by Jeff Coakley
Winning Chess Puzzles For Kids is the perfect introduction to basic chess tactics for children ages 7 to 13. Full of imaginative drawings, this workbook combines standard chess problems with a variety of insightful chess-related puzzles. The main part of the book consists of exercise sheets with more than 1000 positions, covering mates in one or two moves, and simple tactics such as forks, pins, and discovered checks. There are also over 100 pages of additional material with names like Lilyís Puzzlers, Combo Mombo, Kirilís Kontest, Whoís The Goof, and Switcheroos, plus word searches and chess mazes.
This book can be studied by itself or used as a supplement to the authorís earlier works: Winning Chess Strategy For Kids and Winning Chess Exercises For Kids. Taken together, they make a complete course of instruction for the aspiring player.
From the authorís notes:
Winning Chess Puzzles For Kids is written as a childrenís workbook, but chess instructors and school teachers should find it a useful resource.
There are two categories of material: tactical exercises and chess-related puzzles. They are divided evenly into 40 ďchaptersĒ, separated by the Kirilís Kontest pages. In general, the level of difficulty increases as the book progresses.
The tactical exercises are intended for students who are new to the game. The problems are basic though not necessarily easy to solve. They require the same thoughtful approach that players should apply to their games.
The puzzles are meant to be fun and challenging. Their instructional value varies, but together, they provide a wealth of insights into chess.
About half of the Lilyís Puzzlers come from other sources. The rest of the material in the book, unless noted otherwise, is original.
A few words about mazes. This form of puzzle, with variations in the rules, can be found in other books and on various websites. Some claim to have invented the ďchess mazeĒ. But itís hard to create anything new! Those in this book were composed before 1994, and have appeared in each issue of Scholarís Mate since then.