Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Doing & Learning
Ultimate Chess

Ultimate Chess

Fall 2006 Doing & Learning
Ages: 7 & Up
Author: Jon Tremaine
ISBN: 0-439-79592-3
Hardcover Price: $7.99
Opening this 8-by-8-inch book reveals a magnetic chess board on the inside back cover, so all the lessons can be played as they're read. Forty-seven spiral bound pages contain valuable lessons: names and images of the playing pieces, the set-up, how each piece moves, castling, how a pawn becomes a queen, check, checkmate, notation (so you can keep track of both players' moves), relative strength of the pieces, classic game openings, attacks, and defenses. Finally all the lessons are put to use in the playing of two complete games. The first is a 20-move game with comments on the reasons for certain moves; next is the analysis of an actual 45-turn game played by two grand masters. And, just for fun, the book ends with The Knight's Puzzle: a challenge to move the Knight's chess piece to visit each of the squares on the board without landing on the same square twice. Yes, the solution is given.

The set of miniature magnetic chess pieces (not classic Staunton style) is stored inside the spine of the book. Magnetism holds the book closed, making it a good choice for traveling.

Ruth B. Roufberg   ©2006 Parents' Choice

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