Purpose of the chess bookWhen choosing a publication on the royal game, firstconsider the intended audience for the book. Will itbe a gift for a seven-year-old who wants to learn how to play chess? A popular choice for kids is Chess forChildren, by Murray Chandler. But is that the best?If the gift is for someone who is at least ten years oldand already knows the rules, however, that book willprobably be something of a disappointment. A muchbetter choice would be Beat That Kid in Chess, whichis written for the early beginner who knows how toplay but does not yet know much about winning inan actual competition. In fact, Beat That Kid in Chessmay be the best chess book for the novice who wantsto learn how to win but does not want to go througha book that is over 200 pages long, and the ages forthose who would most benefit from it are from theolder child to the adult (including teenagers).Is it a gift for an established tournament player who needs a broad resource on the openings? In that case,Fundamental Chess Openings (FCO) could be best chessbook for such a person.Chess Tactics for Kids—that has a title that makes itappear to be a book for beginners. It’s actually muchbetter for experienced chess players who have seentactics like knight forks and pins. For older childrenwho could be called raw beginners, a better chessbook would be Beat That Kid in Chess.
Basic kinds of chess booksSome publications are for the advanced tournamentplayer, but more of them are for average or intermediatecompetitors. Others books are for post-beginners or fornovices. Aside from the skill-level factor and age of thereader, other categories exist for books about chess.Some of them specialize in one of the three phases of the game: opening, middle game, end game. Among theones for the opening, there’s a great difference betweenthe general (and long) opening books like Modern ChessOpenings (MCO) and Fundamental Chess Openings, andthe specific ones such as How to Play the King’s IndianDefense. Many ten’s of thousands of chess books havebeen published, so there’s no lack of choice.