Comparing Two Chess Books for Beginners

October 2, 2015

We review two paperbacks for novice chess players: Beat That Kid in Chess (BTKC) and 1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners (1001CEB).

Chess-Board Diagrams

These two chess books differ greatly in their use of board-diagrams: BTKC uses large diagrams; 1001CEB uses tiny ones. Two of the seven Amazon reader-reviews mention the tiny size of the diagrams (in 1001CEB) as a significant weakness. BTKC can be used without any chess set, for most of the 194 pages have one diagram per page, filling up the entire width of those pages. Many chess books have diagrams that are only about half of the page width, making them too small for some readers. Beat That Kid in Chess may appear to go too far with full-width, but anyone who has remembered to take a chess book on a trip and forgotten reading glasses will probably not complain about that book.

Suitable for Chess Beginners

Beat That Kid in Chess is for the “raw” beginner, the novice who knows the rules of the game but has little or no experience actually playing a chess game. The reading level is for teens and adults (and possibly older children), yet the concepts are easy for a wide range of readers.

About 1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners, one Amazon reader-reviewer said, “Although it was ostensibly written for beginners, only the first three chapters (Mate in One, Mate in Two, and The Missing Piece) are suitable for that audience.”

Depth of Materials in the Books

BTKC has two levels of exercises at the end of the standard chapters, twenty-six total exercises, which compares poorly in number with 1001 exercises in . . . you know what book. Yet the way the material presented in BTKC may be more effective in teaching chess beginners. And the whole book is ideal for beginners in BTKC.

On the Cover

front cover of paperback book on chess

"1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners"


Table of Contents for the two Publications

contents - "1001 Chess Exercizes ..."

Table of Contents in 1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners (above)


chess book table of contents

Table of Contents in Beat That Kid in Chess (above)



Chess Books for the Novice and Post-Beginner

Before analyzing that paragraph from the back cover of How to Beat Your Dad at Chess (it’s not without error), consider what a chess-book-author competitor has said about this publication by Murray Chandler . . .

Chess Book for Beginners

The title choice is doubtful for this chess book for beginners. Beat That Kid in Chess gives practically no emphasis on winning a game against a child. It that sense, it resembles the book How to Beat Your Dad at Chess, which is not really about how to win against your father.

Queen Versus Rook in Chess

This is very similar to the Philidor position, with the white king just one move away from its key square

A Chess Combination by Paul Morphy

The American chess master Paul Morphy (1837-1884) was regarded by many as the greatest chess player in the world, during his tour of Europe in 1858 . . .