This is a book for those who want to start their chess games purposefully and take full advantage of their opponents’ mistakes.

It is vital to start a chess game well. Each move needs to be useful and precise. The best way to develop the necessary know-how is by experience and practice, rather than rote learning of ‘rules’ and principles. It’s all about the specifics and being alert to what the opponent is doing, and pouncing on any errors.

Chess Opening Workbook for Kids is the second in a new series of books that help players gain chess skills by tackling hundreds of carefully chosen exercises. The themes are similar to those in Gambit’s best-selling ‘Chess for Kids’ series, but the focus is on getting hands-on experience. Many positions build on ones given earlier, showing how advanced ideas are normally made up of simpler ones that we can all grasp.

Each chapter is focused on a particular theme and features dozens of exercises, with solutions that highlight the main strategic and tactical points. Each chapter offers tips on opening play, such as how to detect weaknesses and poorly-placed pieces. Later chapters address key aspects of opening strategy such as the centre, development and castling. The book ends with a series of seven graded tests where you are given few clues about the themes involved.

Award-winning author Graham Burgess has written 27 chess books, including two on opening play for the ‘Chess for Kids’ series. He is a FIDE Master and a former champion of the Danish region of Funen. In 1994 he set a world record for marathon blitz chess playing.