Beat That Kid in Chess is not really about winning a game against a child. The book trains the “early beginner” in the most basic tactics and winning methods, regardless of the age of the chess opponent. The title and book cover have been compared with How to Beat Your Dad at Chess, although almost everything else about these two chess books is different. Beat That Kid in Chess (BTKC) is for the “raw” beginner, the person who knows the rules of the game but who knows almost nothing about how to win.
Back cover of this paperback book for the “raw” beginner
From page 6 in the book
Most of the book teaches those tactical details which are essential to winning chess games. Yet it also gives at least a few verbal explanations, usually woven into the visual examples. Here is one:
The rooks can become powerful fighters in the end game, after many other pieces have been captured. They can then sometimes shoot up and down, left and right, attacking and defending from a distance. But avoid moving a rook off the back rank too early in the game, as in the opening.
From the Introduction
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.
From page 14 in the book
Looking at the above position, white has two other moves that would get the king out of check but either one would be a mistake. Moving the white bishop to c1 or moving the white queen to d1—those two possibilities have a common problem: The black queen could then make a capture and white would have no opportunity to recapture that black queen. Let’s continue now with another checkmate.
It uses the new NIP system of chess instruction, perhaps used in no previous book on the royal game: Nearly-Identical Positions. This method of teaching gives you the natural way of assimilating basic tactics.
How few instructional chess books are suitable for the early beginner, the chess player who knows the rules but little else about the game! The cover of ‘Beat That Kid in Chess’ might suggest it’s for children, but the reading level is more for teenagers and adults rather than little kids . . .
“Keep your king safe, especially in the early and middle of a game. After most of the pieces have been captured (and no queens are left), it may be important to use the king as a fighting force”
“Keep your king safe, especially in the early and middle of a game. After most of the pieces have been captured (and no queens are left), it may be important to use the king as a fighting force . . .”