Five New Chess Books

These brief reviews of English-language chess books are of those recently published, not those whose publication dates are after November 4, 2015. Only the paperback versions are included here, and the prices are the ones offered by Amazon on November 5th.

Beat That Kid in Chess – For the early beginner to win games

This chess book assumes the reader already knows the rules. It teaches important tactics and winning methods. Reading level: teenager-adult. It’s easy to understand.

ISBN-13: 978-1508856221

194 pages – $14.40


Chess Masterpieces: A Collection of Selected Games by World’s Masters

From the Amazon promotion page: “Chess is seemingly a universal game, played by people around the world . . . believed to have originated in India sometime during the 600s” [This is unlikely to be a chess book for beginners.]

ISBN-13: 978-1633912335

72 pages – $8.95


Chess Openings – by F. W. Longman

This book was originally published well over a century ago. Those who understand opening theory will see the problem here: Critical new variations come up constantly, with many older lines becoming practically extinct in formal competition, especially after a few decades. This publication is very outdated (the author was born in 1846) and is best viewed as a possible addition to a chess-book collection, although this is a new printing, so few collectors will find it interesting.


86 pages – $11.95


Reaching the Top?!: A Practical Guide to Playing Master-Level Chess

This is unlikely to be a fun read for most beginners. This chess book is for the intermediate or advanced tournament player.

ISBN-13: 978-1941270172

304 pages – $20.00


The Lazy Man’s Sicilian: Attack and Surprise White

This could be great opening book for a tournament player, a competitor well above beginner level. Here is the Amazon promotion for The Lazy Man’s Sicilian:

The Basman-Sale Variation is a relatively unexplored weapon for Black in the Sicilian Defence. After the perfectly normal moves 1.e4 c5, 2. Nf3 e6, 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Black lashes out with 4…Bc5! . . . The advantages are clear: it is surprising, aggressive and easy to learn. Compared to the complexity of mainstream Sicilian variations it requires little theoretical preparation . . .

ISBN-13: 978-9056916053

208 pages – $17.34



Possibly Best Chess Book for Beginners

Comparing two print books about chess:

  • Beat That Kid in Chess
  • How to Beat Your Dad at Chess

Chess Book for a Beginner

This is a book for the average (or below average) person who just wants a little help in winning a chess game . . .

More on Chess Books for Beginners

For a teenager or adult who knows the rules of chess but little else, the choice may be easy: the new book Beat That Kid in Chess . . .

Win With a Pin in Chess

The black queen [in the diagrammed position] is pinning the white queen. In this case, it prevents the white queen from any move except along the other diagonal, the one leading from the white king to the black queen.


About Jonathan D. Whitcomb

Chess instructor
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