Chess is a mental exercise that can be pursued for its own sake or for some other reason. The skills required to play a strong chess game include the ability to visualize, the ability to memorize, the ability to recognize patterns, the ability to use analytic logic, the ability to plan ahead, the ability to make decisions, and the ability to accept the consequences of your actions. Is it any wonder that chess is being touted as a useful subject for study in many schools?
Yet chess is nothing more than a board game. It has no inherent value beyond that. The previously mentioned skills are not necessary to play the game. They only become necessary if one is interested in playing chess well. This is comparable with skill in music. And like music, the casual player can appreciate superior skill in chess.
The Everything® Chess Basics Book is your introduction to the game that has challenged and fascinated so many people for so many years. In it you will learn a bit about the history of the game as well as some of the fascinating diversity available within the chess world. You will learn what chess is, how to read and write in the universal chess language, and how to play the game.
The meat of this book is in the middle, where all good chess players would expect to find it. (One of the basic principles of strong chess play is to control the middle of the board.) You can learn to play chess in one short session. It can take the rest of your life to really master its intricacies, but don't let that scare you away.
Don't expect that reading this book will make you a strong player. It won't. Instead, you are shown the many building blocks that are the foundation of good chess play. These building blocks are strategic and tactical principles that allow you to pick out a plan based on the pawn structure or find a combination based on your awareness of an exposed king and a couple of tactical patterns. You are shown what the pieces can do singly and in combination, and given guidelines to think about regardless of the position you might find your pieces in.
These basic principles are the hallmark of the strong player. They were discovered over several hundred years by many chess pioneers and are the property of all modern chess masters. But they are really nothing more than an expression of the inherent logic of the game. For example, the great strength of the fast-moving bishop is its ability to get from one place to another in a hurry. Therefore, a bishop that cannot get anywhere at all, much less in a hurry, is something to be avoided. Thus you try to saddle your opponent with a bad bishop, while trying to get rid of your own bad bishop.
After learning the basic principles of chess, you should be able to enjoy playing over the games of the masters, appreciating the nuances they employ to make their ideas work. You should also be able to enjoy a game with almost anyone, even if that only means understanding why your position is bad.
Once you have mastered the basics, it's up to you how far you want to progress at chess. So enjoy the game in whatever way you like. Your life will thereby be enhanced.