Sunday, May 24, 2009

Introductory chess books for kids 7-11?

I've recently taught and subsequently refreshed some young lads on the technique of forcing checkmate with just a rook. Ah, how I remember enjoying learning that myself years ago (Thanks, D.T.!).

These boys are likely to have to teach themselves from a book for the most part. Unlike in this area, there may be few possibilities for instruction (well, perhaps except when I see them) or for rated competition, be it scholastic or otherwise. Indeed, I'm not sure if they will ever be interested in chess to the point of wanting to play in tournaments.

I'm curious about people's recommendations for books that might continue to pique an interest in chess, without boring them to tears or intimidating them with how infinite chess is. I tried to dissuade one boy from playing, as White, 1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 Bc5 3 Qf3/Qh5, with which it seems he beat many of his schoolmates. I'm not sure how much he appreciated that, while weaker players may fall to that in 4 moves, stronger players will not, and will take advantage of White's premature queen move. Keep in mind their environment -- they may never play in organized competitions, and they may only have occasional semi-formal lessons from this 1700 rating floor player.

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