New Chess Books Reviewed

These three brief book reviews include two chess titles that have not yet been published, as of November 12, 2015. Could one of these books be a good choice as a gift?

Rubinstein: Move by Move, by Zenon Franco (not available until June-2016)

The author, grandmaster Zenón Franco Ocampos of Paraguay, has written several books on chess. He won the gold medal on board one, in the 1982 Chess Olympiad at Lucerne, scoring 11 points out of 13, a remarkable success.

The new chess book Rubinstein – Move by Move is scheduled for publication on June 7, 2016. It will probably have limited usefulness to beginners, for grandmaster-authors who explain grandmaster-games are not likely to cater to novice players (it would be making poor use of their skills). Here is part of the Amazon description of this book:

Akiba Rubinstein is a famous figure in . . . the history of chess. At his peak, he was arguably the strongest player in the World, and only the outbreak of World War I deprived him of the opportunity to challenge his main rival Emanuel Lasker for the World Championship title. . . . and is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest endgame players of all time.

The Power of Pawns: Chess Structure Fundamentals for Post-beginners

The author, grandmaster Jorg Hickl of Germany, won three tournament in 1995 and had a FIDE elo rating of 2558 in November of 2015 (his peak was in 2002).

The Power of Pawns is for “post-beginners” rather than simple novices to chess. Here is part of the Amazon review for this book that should be published on May 1, 2015:

If you want to improve at chess, you must know the characteristics of typical pawn formations. Understanding the pawn structure is a key tool when you are evaluating a position on the board. One simple pawn move can ruin your position or win the game.

Beat That Kid in Chess, by Jonathan Whitcomb (another gift possibility)

This book has already been published: available online.

The author uses a new teaching method in this new chess book: nearly-identical positions (NIP). This makes it easier for beginners to quickly learn the important factors in tactics. The following comes from the back cover of Beat That Kid in Chess, which book was published on September 2, 2015:

Do you know the rules but almost nothing more about chess? This is the best book for the early beginner [novice]. Whatever your age, feel your understanding grow as you learn to checkmate and also learn to gain many advantages that can lead to a checkmating position.

Beat That Kid in Chess is for teenagers, adults, and older children, in reading level.



Best Chess Book for Beginners

If you know the chess rules but almost nothing about how to win, this book is for you. . . . Take the lessons in this book seriously and your ability to play chess may advance further than if you had struggled through losing twenty games.

Beginner chess book for teenagers

Similar chess positions are shown, with slight changes that make all the difference. This helps the beginner avoid accidentally memorizing positions [in a wasteful way] and remembering particular tactics by general appearances.

Queen Versus Rook Endgame

Let’s examine two key positions, acknowledging Derek Grimmell’s research into this kind of chess end game (few chess books give much information on the queen vs. rook endgame).

Two Chess Books for Beginners

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.


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