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1. 16 Apr '11 15:33 / 1 edit
If you were to create a book for beginners and I mean for someone who has never played the game, how many chapters would it have and how in depth would you go? I'm assuming that chapter one gives the basics: board set up, how pieces move,rules of the game, and object of the game.

Now what?

I'd go with:

Chpt 2 Board vision: Examples of how you need to look at the entire board before moving. Emphasize the fact that you should not give material away and you should take it when your opponent offers it.

Chpt 3 Forks: Pawn forks, bishop forks, knight forks, rook forks and queen forks. I'd give explanations then several puzzles asking the reader to solve simple one move fork problems.

Chpt 4 Skewers: Same idea as forks. Examples of all the types of skewers and puzzles.

Chpt 5 Pins: Examples of absolute pins and pieces pinned to a queen and how to take advantage of them. Once again, one move pin puzzles.

Chpt 6: Opening basics principles with examples of how to avoid placing your pieces in bad spots. Things to avoid such as placing your knight and bishop in such a way as to allow a pawn fork.

Chpt 7: King pawn end game. Go into opposition and have puzzles requiring the reader to either move his king or pawn. 1 king vs 1 king and 1 pawn only. Perhaps I'd go into why a king can't take a backwards pawn and how to see if a king can catch a pawn by seeing the square.

Chpt 8: Basic checkmates. Queen and rook, queen and king, rook and queen and two rook.

Chpt 9: One move checkmate puzzles.

Am I missing anything? Would this be too much?
2.  ketchuplover
G.O.A.T.
16 Apr '11 16:01
If you were to create a book for beginners and I mean for someone who has never played the game, how many chapters would it have and how in depth would you go? I'm assuming that chapter one gives the basics: board set up, how pieces move,rules of the game, and object of the game.

Now what?

I'd go with:

Chpt 1 Board vision: Examples of how you ne ...[text shortened]...
Chpt 9: One move checkmate puzzles.

Am I missing anything? Would this be too much?
No chapter 2? Seriously though two things come to mind Sacrificing and Removing the guard. Presuming they're not too advanced.

You have a good idea. As long as it's presented simply that is.

My first book "How To Be A Winner At Chess" has chapters as follows
1-How To End It All(checkmating) 2-Don't Give Up The Ship!(Resigning) 3-What's It Worth?(Piece Values) The Three Strongest Moves (4.Checks 5.Capturing Threats
6.Pawn Promotion)7.How Do I Get Started?-5 Basic rules for opening play 8.What Do I Do Now?-Two Basic Rules for the Middlegame 9.The Endgame is the Pay-Off-Five Basic rules for Endgame Play. 10.You Can't Move That Piece!-Winning by Pinning 11.Give Till It Hurts!-Winning by Sacrificing. In the back is A Chess Refresher:The Basic Rules of Chess follwed by an index.

My version is in descriptive notation. 1970 reprint of a 1954 original. Inexpensive!

An algebraic version(more expensive!)is available too.
3. 16 Apr '11 16:13 / 1 edit
I suppose chapt one should include piece values. Only the basics. Pawn promotion should be in the rules, as should en passant.

Perhaps there should be one more chapter:

Checks and discovered checks with about 10-20 puzzles asking the reader to apply the principle. I think 10-20 puzzles is about right for each puzzle section.
4. 17 Apr '11 02:32
Am I missing anything?
Only what 99% of all beginners' books forget...

Counting. The most basic tactic. (I credit Dan Heisman for shining the light on this subject.)
5. 17 Apr '11 16:51
notation, acceptance of losses.
6. 17 Apr '11 17:06
Development.
7. 17 Apr '11 18:16 / 1 edit
Darax,

Chess notation should be worked into chapter 1. If you are going to read chess books and talk about chess, then you need to get used to it.

Acceptance of losing should also be in chapter 1! It is a part of the rules of the game. Rule number 1, if you play chess you are going to lose. Rule number 2, if you really want to study chess and get better this means you will lose to better players than you lose to now(either that or get bored playing people who do not challenge you and cause you to grow).

Counting I think is a great principle. The battle of building up attackers and defenders. I think this would fit well as it's own chapter or worked into chapter 2. It seems to fit with board vision. How are pieces outside the immediate 9 square box affecting the square?

I'd think development would be part of the opening chapter.
8.  bill718
Enigma
17 Apr '11 21:46
If you were to create a book for beginners and I mean for someone who has never played the game, how many chapters would it have and how in depth would you go? I'm assuming that chapter one gives the basics: board set up, how pieces move,rules of the game, and object of the game.

Now what?

I'd go with:

Chpt 2 Board vision: Examples of how you ne ...[text shortened]...
Chpt 9: One move checkmate puzzles.

Am I missing anything? Would this be too much?
Well done! It's impossible to design the perfect beginners book, but you did a good jobl.
9.  nimzo5
Ronin
18 Apr '11 15:31
The preface should be written by Steinitz on how chess improved his life. Alternately Paul Morphy or Fischer would be good too.
10.  Thabtos
I am become Death
19 Apr '11 14:43
Originally posted by nimzo5
The preface should be written by Steinitz on how chess improved his life. Alternately Paul Morphy or Fischer would be good too.
11. 19 Apr '11 16:07
I'd think that the greats are a bit too much for beginners. That's the whole idea of trying to teach chess. Don't give people too much. Give them just enough and a little bit to grow on.
12. 23 Apr '11 19:30 / 1 edit
If I wrote a book for beginners it would probably look a lot like Learn Chess by C.H. O'd Alexander except for two things: One I would make it easier to read and two, I would include at least a little about positional play at the end. Nothing complicated but enough that they can understand what's going on in a game even if they don't know how to apply it yet. For example, understanding the idea of mobility encapsulates a lot of positional play. Same thing with the idea of time. The specifics can come later but if the beginner can understand why he's losing then that can prevent some frustration even if he's not sure how to do it yet.

As far as your idea, I dont understand the order of some of the things you have on there. I would think the first thing you would teach somebody, after how the pieces move, is how to mate. Otherwise, they're just moving pieces around with no concept of what they're trying to accomplish. That would be like teaching someone to fire a gun by having them shoot randomly in the air. After that I would explain how to mate with 2 rooks vs. a king so that if somehow they manage to get a winning position they can get a win out of it (it is IMO the simplest mate to understand) . Losing every game because you can't mate would be very demoralizing.

Some of the endgame concepts (like the opposition) are WAY too advanced for the level you're talking about. I play 1500- 1800 rated players all the time that make mistakes with regard to the opposition or that grab that backward pawn that you talked about. They're nice concepts to know but they aren't necessary to move beyond the beginner levels. Besides if they learn to calculate correctly they can figure some of that out on their own (which is the best way to learn something because it makes it intuitive ). And again the order seems strange. When teaching each idea should build on the last but you seem to be doing the opposite. For example, why would you teach K, P vs. K BEFORE you teach K,Q vs. K. I can just see a beginner executing a flawless K,P vs. K endgame and then after Queening having to take a draw because he cant mate with a queen. Seems ridiculous to me. The way you have the endgame being taught seems almost completely backwards.

After they know how the pieces move and how to mate, I would start back at the beginning and work through each area of the game beginning with opening principles (as if walking through a game) all the time showing how those things relate to the ultimate goal of checkmate. Your chapter 2 seems too advanced for the entire book let alone the 2nd chapter. Players should learn to do things first then later figure out what they're doing. I wouldnt't bring up board vision until much later because its going to be a long time before a beginner can even think about playing without making huge blunders. Material is important and should be emphasized but beginning very simply and building slowly. First, showing that you can win material by attacking something with more pieces than the opponent has. Then the concept of the double attack (again, concepts before specifics) and only later showing specific types of double attacks like forks. Later more advanced tactics like pins can be introduced. Incidently, that's pretty much how the book I mentioned earlier presents it.

I would think the goal of a book like that would be to get the player playing and winning as quickly as possible so that they enjoy the game and will continue to want to get better. But, you don't even teach them how to win until the very last chapter and they'll have to wade through a lot of stuff thats way over their heads and that's not going to really help them even if they did understand it just to get to the part that tells them how to win.

I could go on. But if I were you and wanted to see how to do something like that, in addition to the first book I mentioned, I would look at other books like Pandolfini's, or chess for dummies or any other beginner books and see how they present things i.e. what they did right but also what they did wrong.
13. 23 Apr '11 19:59
Beginners have no concept of "chess vision" or the ability to "see the board". I think most beginner books (he says as though he's read them all) miss this important point.

It's the reason few experienced players like using theme pieces (American Civil War, Aztec, Romans v Barbarians, Football teams, the Simpsons, whatever). They're cute and all but those pieces don't register properly and immediately in the brain, telling you about threats, tactics, errors, etc. In short, piece recognition is vital to the development of your chess situational awareness.

That's my view anyway.
14.  coquette
23 Apr '11 22:05
Discovered check

Combinations

Pawn structures

Time versus Material (3 moves for a pawn is a good deal)

Look nervous when you make a good move; look confident when you are making a weak move and are in trouble

Look away from the key area of the board that you are really concerned about - make the other player study the wrong moves while you are thinking

Look very doubtful and hesitate as you deliver mate, act as though your opponent has a move to make - it prolongs the pleasure
15. 24 Apr '11 04:29
Do not sacrifice material till you know what your doing . Ive played 8o odd games , which makes me a beginner , if go a piece down I lose.