"Cheeky Chess" - Heather Lang, English Chess Federation Accredited Coach

I've just finished Head First Physics, where I use a lot of the same methods that have worked well while chess coaching.

When I eventually get round to writing "Cheeky Chess", I'll be using this domain for it! At the moment, I'm using it to distribute information for various chess clubs I'm involved in.

Up to date league tables are on the Oxfordshire Chess Association website.

Recommended chess books and software

Chessmaster 10th Edition (PC software)

This program is great for anyone from beginner onwards, and includes a wide range of computer opponents, lessons, puzzles and more. I've written a review of it on the Amazon website that suggests which areas to concentrate on.

Chess for Children (book)

This is highly recommended for the complete beginner, to learn the moves by themselves or with an adult. It goes at just the right pace for a young child, with various mini-games and puzzles to do along the way. And the alligator cartoons are fab!

Chess Tactics and Checkmates (book)

So you've learned the moves and started to see when you can take pieces for free. What now?! This book is an amalgamation of two earlier books ('Simple Checkmates' and 'Simple Chess Tactics') containing lots and lots of puzzles to help you spot ways of checkmating or winning pieces in your games.

How to beat your Dad at chess (book)

For a slightly more advanced player than 'Chess Tactics and Checkmates'. This book takes you through 50 common checkmate patterns that often come up in games. After starting by simply explaining each pattern, it builds up to more complex positions where the same final pattern can be forced from a position a few moves earlier. And when you start to spot these patterns in your own games, you're suddenly a much stronger player!

Chess tactics for kids (book)

This is the 'companion' book to 'How to beat your Dad at chess' and covers 50 common patterns of winning pieces that often come up during games.

Chess tactics for beginners (PC software)

This software contains 1300 puzzle positions, ranging from checkmate in one move to top England U12 level. It will give hints, keep track of which ones you've had a go at, track your rating etc, so is more interactive than a puzzle book. And you can have multiple users, so siblings, parents etc can all do the puzzles independently!
Buy from Convekta store

Logical Chess Move by Move (book)

When you get to the stage of playing for a County junior team and being able to do most of the puzzle sin the books mentioned above, you'll start meeting opponents who can do tactics as well as you.

This is a book of 40 games, where every single move for both players has a comment. Although you'll get bored of him banging on about 1. e4, the games are well-chosen and well-explained. So you get a good feel for how strong players go about playing a game when their opponents aren't going to fall for two-move tricks!

You can get more out of the book by playing "guess the move" with the winner's moves the first time you play though each game on your chess set (i.e. cover up the page so you can't see the next move and treat it like a real game). Take about an hour per game for this, then play through the whole game again to reinforce what you're learned.

Understanding the Chess Openings (book)

If you're at the stage of using the 'Logical Chess Move by Move' book, you're probably also getting interested in openings. This is a nice one-book summary that can be flicked through without a chess set or read properly with one.

I play for Cowley Chess Club in Oxford.