NEW BOOK....The Learning Spiral: A New Way to Teach and Study Chess by Kevin Cripe

TundraMike

Does anyone know of a review or have the book and have an opinion on the book? Looks interesting but many people below master strength are writing books. Doesn't mean they are not good but no one wants to lay out $25 unless it is good.  Thank you in advance for any comments.

michaelcchen

so what???

TundraMike
michaelcchen wrote:

so what???

Just would like an honest opinion on the book, all I am looking for. 

kindaspongey

From time to time, DeirdreSkye comments on "Fernard Gobet" and the "improving spiral". Don't know if there is a connection.

TundraMike
kindaspongey wrote:

From time to time, DeirdreSkye comments on "Fernard Gobet" and the "improving spiral". Don't know if there is a connection.

Do not think so, this is a newly published book, less than 2 months since release. 

OldPatzerMike

The author is a school teacher and "chess coach" from Modesto, California, according to the info about this book on bookdepository.com. The USCF web site shows his rating as 1875.

BonTheCat

Good on Kevin for doing so. I think there's every reason for players who are not famous, titled or extremely hightly rated to write chessbooks, because one can always argue that those players are much better equipped to understand what lower-rated players don't understand, or how various concepts should be explained in order for such players to grasp them better.

TundraMike
BonTheCat wrote:

Good on Kevin for doing so. I think there's every reason for players who are not famous, titled or extremely hightly rated to write chessbooks, because one can always argue that those players are much better equipped to understand what lower-rated players don't understand, or how various concepts should be explained in order for such players to grasp them better.

@BonTheCat  I agree with you.  Many times someone rated below master level can teach you many skills to improve because they see it through a different perspective.  

I was just hoping for a review on the book.  

dave_westwood

I expect my copy to arrive between January 11 & 18. I considered getting the version from Forward Chess. I will post a review after I've had time to read and use the book.

dave_westwood

The book arrived yesterday.  I haven't taken much time to look at it yet. 

My initial impression is that it's a great book for teaching chess to students from early elementary school on up to adults.  The book has a preface from an expert on learning theory and an introduction that explains the rationale behind the sequence of 436 numbered diagram positions for teaching or learning chess moves, tactics and strategy.  There's also a chapter featuring 10 exemplar games, each followed by 6 diagrams; 5 from the game for the learner to put in sequence and 1 distracter that  doesn't belong.  That chapter would scan better if it were reformatted to hold the game score and all 6 positions on a single spread of facing pages. I don't like having to turn the page to see the last two or three positions.  The best comparable books I can think of are Jeff Coakley's "Winning Chess (Strategies; Exercises; Puzzles) for Kids", and Todd Bardwick's "Chess Strategy Workbook" and "Teaching Chess in the 21st Century"--all excellent books for teaching/learning chess, and not just for kids.

I hope that teachers are given rights to copy the diagram pages for students.  I need to inquire from the author or publisher.

I think the author makes a good case for his method of organization for the exercises.  I feel it's probably an excellent reference and teaching book for scholastic chess coaches from elementary through high school levels.  A motivated student between 4th grade and adult could probably work through it autonomously, though I'd recommend having a stronger player / coach available to check and advise.

Contents:

Forward by Dr. John Hattie, The University of Melbourne -( This is what grabbed my attention when I first saw pre release announcements for the book on Amazon. My background is as a 7-12 math & science teacher and scholastic chess club coach.)

Note to Students, Teachers and Parents

Introduction

Watching Students Learn

Chapter 1: The Pieces and How They Move

Chapter 2: Checkmate or Stalemate

Chapter 3: Pins and Skewers

Chapter 4: Knight Moves and Back-rank Problems

Chapter 5: Deflections and Promotions

Chapter 6: Games to Learn From

Chapter 7: Endgame Tactics and Smashing the Kingside

Chapter 8: Evaluation, Basic Endgames, and Stems

Chapter 9: The Active King

Chapter 10: Some Ideas from Grandmaster Games

Chapter 11: Practice Thinking

Glossary

510 Pages.

 

dave_westwood

I don't think Irving Chernev was a titled player, nevertheless he persisted in sharing his love of the game by writing or co-writing several books, some of which are classics that are highly recommended.  Being a skilled titled player does not necessarily make on an excellent instructional writer or chess coach/mentor.

Kevin Cripe may not be a master or even an expert chess player, but he's clearly a dedicated and thoughtful teacher who has given a great deal of thought to how children/people learn and applied the fruits of his experience to his book.

Jonani
dave_westwood wrote:

The best comparable books I can think of are Jeff Coakley's "Winning Chess (Strategies; Exercises; Puzzles) for Kids", and Todd Bardwick's "Chess Strategy Workbook" and "Teaching Chess in the 21st Century"--all excellent books for teaching/learning chess, and not just for kids.

 

@dave_westwood  Thank you for giving such a detailed reply to @TundraMike 's original inquiry about the book The Learning Spiral: A New Way to Teach and Study Chess by Kevin Cripe.  The information you shared was quite helpful to know.

Also, thank you for recommending other books as well.  It's always nice to get different people's opinions regarding what literature might be helpful to improve one's own chess game. happy.png

TundraMike

I did buy the book and will be enjoying it.  Very well done. 

Jonani

@TundraMike  I most likely will buy the book as well, based on the recommendation by @dave_westwood and yourself.

I first want to complete the online chess lessons to further my knowledge and then consider other resources, once I have exhausted most options on chess.com (in terms of video lessons, the drill exercises, etc).

TundraMike

Yes, I am doing the same, those online lessons here that are offered is like having a chess coach, they are excellent. 

Jonani

@TundraMike  I've completed up to the Intermediate level so far.

Going to be taking a break from chess.com for a couple months soon.  When I return I want to retake some parts (or possible all) of the Intermediate level again before starting the Advanced section.  Give myself a refresher before getting back into new lessons.  

They just released a new level called Mastery.  Below is a article about it, in case you have not heard about them yet.

https://www.chess.com/article/view/mastery-chess-lessons-are-here