This book for early beginners in chess—it actually has few competitors, for the vast majority of chess books fit into one of the following two categories:
- For tournament competitors (many thousands of books)
- For mid-level or advanced beginners (at least many hundreds of books)
Beat That Kid in Chess is for the “raw beginner,” who has little, if any, experience winning a game of chess. It fits into neither of the above two categories. The reading level of the text is teenager-adult, but some older children will have no problem with it. The concepts are presented simply and can be easily assimilated by readers of a wide range of ages, including many children.
From the second page of the introduction:
Trust me. Start at the beginning of the first chapter and progress from page to page. There is no magic formula at the end of the book; don’t bother looking ahead. Well . . . actually, if you’re thirty minutes away from starting a chess battle with that kid, and you have a little experience with checkmates and tactics, you can skip to the exercises at the end. That’s temporary. Otherwise I recommend taking the lessons in order.
White to move (from the first page of the first chapter of the book; the actual diagrams in the book have letters and numerals running along the ranks and files, for clarity and chess notation)
Notice the above diagram, taken from Beat That Kid in Chess. For those acquainted with back-rank mates, moving the queen up to the top of the board might come to mind. The black king, however, would then escape to the nearby white square (it would not be checkmate).
The checkmate pattern taught in this diagram, however, is that the white queen can capture the pawn that’s directly in front of the black king, and that’s checkmate. The book explains:
Were it not for the white bishop, the black king would simply capture the white queen. As it is, this move is checkmate . . .
‘Beat That Kid in Chess’ may be the best book for the early beginner, the player who knows the rules but not much else.
Both emphasize the importance of tactics in winning chess games. Both are extremely practical, preparing their readers to beat their opponents by checkmate.
Do you know the rules but almost nothing more about chess? This is the best book for the early beginner.
Why use the NIP method of chess training? . . . students learn to look at a chess position more like a grandmaster would.