Chess is experiencing a new wave of popularity in schools, and it's educational too. Organisations like Chess in Schools are promoting it as the perfect way to develop analytical thinking skills, foster the competitive instinct - and provide a lot of fun along the way.
This cute, character-based book, aimed at children aged 7 and up, is a complete guide to chess for those starting out in the game. In straightforward, animated language, Jess and Jamie - two rough-and-tumble kids who are obsessed with chess - explain everything you need to know, from first sitting down at the board to sneaky tricks to help you beat your opponents.
The book explains who the pieces are and how they move (and that we're talking about pawns, not prawns), how to reach checkmate (or, in Jess's words, 'how to kill the king'), and the concept of the opening, middlegame and endgame. It also introduces the idea of chess etiquette - and explains why sometimes no one wins and a game ends in stalemate.
Friendlier and more fun than the average children's chess book, The Batsford Book of Chess for Children should become an essential addition to any child's bookshelf.
Sabrina Chevannes is a Women's International chess Master and world-renowned chess coach. She is the managing director of the London Academy of Chess and Education and the author of an instructional DVD series. She still plays chess at a top level, including playing for England's national team.