Downingtown East High School Student Develops State-of-the-Art Chess Guidebook

Legal Attack by Karthik Murugan

CHESTER SPRINGS, PA — The record-breaking success of Netflix’s original miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit” has revitalized global interest in chess, with significant spikes in chess set sales and “how to play chess” search queries. However, as people set up their new boards and seek out the best strategies for winning, they may encounter difficulties in finding comprehensive, digestible gameplay guides that cater to the unique needs of novice players.

To assist those at the beginning of their chess journeys, high-schooler and chess enthusiast Karthik Murugan has released “Legal Attack: Chess – An Intellectual Board War.” The book contains 30 powerful chess tactics, each with 10 puzzles for readers to practice and solve. Organized from simple to complex, the puzzles 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. Combining lessons, notes and strategies gleaned from tournaments and coaching, the book streamlines the information most valuable to beginners and moderate players and focuses on teaching the puzzles and pattern recognition necessary to be successful and win games.

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“I have read hundreds of chess books,” said Murugan. “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.”

“This is a fantastic chess book for beginners and intermediate players,” wrote an Amazon reviewer. “This book is to the point, introduces chess basics, explains chess notations, teaches powerful tactics, lets the reader practice puzzles, teaches important traps, provides tips, outlines tournament rules, reveals key strategies and ask[s] quizzes throughout the book to keep the reader engaged from start to end.”

“Legal Attack: Chess – An Intellectual Board War”
By Karthik Murugan
ISBN: 9781480897212 (softcover); 9781480897229 (electronic)
Available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Archway Publishing

Karthik Murugan is a ninth-grade student at Downingtown East High School in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. He has been playing chess since 2014 and now teaches kids and promotes chess in the local area. His peak United States Chess Federation (USCF) rating is approximately 1700, and he has played 800 games in 170 USCF-rated tournaments. He surpassed 1000 in his first 20 tournaments. Notably, Karthik is 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. To learn more about Murugan, visit

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