Three Chess Books Compared

These three chess books have one thing in common: They would have little practical use to an expert or a master. The first two are for beginners; the third, for intermediate players.

  1. Beat That Kid in Chess
  2. Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess
  3. How to Beat Your Dad at Chess

Actually, they have one more thing in common: The title can be misleading. In the second book, Robert J. Fischer is not doing any teaching but it’s by two other authors that just use his name. In the first and third books, it makes no difference who you play chess with; both books teach you how to win.

Beat That Kid in Chess

ISBN-13: 978-1508856221

From the back cover:

This is the best book for the early beginner . . . learn to checkmate and also learn to gain many advantages that can lead to a checkmating position.

two-dimensional cover of book

The promotional material is correct: This chess book is for the “raw” beginner. If you’ve been playing at least once a week for a year, it may be too elementary for you. It’s not for teaching the rules but for teaching you how to play better than the average beginner. Beat That Kid in Chess (published in October of 2015) uses a new teaching method: nearly-identical positions, although the reader does not need to be concerned about how that works: It automatically trains you to recognize what’s important in a chess position.


Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess

ISBN-13: 978-0553263152

From a positive review on Amazon:

Wow, so many reviews bashing this book for promising the moon and the stars and then not delivering! It’s not a bad book! . . . You will learn the rules of the game and the basics of winning the game (checkmate, not long term strategy). It’s pretty engaging because it doesn’t spend a lot of time on explanations, instead most of its space is devoted to puzzles. Each page has a short one-move puzzle, with the answer on the next page. . . .

old chess book

From a critical review on Amazon:

BOBBY FISCHER TEACHES CHESS was first published in 1966, when the great player was still a young man seen as a prodigy newcomer in professional chess circles. The first thing one has to realize about the book is that it is essentially ghostwritten–a long tradition in chess primers and accessories–so those hoping to understand something of Fischer’s playing peculiarities will be quite disappointed. …

There is no discussion of openings, no use of algebraic notation (which pretty much all other chess titles use). . . .

The book is insubstantial, cheaply made, and has a weird choice of formatting . . .


How to Beat Your Dad at Chess

ISBN-13: 978-1901983050

From the back cover:

‘How to Beat Your Dad at Chess’ makes improving easy and fun, and is full of helpful explanations and practical advice on how to approach chess gams with confidence — and success.

Grandmaster Murray Chandler finished second in the World Cadet Championship in 1976, ahead of Garry Kasparov, whom he defeated in their individual game. He remains to this day one of the few players in the world with a 100% score against Kasparov [who later became the World Chess Champion] . . .

chess book by grandmaster Murray Chandler

This could be one of the greatest chess books ever written for the intermediate player. Nevertheless, it is far from idea for the beginner who knows little more than the rules.

From a critical review on Amazon:

If this book inspires your children to play chess, then it can’t be all bad. However, don’t expect your kids to suddenly start winning more games or tournaments – unless they are only playing against rank amateurs. Others here [on Amazon] have listed better books – take their advice.




Chess Book for Beginners

Do you know someone who learned to play chess but then got discouraged from losing? “Beat That Kid in Chess” . . . accepts you as you are, leading you into knowing how to win.

Best Chess Book for the Beginner

After the lessons in the first eight chapters, you can see your progress in simple exercises and then in the more-advanced exercises, as you become ready.

For the Chess Beginner to Win Games

Beat That Kid in Chess – book

Featured Chess Book

Written especially for the raw beginner, the chess player who knows the rules of the game but not much about how to win, ‘Beat That Kid in Chess’ is ideal for the novice.