The Making of a Young Chess Champion
by & photographed by
Age Range: 6 - 10
Email this review


The discovery, education, and nurturing of a young chess prodigy are detailed in photojournalistic style. Michael Thaler put together a puzzle of the United States at age two. At four, at the end of his first chess lesson, the boy was hooked. His parents realized their son's tremendous potential and love of the game and decided to do everything necessary to develop his talent. Chess lessons and tournaments became part of his weekly schedule and before he started Kindergarten, he had already won a trophy in the kindergarten division. Michael became the youngest member of his school's chess club and soon defeated older members of the club. The youngster gives the reader seven lessons that work for him. Among them are prepare, respect your opponent, focus on the game, learn how to win and how to lose (losing is an opportunity to learn), be patient, and chess isn't everything. Michael's story ends with his participation in a national tournament that he attends with his father. Before the first match, they analyze his past games and review Michael's thought processes as he played. Three games are reviewed, move by move. Those who do not understand chess notation can read the text that explains Michael's strategies, but may not be interested in this section. Michael does win the tournament and the cover illustration shows him standing with a trophy taller than he is. An epilogue by Michael's father gives advice to other parents of talented youngsters. An interesting story enhanced by photographs, which will appeal to the chess-playing family. (Nonfiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-316-91339-1
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2000


ChildrenONE NATION, MANY TRIBES by Kathleen Krull
by Kathleen Krull
ChildrenTHE OTHER SIDE by Kathleen Krull
by Kathleen Krull
ChildrenON THE AIR by Esther Hautzig
by Esther Hautzig