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“Chess” by László Polgár

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I am a chess Master, teaching kids from how the pieces move all the way up to about 1500-rated. I now require every student to have his or her own copy of this book! This school year, my students (cumulatively) completed more than 5000 of these puzzles, some more than 500 individually.

Polgar doesn’t have a lot of text here to read, just tons of puzzles, most of which are game-likely situations. One of the hardest things to teach students is often board vision and cooperation of pieces into attacks and mating attacks.

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Through repetition, this book helps players learn the patterns that will present them opportunities in their tournament games. My players that are serious about their improvement have, without exception, found that this book has bumped their ratings at least 200 points (some 400 points!) in less than a year!

As a coach, I have found that offering internal club recognition for completing puzzles such as these also improved club-wide interest. Additionally, many of the puzzles you find elsewhere, whether in a book or on-line, will have escape possibilities from the stated “mate-in-two” or other move numbers. Of the 5334 puzzles in this book, my students and I have only found ONE with such a problem!

I would not hesitate to give this book the highest possible review rating as a teaching manual – you don’t need to re-write the book when Lazlo has already done it for you.


“Logical Chess” by Irving Chernev

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This is the book I read more than any other and feel I have learned the most from. It’s relaxing to sit down with a board, pieces and a book and go through a game played between two great players, with move by move commentary included. You might think you’re learning very little, but you’ll be amazed at what sticks with you, and how you will start thinking more about what your opponents are planning when they make their moves, and how you will start calculating more deeply when it comes to your own.

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I think that this kind of method of study is not only entertaining (Chernev is wonderful at drawing you into the game’s “story,” and by that I mean how the game develops and moves inexorably toward its decisive moment), but it teaches a beginner/low intermediate player a lot about openings (without going into all that dull and intimidating depth regarding variations etc. that you see in books on openings) and strategy (Chernev really stresses the importance in the games he chooses of players’ efforts to either control or free up space, and squeeze out small advantages so that a decisive attack can be mounted).

Chernev’s commentaries are also very helpful when it comes to learning how to maximize the each piece’s unique offensive and defensive capabilities. You’ll begin to really understand where each piece belongs on the board and the difficulties you’ll encounter if they’re not in the right place.


“Chess: The Complete Guide to Chess” by Logan Donovan

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This is by far the best introductory book on chess that I’ve ever read. Almost every book I’ve read expects you to arrive at some understanding of the game by stepping through one game after another but this book gives you a holistic view of the game. There is a lot of easy to understand chess wisdom packed in almost every chapter.

Since I was little I’ve always loved playing chess but for the past couple of years I had to stop playing it as I got busier and busier, but know that I’ve come back home I will play with my family a lot.

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Because I took some vacations from work and college I want to start competing with my parents and the rest of my family, they all love chess as much as I do, and because of that I bought this book in a promo. Being honest I knew most of the things that says on the book but I got to learn other tricks and strategies that I didn’t knew before. I guess we learn new things everyday right? Anyway I recommend it, mostly to people who is a beginner in chess playing, but overall is really good, it explains in detail every step in every strategy, and it explains very good how to play and win.. really good one.


 

CHESS BOARDS

Chess Armory 15″ Wooden Chess Set with Felted Game Board Interior for Storage

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This is an elegant, tasteful chess set, and the price is right. The wood is beautiful. I bought it as a starter set for my grandson, and he will treat is with respect, not as another collection of plastic toys. I also bought “Chess for Children” by Murray Chandler and Helen Milligan, and it is a VERY helpful way to start younger children (and older grandmothers too!) at chess.

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They make a wonderful combination and will provide great educational entertainment for a very long time.

In the price range appropriate for a kid beginner, this set offers a high-quality board that opens to reveal a felt-lined storage area for the chess pieces. There is elastic on both sides that allows the owner to slip each piece into a slot to prevent rattling and to make sure all of the pieces are intact before putting the set away.

Best Value Tournament Chess Set – 90% Plastic Filled Chess Pieces and Green Roll-up Vinyl Chess Board

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Excellent for the price. It comes with nice sized pieces, weighted, etc. Prior to this I played with a milton bradley chess set which was in a cardboard box, with a board that folds in half and cheesy chess guys. So this is a nice upgrade. I do not know what “Official” size and weight is, or what the 90% plastic filled, is that 10% hollow, or 10% less weight than “official”, who knows.

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I just know that for 90% of the chess players, who are people like me and you who like to play for fun, this is a very nice set. The irony is you will pay about the same as you would for the milton bradley one, so this is a good buy too. I do know that the board is “regulation”, the squares are 2.25″ and green/white.

I like the vinyl surface, and the way it rolls up. Unlike a wood board or other, its not slick so you actually have to “MOVE” the guys, as bumping them or blowing on them wont help you sneak a move. Secondly, the vinyl surface wont scratch, dent, chip, or break itself or whatever you set it on. This set comes with 2 extra queens, and that as I discovered is so if you get a pawn all the way across (like in checkers to “king”), you can choose a piece. If you already have your queen, you can choose an extra queen, so theoretically you can have 2 or more queens. This does not come with rules or instructions, so make sure you read up on how to play. Enjoy it

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