PRODUCT OF THE WEEK – Beginner to Winner in 2 Months

Michael Basman, December 2020

PRODUCT OF THE WEEK – Beginner to Winner in 2 Months

Heralded as the “greatest beginner’s book ever written” by its author, Mike Basman, when it first hit the shelf in 1989, this book has never had an unfavourable review. 

Now re-issued with a smart orange cover in a 30th anniversary edition, the claim is as true today as it ever was.

What was the unique contribution of this book?  Believe it or not, in the 1500 years of the history of the game of chess, there has never been a book devoted to MATERIAL CHESS, that is, the concept of the single attack.  Even the phrase, “material chess” is not recognised within chess literature.   It is, however,  self-evident that you cannot master the double attack if you cannot even cope with a single one; that you cannot look several moves ahead before you are able to look one.

This book, with its exercises in capture and recapture, the safe move, the threat, and meeting threats – as well as containing the definitive account of classical opening rules – lays the foundations of sound chess, upon which more complex thinking structures can be built.

Up to now, beginners books (with the exception of those by Chernev and Reinfeld), have been written by chess experts without the ability to transmit ideas and without an understanding of the mind-set of the beginner.  They therefore start too far ahead on the learning curve, and only leave their readers in utter confusion.

It is to be hoped that the chess world and chess teachers may eventually catch with this ground-breaking and iconoclastic work; meanwhile, we can only echo the words of Lady Gaga:

“I was always famous, it was just you didn’t know it!”


From Beginner to Winner in Two Months

The ultimate beginner’s book. Describes the rules, capturing, value, recapture, the safe threat, meeting threats; also the special rules, basic mates, and the seven rules of the opening. All with 25 timed exercises and a ‘game plan’ for unleashing against the unlucky adversary.



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