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This is the perfect introduction to chess for children from the age of seven upwards. The book contains 30 short lessons, starting with learning about the board and the pieces, then the moves of each piece in turn, then the vital concepts of check, checkmate and stalemate, and finally basic strategy and thinking skills. Quizzes and puzzles reinforce what the children learn. The book uses the characters of the 7-year-old twins Sam and Alice who are always arguing and fighting. They decide to join the army where they are told about an impending invasion of aliens from the planet Caissa. The outcome of the invasion will be decided by a game of living chess. During their lessons they learn about the battlefield and the different types of soldier and get to play the part of each in turn.
Richard James has been teaching chess to children since the early 1970s, running Richmond Junior Chess Club for more than 30 years, where he worked closely with such future stars as Luke McShane and Jonathan Rowson. He has an international reputation as an expert on how young children learn chess, having had an article on the subject published in The Chess Instructor 2009, published by New In Chess. Richard is the webmaster of chessKIDS academy, a website pioneering online interactive chess instruction for young children. He also has a particular interest in promoting chess among children on the Autistic Spectrum.