008
An interesting presentation of various checkmates, using typical positions to explain the 'how to' without getting bogged down in too much detail. An excellent read and highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2010
The title was very appealing to myself and my junior school son who couldn't wait to figure out how to beat me having had successes against his school friends. Whilst I used to be a strong club player decades ago and hadn't played for over 20 years I found it very
easy to follow and soon picked up moves again. My son soon picked up on it and we learnt together but he didn't find it that easy to
follow as there's just so much black and white and small print. SO the DS went away and a chess set beside the book is really needed
to get the best out of each section.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This has been really popular with my kids and keeps getting dipped back into. It was a last minute buy but I thought I would review as it really seems to have caught their imagination. Can't think why...
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2009
I bought this book for my son when he was aged 7. When we play, he now recognises the check-mating patterns having found them initially in this book!

I can recommend this book to any kid / adult starting out in chess ...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2009
A really good basic introduction for anyone wanting to learn some basic mating strategies. Learn these and develop a wining streak!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2013
Humans have an innate capacity to spot visual patterns, eg peoples' faces, trees and a clock face. Try covering up a traditional watch with your other hand, ask an adult to to look at the back of your hand and move it quickly away and back over the watch, giving him or her the merest glimpse of the watch, then ask the person what time it said. 9 out of 10 will get it right. The point is that this sort of mental activity is automatic, extremely quick and unthinking (see "Thinking, fast and slow" by D Kahneman for a very readable account of a lifetime of study in this field.). These instant reactions can also be wrong, but they can be practised and trained. Strong chess players spot patterns very quickly then get their thinking caps on and calculate whether their first impression is workable. "How to beat your Dad at chess" is one of few books to consciously harness this approach. It classifies mates by pattern and accompanies each with lively, readable text to confirm the "get your thinking cap on" part.

Don't be put off by the title, this excellent book is neither condescending nor patronising.

Worth every penny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2013
Great book. I read it cover to cover before giving it to my son for his 7th birthday! The charts are very useful, he was able to understand them easily, even though he cant actually read all the words yet! It helps to try out the moves many times for practice purposes. Finally he beat me at a game of chess without me letting him win! I recommend this book for mathmatically minded kids who like following instructions & have patience. This suits my 7 yr old exactly! Thank you!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2011
Bought this book for my 11 year old daughter who knows the rules (just about) on the assumption it would take her a step further so she would know how to checkmate with two queens, a queen and a rook, two rooks, just a queen etc. However it is way beyond that level. It's way beyond me! I think this would be a good book for chess fans who have kids infected with the chess bug. However if you have learned the rules as a child yourself and occasionally get the board out to play a game on a rainy day to play a game with your kids, this book probably isn't for you. It makes a lot of assumptions about what you already know about chess and apart from the cartoon on the front cover really doesn't seem to be aimed at kids at all to me. I wish I had got her the "Chess for Children" book that I bought her younger sister - at least we have a copy in the house, which she is borrowing and seems to enjoy.

In short - wouldn't recommend unless your child is already better at chess than your average adult member of the population.
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