Ninth-grader develops chess guidebook to teach beginners

Book jacket of chess guide book by Karthik Murugan. Photo courtesy Archway Publishing

Chess enthusiast Karthik Murugan, a ninth-grade student at Downingtown East High School in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, recently released a book entitled, ‘Legal Attack: Chess – An Intellectual Board War’

The book is designed to aid novices in learning and mastering puzzles needed to win games and boost chess ratings, according to a press release.

The book contains 30 ‘powerful’ chess tactics, each with 10 puzzles for readers to practice and solve.


Moving from the simple to more complex, the puzzles hope to allow readers to gradually move through the most important aspects of the game, review common tactics, mates and traps, and advance their technique.

Murugan, who began playing chess in 2014, was inspired to write ‘Legal Attack’ after struggling to find a chess guide that was both tailored toward beginners and expansive in scope.

“I have read hundreds of chess books,” Murugan is quoted saying in the press release. “Not many books are out there that are crisp enough to inspire a beginner or a moderate player and advise them of the powerful techniques needed to win the games. Chess is all about attacking and defending. It’s a war, and you need to win.”

According to his bio, Murugan’s peak United States Chess Federation (USCF) rating is approximately 1,700, and he has played 800 games in 170 USCF-rated tournaments.

He is also a two-time Greater Mid-Atlantic Elementary Champion and a two-time Pennsylvania State Scholastic Bughouse Champion. He also won the 2017 US Open National Elementary Chess Championship.




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