AVAILABLE JULY 2018, please email us and we will let you know when it's ready! 39forksPublishing@gmail.com


Rook Jones is a series of chess maze books, each with its own adventure story starring ROOK JONES, a lone rook on a mission. ROOK JONES is the last piece standing after a losing chess battle, and now he must navigate a series of mazes, search for keys to rescue his captured friends, gather diamonds and other rewards, and escape the traps laid by enemy forces. 

ROOK JONES moves like a traditional rook piece on an actual chessboard—that is, he can move in a straight line, horizontally or vertically, across an unlimited number of open squares. But watch out! Opposing rooks, bishops, and knights all stand guard throughout the mazes, blocking Rook's path. Just like in a real chess game, ROOK JONES cannot land on any square where he would be captured by an opposing piece. 

How does a chess maze work?

The image below is the Beginner-level, introductory maze in ROOK JONES #1: Dungeon of Diamonds. (This is the only maze marked with X's, in order to demonstrate player movement and strategy.) ROOK JONES enters this maze at the top-left corner, where the image of the rook appears. The player must guide him through the maze in straight-line, horizontal or vertical movements across open squares, gathering diamonds by passing over them as he makes his way to the exit in the bottom-right corner.

Players familiar with (or learning) the rules of chess will notice that ROOK JONES can safely pass over but cannot land on squares marked with X's, where he could be captured by opposing rooks or bishops:

 

 

Below is another sample maze, this time with an Intermediate difficulty level. This is puzzle #12 (out of 20) in Dungeon of Diamonds. This time there are more opposing pieces, making it trickier for ROOK JONES to safely pass through: 

 

The green path below shows a sample solution to the maze above. Notice that it takes about 27 moves to get the key, rescue the pawn from his isolation cell, and escape the dungeon. The trickiest moves in this maze are the ones required to get around (and stay out of the potential paths of) the white bishops standing guard at various points:

 

 

Who can play ROOK JONES?

ROOK JONES chess puzzles can be played by all ages at any level of chess expertise, but they're especially great for chess beginners. The books have been play-tested with children ages 4 to 12, and we're delighted at the positive feedback we've gotten from both kids and parents. 

ROOK JONES puzzles help players practice their understanding of chess moves while sharpening strategic thinking and creative problem-solving skills.

The text in the books is at a 4th- to 6th-grade reading level. The difficulty level of the mazes increases as each storyline progresses, from Beginner to Intermediate to Challenging. Kids can go through the books independently—they're great for car trips, plane trips, waiting rooms, or quiet play time—or the books make great interactive bedtime stories for children and parents to read together!