With Hanukkah right around the corner, a few Jewish chess parents have inquired about chess related gifts for their little tournament players. After answering their questions directly, I thought it might be useful to post my suggestions for everyone to see.
Perfect Hanukkah Gifts for Young Chess Players:
Today’s young chess players are able to access a wealth of information quickly through the use of computers. Far and away the most popular chess title for kids is Chessmaster: The Art of Learning. This program by Ubisoft is available for most video game systems as well as the pc and mac. In Chessmaster: The Art of Learning students will be able to access lessons, practice puzzles, analyze their games and play chess. This program has been on the market for a few years so a used copy can be found relatively cheap (under $30) for all systems.
Apple fans will be pleased to know that there are several very good apps available for young chess players who have an Ipad at home. The Shredder app hass one thousand tactical puzzles make it worth having and a great chess engine for playing and analyzing for under $8. If your child is more of a beginner you might consider buying them the Chess Camp app. Chess Camp is broken into several volumes which contain puzzles geared toward quick learning of important concepts. Chess Camp is the only chess learning app officially endorsed by the United States Chess Federation. Each volume is a bargain at $3.
Advanced chess players can still find books very helpful. Noted chess Author Eric Schiller has recently revised several of his top selling books. Some recommended titles include, The Encyclopedia of Chess Wisdom, Learn From Bobby Fischer’s Greatest Games and 639 Essential Endgame positions. All of these books are priced under $20 and will captivate young tournament players.
Finally, what can be better than giving your child the gift of training from the country’s best chess coaches. The San Francisco Bay Area features a Winter Chess Camp run by the Torres Chess and Music Academy. TCAMA teachers have instructed several National Champions in the last few years and have turned the Silicon Valley into a chess powerhouse. Information on our winter chess camp can be found here: http://chessandmusic.com/ .
Parents who buy their children the gift of chess for Hanukkah can smile knowing that their children will have fun learning while helping to preserve the Jewish traditions of Hanukkah and great chess.