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Winning Chess Strategy for Kids Paperback – 1 Dec 2000
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About the Author
Jeff Coakley is a Canadian chess master and a leading coach in Canada. He has been teaching chess to young people for 15 years, in Toronto and Halifax, as well as the internet. Many of his students have been national champions and competed successfully in international youth events. He is also the editor of Scholar's Mate magazine and an active organizer of children's chess tournaments.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
But for anyone under the chess expert level this is probably the greatest chess book ever written, there are many chess books and i own around 75 (and i look at them as well, they do not always just collect dust). So as an 'improving' player this one book will EASILY add 200 points to whatever your rating is if you follow the advice and tips in this single book...
It starts with basic stuff like how to play chess and also talks about 'rook lifts' and the "x-ray"; just a ton of essential chess knowledge in one book, seriously there is months or years worth of chess learning here depending upon your level of chess involvement...
Please do not under-estimate this book; this is a SERIOUS book, now in its SIXTH 'revised' edition. In fact most modern kids probably would not even be able to understand this book unless they are "chess players"...
This one book is simply the best introduction or refresher 'course' to the overall areas of chess knowledge, your chess development will speed along far faster if you consider this books' "contents" as you consider your chess 'moves'.
Again i must say this is THE chess book to OWN; it MUST be your first, second or third chess book to follow; now just buy it, or just ' find ' the time and money and " hire " your own personal chess ' coach ' instead...
On the other hand there is something awkward about the tone. The book both feels above and below the level that it is pitching for.
By the third page the book talks in chess code (For example: "3. Bc4 Nf6? 4.Qxf7#"). The second page does give an explanation of how to read this code but it feels like it needs more of an easing in and getting the kids acclimated. So the first few pages are going to be hard for a kid to get past without the help of a chess teacher to work through it with them.
However even though the content is at a very high level, the illustrations and the jokes seem sort of dumbed down for a kid that is going to be able to follow the strategy and seem disconnected from the content ("Hi, boys and girls... I am Biff the B. Welcome to the chess talk show!," random dumb pizza jokes, "darth pawn"). The illustrator is not a professional illustrator (the only other things he seems to have done is other chess books by this same author). I would love to see a new addition in which the author worked with a professional book designer and illustrator so that the cartoons seemed to add to and unlock the content (I wish the illustrations also felt like a rich puzzle themselves that gave insight into the game) instead of feeling silly and tacked on.
(If your under 1400, I humbly suggest you don't need a strategy book. Study Bain's and Coakley's tactics books until you get over 1400.)
I also recommend Silman's Complete Endgame Course for beginners up to 2200.
Each chess book requires 50+ hours of deep study to master, so choose carefully in order to protect your most precious commodity - time.