Romain Edouard – Chess Calculation Training for Kids and Club Players: Level 1 Checkmating

“Edouard is not shy about visiting the classics and his selection of positions reaches far back into history. This book should appeal to anyone wanting to build up their checkmating skills and with its progressing approach it will enjoy an extended self life too. ” ~Sean Marsh – Chess – April 2020.

“One nicety of Edouard’s presentation is chapter four, “Trap Your Opponent’s King”. While many mate problems, including no small number in Chess Calculation Training for Kids and Club Players, involve flashy sacrifices, it’s arguably more useful to solve those where you have a quietly encircle and lasso the king over a series of moves. That Edouard included a set of these type of positions shows good authorial (and editorial!) judgment. ” ~ John Hartmann – Chess Life – April 2020.

“As with every recent Thinkers Publishing publication high quality paper is used and the printing is clear. The book can easily be laid flat next to the board and does not require weights to prevent it from “self-closing” (a particular bugbear of ours !). Each diagram is clear and the instructional text is typeset in two column format, which, we find, enables the reader to maintain their place easily. Figurine algebraic notation is used throughout and the diagrams are placed adjacent to the relevant text and each diagram has a “to move” indicator.We have reviewed several tactics books in the last few months and this one from GM Romain Edouard competes in the busy improving juniors and club players market. There is another market sometimes not considered as important which is the adult player who does not play OTB (who does right now?) or even online but does enjoy solving chess problems : this book will satisfy these readers. Noteworthy is the absence of patronizing cartoons which can put off the more serious juniors and adults. For very young players these are fine but for probably 10 year old plus these (IMHO) are not welcome. The presentation is excellent and the solutions clear. As a coach I am looking to unleashing these on my students. I’ve recommended this book to their parents without hesitation and am looking forward to Level 2 and beyond. Chess parents take note !” ~ John Upham, British Chess News, 8th October, 2020

Most tactics and training books are good for boosting your calculation ability, but they do not teach you how to calculate. This is the difference I want to make with my own books, by arranging the exercises in different categories so that the thinking process more closely resembles the one we have during a game. Level 1 of my new series consists of learning how to checkmate your opponent. The first three chapters are a rather classical tactics training, then things get harder. In Chapter 4, you have to trap your opponent’s king; in Chapter 5, you have to win by eliminating the defender in your opponent’s position; in Chapter 6, by using a decisive double threat and in Chapter 7, with an unexpected winning sacrifice. Chapter 8 consists of a few other problems which required short instructions. You should go through the book chapter by chapter. The complexity of the examples increases throughout the book, and you shouldn’t skip a category if you consider it too easy. The book covers the full thinking process you should have when trying to mate your opponent, or when the situation of your opponent’s king may tempt you to look further in a mating direction. As with all training, there is a warm-up, a tough phase, a break, a relaxing phase, then another tough phase, and respecting the pedagogical order of the book will make sure that you derive the maximum benefit from it, and are 100% ready for Level 2. After you have completed all 276 exercises in the book you won’t let your opponent’s king escape when it shouldn’t. Reading it should pay off quickly in terms of results! And this is exactly what I wish you.