50 Poison Pieces: Solve 50 Puzzles Where the Unprotected Piece Is Toxic - Goodkind

SKU: 872437
Sale price$18.00 USD
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About The 50 Poison Pieces: Solve 50 Puzzles Where the Unprotected Piece Is Toxic - Goodkind

Lauren Goodkind, a respected chess teacher in the San Francisco bay area, wrote 50 Poison Pieces, a fun puzzle book to help her students and any novice chess player avoid capturing unprotected pieces that look safe to capture, which are actually poison!

In each of the 50 unique puzzles that Lauren created, you are asked to figure out why capturing an unprotected piece is a mistake, or in other words, the poison piece.

Next, you turn the page to learn why capturing that piece is the poison piece. Then immediately you are shown two alternative moves. One is bad and will lead to a losing position. But the other move puts you on track to a win. Which move will you pick?

By learning to avoid capturing poison pieces, you will start to understand and use the most important chess strategy of all: always think ahead!

Players rated under 1000 will especially benefit from 50 Poison Pieces.


  • 232 pages
  • Published April 27, 2017
  • Paperback
  • Publisher - Lauren Goodkind

Here's what notable members of the chess community are saying about Lauren's powerful book:

  • It's designed for students under 1000 rating. I really like how it builds a students' thinking about what will happen IF I do a certain move. It helps build deeper thinking. Very good for students (and any age) who know how pieces move yet constantly miss seeing moves that can take their own pieces. It helps build the visualization and habits that will help avoid blunders and lead towards seeing stronger moves. - Elliott Neff, National Master, 

  • "For those just learning the game of chess, I can enthusiastically recommend Lauren Goodkind's unique new book on safe captures. This is an essential concept often dismissed with a few examples of captures of undefended pieces. What she does is to load each capture with a tricky reply such as a skewer, pin or fork, forcing the student to look more than superficially deep. A splendid volume which will be invaluable to both students and teachers alike. FM Eric Schiller Author of More than 100 Chess Books, International Arbiter and Chess Coach

  • "During my 29 years of running a very successful chess program, I have looked for ways to aid young children in analyzing the consequences of their moves. Most puzzle books and programs deal with checkmates in one or more moves or ask for the best first move in a complex middle or endgame. I like Ms. Goodkind's poison piece approach, not only because of the uncluttered problem solving, but also because her explanations for the moves provide guidance to the student to aid their critical thinking about why a pawn or piece was poison. I tested it with a few young players and I saw their eyes light up when they began to understand the need to use their thought processes and not just their fingers. I will be recommending 50 Poison Pieces to my students and to my instructors to use with their students who can be classified as intermediate or advanced beginners." Alan M. Kirshner, Ph.D. Director of Weibel Elementary School Chess & Winner of numerous State Championships, Two Open Nationals and Six All-Girls Nationals

  • "This book should be in every student's and teacher's repertoire. Berkeley Chess School will certainly include it in theirs. With this book, Lauren has produced an easy to read system for understanding the poisoned piece, a subject that is rarely addressed elsewhere." Elizabeth Shaughnessy President and Founder, Berkeley Chess School 

  • "Lauren Goodkind and I first became acquainted, ten years ago, as fellow participants in the Sojourner Truth Tournament for Women. Over the past decade, our friendship has blossomed, and we have enjoyed many good games and memorable tournament experiences, as a result. When I heard she was writing a book, I was very excited for her, and feel that Lauren is a worthy opponent, a capable chess instructor, and a positive role-model for her many students. I am, therefore, pleased to endorse the collection of puzzles contained in 50 Poison Pieces, as a valuable resource for beginning players to use to improve, as they, undoubtedly, begin their journey on the road to chess mastery. This book is informative and fun." Jessica Lauser U.S. Blind Competitor and Blitz Expert

Product Specs

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
Lorraine Atwater
Great tool for kids.

This book is easily laid out for beginners to advanced. It has the basic instructions at the beginning and gives good challenges for all levels. I am excited to test the chess club kids on some of these "poison" moves.

Thank you for the resource that is accessible to many.

Lorraine Atwater

Gregory Davis
Poison pieces

The book arrived in a very timely fashion. I started reading it immediately. Enjoying every page!

Derek Allen
This book is fun!

Definitely a different approach here, but appealing to an amateur player like myself. Totally enjoying this book!

Anne Sajdera
Very helpful

This helpful collection of puzzles teaches the mind to think (at least) one step ahead. I particularly like how each position gives the reader a chance to both work out why the "obvious" move is not a good idea, as well as find a better choice. I haven't finished working through it yet and it's already changed my thinking.

Craig A. Van Matre
Good book for beginners and good review for intermediate players

This is a good training aid and the puzzles help visualize the consequences of hasty moves. Well worth the cost.