The two children competing in the following game (played in 1995 in California) had little experience with chess books. But the father of these two sisters had experience in tournament play. At this time, however, these two chess players were just beginners.
1. e4 e5
2. Nc3 Nc6
3. Nf3 Nf6
Diagram-1 White to move in this Four Knights opening
4. Bb5 Bb4
5. O-O O-O
6. Nd5 . . . .
Diagram-2 after White moved Nd5
In Diagram-2, Black should capture the white knight at d5. Capturing the e4 pawn instead—that would be a blunder, for White could then win a piece after Bxc6.
6. . . . . Nxe4? Black made the blunder
After Black’s Nxe4, White should now capture the black knight at c6 with the white bishop that is now at b5. After a black pawn recaptures by taking that bishop (that will then be at c6), the white knight at d5 will then capture the black bishop at b4, winning a material advantage for White. That combination was overlooked by White, however.
7. Nxb4 Nxb4
8. Nxe5 . . . .
Diagram-3 after White moved Nxe5
8. . . . . Nf6
9. d3 d6
White can retreat the knight back to f3, but Nc4 can lose a piece: a bad choice.
10. Nc4? . . . . White made a bad choice.
Black has an opportunity to now win a piece after 10. . . . . a6
10. . . . . d5? Black missed that opportunity
11. Qe2? . . . . White could have returned that knight to e5
11. . . . . dxc4 Black now gets a free knight, obtaining a material advantage
12. Bg5 c6
Diagram-4 White should now move Bxc4
13. Ba4? . . . . this allows Black to not play b5
13 . . . . . cxd3 this may be almost as good as b5
The white queen is attacked. It can be saved by a move like Qd2.
14. Rfe1? . . . . this throws away the queen, a big blunder
14. . . . . dxe2
15. Rxe2 Re8
White needs to avoid losing the rook at e2. It can be saved in several ways, including moving it back to e1. But it would be a big blunder to protect it with the other rook.
16. Rd1? . . . .
White finds a different big blunder.
16. . . . . Qxd1+
17. Re1 . . . . the only legal choice available to White
17. . . . . Qxe1# Black wins by checkmate.
Both players were chess beginners, at this time in their childhoods.
To begin, we’re using novice players to mean those who have limited experience playing and observing chess games, yet they know the rules of the game.
It was the best of books; it was the worst of books. For average chess beginners or the lower-intermediate-level players, how can this book simultaneously be the best and the worst? . . . The focus is narrow: checkmate patterns, so if that is what you most need to learn, I highly recommend it. . . . [but this book is not for the raw beginner]
. . . the choice of a book on chess should depend on the playing level of the one who reads the book. The purchasing decision should depend a great deal on that point . . .