Friday 24 July 2015

Batsford Book of Chess: From Beginner to Winner (Updates)

This page rounds up various developments since the publication of my book in September 2014.


Amazon UK

This is a well presented and thought out book with clear illustration from beginner up to a high level. Something for all can be found within these pages, from beginner to top board player. Makes you realise you're never to old to learn. Well done Mr Marsh.

- Garry Benson

I found this to be an excellent book for my children. It is clear and well-written so suitable for complete beginners, but then progresses onto higher level skills and so was also of benefit to my older child who already had the basics. Whatever your skill, this book seems to have it all and I would highly recommend.

- JM

Well written, researched and presented. A great help with my understanding of the game. I would recommend this marvelous book to anyone at any level. A large format, full colour hardcover, well illustrated, at an amazing price. We look forward to your future volumes.

- DB Sharon

This book is very useful for beginners or amazing players so I would recommend this book for any chess lover good job Mr.Marsh :-)

- Jon

Went down very well as a Christmas present, so presumably the information in it is interesting & useful.

- Greta

Amazon US

This is another great book in the rich trove of chess literature that serves to educate, inspire, and amuse readers of all skill levels. The theme of the book is "beginner to winner," and that's exactly what it covers. It starts with a complete review of the movements of the pieces and the game rules, and progresses through winning, drawing, and losing, common openings, tactical weapons, playing for position, winning strategy, analysis of key moments in championship games, and character sketches and analysis of the playing styles of some of the greatest geniuses the game has ever known.

This is a book that can benefit the complete novice as well as the tournament level player. The author writes with a simple, direct style that clearly illustrates the point of the text without ever talking down to the reader.

- Barrie G. Britton

The book is very beautiful (hardcover, lots of colorful chess boards inside, nice paper) and I paid for it only $22.95. Also, I think I am learning from it. My game has improved since I started reading this book. You will learn some tactical weapons (the fork, the pin, the skewer...), positional play, openings and a lot of other necessary strategies.

- Karina Bertolino

Chess Cafe

The appropriately annotated games (and there are many of them) will help such a player understand some of the basics of what is going on in a given game, and the presentation of some of the greatest players should whet his or her appetite to learn more about the game by searching out additional annotated games by the great masters.

I might have added a fifth goal for The Batsford Book of Chess – to introduce the reader to a little of the excitement and mysterious allure of the game. I think this was also achieved.

- Steve Goldberg

Sean Marsh goes to the heart of many of these subjects and consequently kindles an interest to explore these matters in more dedicated books. This is truly a heroic attempt which I think succeeds

- Bill Frost

Chess Book Reviews

My copy is lovely released with a hard copy and this book is a truly gift to every lover of the game.
Conclusion: A highly instructive eye catching learning book!

- Jon Elburg

The hardback edition is perfect for an adult who wants to start playing and there is enough material to also encourage enthusiastic amateurs to make a wise investment. There are plenty of diagrams to make it easy to read and some photos of star players to add background to the anecdotes.
The right way to learn chess and improve.

- Gary Lane

THE BATSFORD BOOK OF CHESS is beautifully laid out and would serve as an excellent introduction to the game, be it for an adult or a young child working with a parent.


- John Donaldson

Signing Sessions

There have been various signing sessions in my schools and for friends. I am planning at least one more session during 2015.

Feature in Writing Magazine (August 2015)

Click image to enlarge


There are a couple of corrections to mistakes that somehow skip through the editorial net (thank you, Sandy Ruxton, for pointing out two of these).

Page 32:

In the first diagram, it should be a black rook on e2 instead of a bishop (as correctly shown in the other two diagrams on the same page).

Page 53:

White should have just the one bishop in the first diagram and it is on f4. The bishop should then be on c7 for the second diagram.

Page 201:

There is an inadvertent repetition of three moves and their explanatory notes in the right-hand column.

Further updates will follow in due course.

The Batsford Book of Chess: From Beginner to Winner by Sean Marsh is available directly from the publisher and from the usual online retailers, including via the Amazon links given above. 

Wednesday 22 July 2015

CSC Teesside at the 2015 Northern Gigafinal

Lots of our stars were in action at the recent UK Chess Challenge Northern Gigafinal, held in Manchester over the course of a full weekend.

Our children qualified for the Gigafinal by scoring so well at the Northumberland and York Megafinals (there are reports on those events here and here.)

The full results of the Northern Gigafinal can be found here:



Here is summary of the Teesside scores (if I have missed anyone off the list, please send me a message via the ''comments'' facility and I will amend this post).

Megafinals are tough enough, but to score any points at all a Gigafinal is a major achievement. Well done everyone - I am very proud of you all!

U-7 Boys

Ajay Selvan (Yarm) 3/6

U-7 Girls

Grace Crawford (Yarm) 3.5/6

U-8 Boys

Henry Parker (Yarm) 3/6
Nathan Li (Whale Hill) 1.5/6

U-8 Girls

Sara Tryambake (Yarm) 4/6
Libby Ogden (Throston) 1.5/6

U-9 Boys

Ammar Soni (Yarm) 4.5/6 (=3rd place!)
Gaurav Kannan (Yarm) 3.5/6
Ashton Dawkin (Errington) 3.5/6
Finlay Wardle (Ings Farm) 2/6
Adhithyan Dinakaran (Yarm) 2/6

U-9 Girls

Leia McCusker (Westgarth) 3/6
Samantha Botterill (Yarm) 2/6
Lili Giles (Westgarth) 1.5/6

U-10 Boys

Ihsaan Mahmood (Yarm) 3.5/6
Jack Blackburn (Errington) 3/6
Edward Adams (Yarm) 2.5/6

U-10 Girls

Zoe Coates (Errington) 1.5/6
Zoe Hill (Westgarth) 1.5/6

U-11 Boys

Abhinav Ramisetty (Yarm) 3.5/6
James Vasey (Throston) 2/6

U-13 Boys

Yash Gulve (Yarm) 3/6

U-16 Girls

Hannah Westwick (Redcar Chess Club) 3/6 (3rd!)

Ammar Soni's sensational result means he has now qualified for the Terrafinal (Challengers' Section) which is the final part of the 2015 UK Chess Challenge.

Congratulations, Ammar!

Amma with his prizes
UKCC's IM Mike Basman can be seen in the background

Both photos © Dr Soni and reproduced here with kind permission.

Thursday 16 July 2015

Chess Cakes!

Thank you for the extraordinary chess cakes, Libby Mackay!

All chess players enjoy a nice square meal. X

Wednesday 15 July 2015

CSC Teesside: Special Events (3)

To round off a busy and very successful year at Whale Hill Primary, we invited the parents and grandparents of the Y3 children to come along for an afternoon featuring a shared chess session.

We talked the parents through the basics of the Chess in Schools and Communities project and asked all of the children to talk about their favourite memories from the year.

Some of the parents already knew how to play chess but for those who didn't we introduced the basic moves of the pawn and queen as a precursor to an hour or so of mini-games featuring those pieces.

Then children then selected a playing partner and after every couple of games they switched around, in an attempt to play all of the parents.

The afternoon was a great success and one which we are intending to repeat not just at Whale Hill but at our other CSC Teesside schools too.

Father and son - Jack and Stuart. Stuart was in my county squads back in the 1990s

Nathan (right) played at the UKCC Gigafinal last weekend

Just look at that eyeballing!
The children are surprised...hmmm - these parents play well!

Chess - still a fabulous family game!

Monday 6 July 2015

CSC Teesside Training Day 2015

This year's CSC Teesside Training Day once again utilised the fabulous venue of the City Learning Centre based at Acklam Grange School.

The day attracted delegates not only from our Teesside Schools but from much further afield too, with Andrew Green's journey from Edinburgh being a record travelling distance for one of our events.

Working alongside my trusty assistant Rachel Trotter (recent star of Radio Tees and photographer for this report) we delivered a day of material based on our school lessons and CSC curriculum, with plenty of mini-games, discussions on the merits of chess in schools, the expansion of junior chess on Teesside and many other subjects. We even indulged in a little bit of role play along the way.

It was a great privilege to work with such an outstanding group, whose skills and experience ranged from total novices all the way to Scotland's national junior chess coach.

Thank you, everyone - it was a wonderful day!

Sue names the colour of a selected square correctly - without sight of the board
And so - it begins...
Mini-games with pawns
Sue and Kay pointing the way to success
Judy and Nicola showing their competitive spirit
The pointing has become infectious on this board
Steph demonstrating how to move like a bishop
Eddie enjoys moving like a rook
Queen Anna!

More mini-games: Anna vs. Andrew 
More pointing on this board!
Sue defending King Andrew from the 'evil' Queen Judy
Can the king escape the dungeon?
Checkmate practice!
A solution is found
Question 2 is the hardest on the sheet
Anna and Andrew closing in on the answers
Is this checkmate...?
That is! 
Eddie has found the move!
Playing the Ultimate King Hunt. Andrew eventually
delivered checkmate to the lone king.