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pavanas
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« on: January 15, 2010, 02:14:59 PM »

I am returning to chess for the first time since 6th grade as a scholastic chess parent. I haven't done much chess playing or reading lately. At a recent event another parent asked if I had a recommendation for a beginner's chess book for a 4th grade novice player. All I could think of was "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess" (on my bookshelf for decades now). Does anyone have other suggestions for a good first book for a novice U6 player?
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Capablanca
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2010, 03:22:29 PM »

I am returning to chess for the first time since 6th grade as a scholastic chess parent. I haven't done much chess playing or reading lately. At a recent event another parent asked if I had a recommendation for a beginner's chess book for a 4th grade novice player. All I could think of was "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess" (on my bookshelf for decades now). Does anyone have other suggestions for a good first book for a novice U6 player?

Hi there. I've heard that Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess is a good book for beginners. Also, Capablanca's Chess Fundamentals has been re-edited in algebraic notation. I've also seen books for beginners by Kasparov, Short, etc. I couldn't give an opinion on which is best since I haven't spent much time looking at all of them, but I did take a look at the new edition of Capa's book and I really liked it.

I would also consider getting something that the kid might find more engaging, like a computer program. I checked out Chessbaseusa.com and they have an interesting approach with Fritz & Chesster (3 vols.) where kids learn about the rules and some key concepts while playing in a non-chess context. After the game, learners are then told how to apply those principles in chess (game of musical chairs -> endgame opposition concept). Sounds like a promising concept. See more at

http://chessbaseusastore.com/productslist.aspx?CategoryID=123&selection=2

There are also many reviews out there. Check out the archive of reviews at chesscafe.com (http://www.chesscafe.com/archives/reviews.htm). Their reviews give you a good picture of what the book or DVD is about. Doing a search with your browser's Find function under "kids", "beginners" or specific authors should report enough results to keep you busy for a while.

If I had a kid that age (4th grade novice), I would probably look for something interactive that provides the basics in a fun and engaging way. You know how the attention span is at that age.  Wink I would supplement that with one of the classics by Fischer, Capablanca or Lasker. Reviews on new editions about the latter are at chesscafe.com's archives.
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