Are there any chess books accessible for kids in the 9-11 age range that don't waste the first half of the book teaching how the pieces move, castling rules and en passant capture? I am expecting some basic principles of opening theory, strategies for the middle game (pawn structure, open files, long diagonals, doubled rooks, rook on 7th rank etc.), tactics (skewer, fork, discovered attack) and end game tips.

  • I think that "kids" is not a clear cut audience for such a chess book. It sounds like you are looking for a basic but complete book that covers the opening, middlegame and endgame on a basic level. Feb 11 '14 at 8:03
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    @RauanSagit I guess you are right. Then again a kid's book might be a bit more fanciful / less dry in how the subjects you mention are covered. Feb 11 '14 at 10:52
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    True, a book for kids will most probably be more fun and less dry. Feb 11 '14 at 13:34
  • I doubt that such a book has been written. Feb 11 '14 at 15:36
  • All books for beginners cover the moves. Perhaps you want to check amazon.com/Kids-Book-Chess-Set/dp/0894807676 and similar
    – ThunderGr
    Feb 11 '14 at 15:45

Winning Chess Strategy for Kids by Coakley is EXACTLY what you want.

Barely a few pages explaining basics. Then tons of practical content that even adults will find useful. Wastes no time in getting intermediate lessons in strategy/tactics presented in an astonishingly kid-friendly way. :)

  • I can't resist the temptation to comment on it being apparently rather full of americanisms but otherwise definitely what I was looking for. Feb 13 '14 at 10:23
  • @MarcusJuniusBrutus I can't resist the temptation to exclaim:"You too, Brutus"? :p
    – ThunderGr
    Feb 13 '14 at 14:42

How to Beat Your Dad at Chess

Covers checkmates. If kids can't win a won game, they won't get good feedback even if they do everything else correctly. If they try to checkmate each other, everything else follows naturally (until they start to fall into endings, when it is time to pick up a good ending book).


A First Book of Morphy illustrates 30 basic principles described by grandmaster Fine in his "Chess the Easy Way" with games played by Morphy, the first chess genius and American champion. It's well suited for players rated under 1000.


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