How To Beat Your Dad At Chess Book Review(1)

How To Beat Your Dad At Chess Book Review

How to beat your dad at chess is a chess book that highlights the common checkmating pattern that occurs often during chess games, it is essential for beginners and intermediate players, the author uses examples to demonstrate and clarify each and every checkmating pattern and uses actual words beside the chess notation which is very helpful for beginners. these examples are extracted from real games, so be ready to learn the 50 Deadly Checkmates that chess masters use to win their games.
The importance of understanding these themes lies in the potential of creating plans, strategies, and tactics that can lead you to deliver a checkmate to your opponent and avoid falling into them, keep in mind that to realize these checkmating pattern in most cases you need to combine it with some tactical motives and sacrifices.

In the following lines you will get a good idea about the book and what to expect from it and whether it is a good one for you or you’re kid.

Anastasia’s Mate

the name was taken from a novel (Anastasia und das Schachpiel by Wilhelm Heinse), it is one the most beautiful and surprising check matting patterns, this pattern is realized by having a knight and a pawn that restrict the king to the a or h file and then a rook or a queen delivers a checkmate.

if you take a close look at this position you can realize that the black’s king is trapped on the h file by the knight on e7 and the pawn on g7, it is a checkmate in one move by rook to h5.

in a previous article, we saw how Magnus Carlsen managed to beat Jon Ludvig Hammer using this exact matting pattern, we can see that the white king is stuck in the h1 corner and the black night on the e2 square is preventing him from g1 and g3, Magnus realizes this checkmating pattern and finished it with a brilliant queen sacrifice, he played queen to h5 dislodging the white g4 pawn so he can move his rook to the h4 square matting the white king.

The Arabian mate

The Arabian mate is one of the oldest recorded checkmating patterns, it is delivered by the rook on the seventh rank and a knight, this mating net is to be expected in the late middlegame or in the endgame phase of the game.

Lolli’s mates

this checkmating pattern was named after the Italian chess scribe Giambattista Lolli 1698-1769), the checkmating pattern is reached after white manages to push f6 preventing black’s king from the g7 square, this situation created many mating possibilities with the queen, rook, or even the knight. a combination with queen sacrifices may be necessary to finish the game.

in this position, white played Q*h7 sacrificing his queen and after K*h7 he delivered Lolli mate by playing Rh3 the black’s king has no escape and the f6 pawn is doing its job of protecting the g7 square.

in this position, white is taking advantage of his f6 pawn and played Rb8 he is threatening to take black’s g8 rook and checkmate on g7, so black must take the rook to avoid this, Q*b7 is played and now it is checkmate in one move N*f7.

Back Rank mates

this is one of the most frequent checkmating themes, it occurs when a rook or a queen gives a check on the eighth rank and the black’s king is trapped with his own pawns, to avoid this it is recommended to make a breathing room for you king by moving one of your pawns carefully, also pay attention to your opponent’s bishop that can prevent your king from escaping through that hole.

Damiano’s mate

This is a 500 hundred years old mate, it occurs after a combination of rook sacrifices on the h8 square followed by checkmate on h7 by the queen, this happens because of the support given by a pawn on g6 that prevent the king from escaping on f7 and support the queen.

to deliver the Damiano’s mate
1.Rh8+ Kxh8
2. Rh1+ Kg8
3. Rh8+ Kxh8
4. Qh5+ Kg8

All The 50 deadly checkmating pattern

This section of the book contains

  • 47 checkmating pattern
  • 1 perpetual check pattern
  • 2 wining material pattern
  1. Anastasia’s Mate
  2. The missing defensive f-pawn
  3. The Arabian mate
  4. Philidor’s legacy
  5. Semi smothered mate
  6. Single rook sacrifice on h8
  7. double rook sacrifice on h8
  8. Damiano’s mate
  9. Taimanov’s knight check
  10. the see-saw (the windmill tactic)
  11. the Petrosian draw
  12. the rook f8 and knight f7 trick
  13. blackburne’s mate
  14. boden’s mate
  15. other queenside mates
  16. the double rook sacrifice
  17. the double bishop sacrifice
  18. Murphy’s mate
  19. Pillsbury’s mate
  20. The crafty bishop g8
  21. The rook sacrifice on g7
  22. A knight on f5 (1)
  23. A knight on f5 (2)
  24. Rook decoy on h7
  25. The queen and bishop mate
  26. Greco’s mate
  27. More queen g6 bombshells
  28. Korchnoi’s maneuver
  29. The bishop h6 sacrifice
  30. The queen and bishop line up
  31. Removing the f6 defender
  32. The greek gift (1)
  33. The greek gift (2)
  34. The greek gift (3)
  35. The greek gift (4)
  36. Mate on the long diagonal
  37. Weak dark squares
  38. Blackburne’s other mate
  39. Lolli’s mates
  40. Back rank mates
  41. Back rank mates
  42. More back rank mates
  43. Rook deflections
  44. Two rooks on the seventh
  45. Andersen’s mate
  46. Pawn on the seventh rank
  47. Legal’s mate
  48. The bishop sacrifice on h7
  49. Knight sacrifices on f7 and e6
  50. The Fischer trap

Test Positions

The second part of the book is about 36 test position and their solutions, in each of these positions your task is to find the winning combination whether it is checkmate, material gain, or perpetual check, after you finish this test you can compare your result to this list (below) and determine your level.

All 36 Master Standard
30-35 Tournament Strength player
25-29 Excellent pattern Recognition
20-24 Good Pattern Recognition
15-19 Promising – join a chess club
10-14 Average
5-9 More Practice needed
0-4 Does dad play backgammon?

read the book, take the test and tell us about your score, enjoy.

Glossary of terms

In this section, the writer gives a definition of 28 chess terms that are crucial to understanding the book, terms like a decoy, deflection, major and minor pieces.


The book is fantastic in general, but there are two things that I wish the writer made or improve the first thing is the examples he gives, it will be better if there are more examples to craft the concept in the recipient mind, the second thing is that for a beginner a lot of terms may not seem clear, it may be better to make the glossary of terms in the beginning of the book.

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