On September 2, 2015, the nonfiction book Beat That Kid in Chess was published and is available online. It’s intended to be the most useful book ever written for the beginner who knows the rules but little else about chess.
The reading level is teenager/adult, although some eleven-year-old and twelve-year-old children could understand and enjoy it. The concepts are simple enough, in language easy to grasp.
From the introduction in the book:
You may notice that many diagrams are nearly identical, something rarely encountered in most chess books. You need to get used to those small differences that are so important in chess games. How critical can be the smallest difference! This approach can help you to think like a tournament player, in the sense of diving into a chess position as if it had never come up before, a unique landscape for you to explore.
Those similar diagrams have an additional benefit for you. They’ll allow you to go over this book several times, without accidentally memorizing particular positions that have specific themes. This can help you avoid carelessly trying to apply general principles. It may not be the easiest way, just the best way.
From Page 21:
With white to move, in Diagram-11, we see two choices for capturing. The bishop can capture the black pawn at b7 or the black rook. Which would you choose? (Use the dollar system for piece values.)
Remember the bottom line. If you are playing the white pieces, will you gain more than you’ll lose by capturing that black rook? The black pawn at f7 can then capture the white bishop. It’s like spending three dollars to get a five-dollar bill: a good deal, gaining two dollars.
From one reader in California:
“This book is perfect for someone who knows the basic rules of chess but needs additional help to actually win. I learned chess as a child, but as someone who hasn’t played in over a decade, this is a great refresher.”
A Major Benefit of Chess
Playing and studying chess has been found to improve mental capacity in students, and those studies have been conducted over a period of years and in a number of countries around the world. One of those increased capacities is concentration.
Just as many sports improve the physical abilities of students, chess improves the brain, exercises it to improve calculating and concentrating ability. Outside the United States, some schools have made this game part of the regular curriculum.
The first page of the first chapter has only two lines of text before you see a large diagram of a simple chess position. You may or may not quickly see the checkmate for white, but under that diagram the pattern is explained.
The above four simple principles, when applied consistently, may allow an early beginner to soon win a game, provided the opponent is also an early beginner.
On the surface, an endgame may look simple, but looking ahead many moves is sometimes required to play some endgames well.