Resources for Players & Parents
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Welcome to the Seward Sharks Chess Club Resources page. Here you will find information on how and where to play chess and where to purchase chess equipment.

Top Five Great Chess Books (yes, Books) for Beginners. Adapted from Chess.com

1. Chess 101 by Dave Schloss

Selected by IM Daniel Rensch. This paperback, also recommended by IM Rensch, is one of the best-selling chess books of all time. Fischer’s beginner book focuses on teaching tactics via “programmed instruction,” which asks the student to actively answer questions on every page. Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess crams so many tactical positions into the course that when you think you’ve reached the end, you can turn the book around and read back-to-front for more tactical problems printed on the opposite pages. “This book was one of the first experiences I had learning the game of chess,” said IM Rensch. “Later,” said Rensch, “I realized it was truly one-of-a-kind, in that it was the first ‘beginner's book’ written by a world champion! Fischer's approach is simple, yet innovative and deep. It takes the right steps towards building the fundamentals of a strong chess player!"

2. Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess by Bobby Fischer and Stuart Margulies

Selected by IM Daniel Rensch. This paperback, also recommended by IM Rensch, is one of the best-selling chess books of all time. Fischer’s beginner book focuses on teaching tactics via “programmed instruction,” which asks the student to actively answer questions on every page. Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess crams so many tactical positions into the course that when you think you’ve reached the end, you can turn the book around and read back-to-front for more tactical problems printed on the opposite pages. “This book was one of the first experiences I had learning the game of chess,” said IM Rensch. “Later,” said Rensch, “I realized it was truly one-of-a-kind, in that it was the first ‘beginner's book’ written by a world champion! Fischer's approach is simple, yet innovative and deep. It takes the right steps towards building the fundamentals of a strong chess player!"

3. Winning Chess Strategies for Kids by Jeff Coakley

Selected by FM Mike Klein. Designed for children 7 to 13 years old, Winning Chess Strategy is part of a series of beginner workbooks by Jeff Coakley. The workbook starts with the rules of chess and quickly progresses to strategic ideas like opening principles and piece development. It also includes sections on tactical combinations, endgame technique, and middlegame planning. “Nothing beats the workbooks by Jeff Coakley,” according to FM Mike Klein, who said they were “used a ton” when he was teaching children chess.

4. The Steps Method by Rob Brunia and Cor van Wijgerden

Selected by CM Peter Doggers. The Steps Method is really a full beginner’s chess course, featuring six training manuals and 20 workbooks. The course and books were developed from material by two Dutch chess teachers. The Steps have been used primarily in Europe to teach children to play, but the course is “gaining popularity throughout the world,” according to its publisher. Of the 27 total books available in the course, 26 have been translated to English. The course is based, obviously, on a step-by-step program to build one level of chess learning on previously mastered material. The books urge teachers not to proceed to the next lesson until “the student can use the material in his games regularly.” CM Peter Doggers, also from the Netherlands, recommends the course, calling it “pretty good stuff.”

5. Beginning Chess by Bruce Pandolfini

National Master Bruce Pandolfini is a columnist for Chess.com and ChessKid.com, but he is also well known for his bibliography of chess books aimed at beginning and intermediate players. Beginning Chess includes an introduction on the rules of the game before proceeding to the heart of its material, more than 300 instructional chess problems. Pandolfini offers a scoring system for the student, who can rank his or her progress and results on a graded scale of categories from beginner to master class. In my opinion, the best part of Beginning Chess is how easy it is to pick up and do a few problems without needing a lot of time to sit down and study. It’s the perfect book for busy beginners who want to improve in their spare time.