Giving a Chess Book as a Gift

What is the chess-playing skill of the gift recipient, when you’re to give a chess book as a gift? That’s a big question needing an answer. In fact, let’s put aside all other questions for now. Consider one of the following four possibilities for the person who could enjoy receiving a gift of a chess book. Which fits best?

  1. A small child wants to learn how to play chess
  2. An older child (or teenager or adult) knows the rules but little else
  3. A chess-club member is about average in chess skill in the club
  4. A tournament player is at least average in formal competition

Connect one of the following gift-books with the above:

1) The Kids’ Book of Chess

"The Kids' Book of Chess" by Harvey Kidder

From the back cover we read:

In the Middle Ages the knight was the ultimate warrior. In his suit of armor, on his spirited horse, he could overcome any resistance . . . Today the movements of medieval warriors are preserved in the moves of pieces on a chessboard; and by going back to the life and times of the Middle Ages, Harvey Kidder [the author] is able to explain the game of chess in an uncommonly exciting way.

Recommended age for the reader: 8-12 years old

96 pages – ISBN-13: 978-0894807671

Published in 1990


2) Beat That Kid in Chess

chess book for the beginner

From page 15 in this chess book for the early beginner [know that a diagram shows which squares are g7 and d8]:

Can the white queen give checkmate in Diagram-5? Capturing the black pawn at g7 would allow the black knight to capture the white queen, so that would not be checkmate. But look at other possibilities.

Notice the three black pawns in front of the black king. That formation is one key to what is called a back-rank mate. The white queen can move to d8: checkmate. Watch for this possibility when you’re playing a game.

Recommended reader-age: older child or teenager or adult

194 pages – ISBN-13: 978-1508856221

Published September 2, 2015


3) Chess Tactics for Kids

chess book for post-beginners

This could be a great gift of a chess book for an experienced player who has already won a good number of games. It’s not for the beginner who has played few games, however, for it requires looking ahead a number of moves, or at least it requires that the reader is willing to try looking ahead further than most beginners are able to.

The reader age is not really restricted to kids. Teenagers and adults who have already developed some proficiency in chess can benefit just as much as could talented children who have that much experience. Chess Tactics for Kids is highly rated for those more proficient competitors.

128 pages – ISBN-13: 978-1901983999

Published in 2003


4) Fundamental Chess Endings

end game of chess - book

Even more proficient are the chess players who would benefit from the book Fundamental Chess Endings. For most of the 416 pages, a beginner would benefit very little, for this is for tournament players. Such a competitor could be delighted with this chess book, received as a gift.

One happy Amazon customer-reviewer said:

If you are looking for the definitive one-volume endgame manual, this is the book, make no mistake. FCE is sensational. Somehow the authors have achieved the almost super-human feat of writing a monumental reference work that is at the same time instructive and readable. . . .

416 pages – ISBN-13: 978-1901983531

Published in 2001 (chess books on end games can be relevant for many decades, unlike publications on openings)



Chess Book for Teenagers and Adults – gift possibilities

New paperback Beat That Kid in Chess

Chess Book for a Teenager – Beat That Kid in Chess

Three chess books featured

Beginning Chess – Facebook

On the book by Jonathan Whitcomb and related publications


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