The only thing I disliked about it was that some of the puzzle positions were already clearly winning whatever you played :P but overall I found it very useful. You get a lot of good puzzles for cheap. When I saw the huge book in the discount area near the cash registers I bought it along with the jazz CDs I was buying. I never saw the paper back but the hardcover is nice, cheap and loaded with puzzles.
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Shelves: chess This book, the "bible of tactics," is the best bang for your training bucks. The publisher description is good but let me elaborate a bit on a few things. So, while This book, the "bible of tactics," is the best bang for your training bucks.
Because there are no explanations, one cannot get a deep understanding of why some of the tactics work as they do, or why certain moves in the miniatures occurred. The closest thing to an explanation in the games is the occasional Informant-style annotation variation of a few moves. Informant annotations are symbolic annotations not ordinary language annotations. Secondly, there is a section of simple endgames diagrams, I think, of which some are far more important to know than others; and by " important to know" I mean some are theoretical endgames that must be memorized and whose winning and drawing methods learned by heart.
Such important theoretical endgames need explanation because just knowing the pattern is not sufficient at certain levels. Regardless, these simple endgame positions are worth going over again and again and again. Thirdly, the miniature games 25 moves or fewer are organized by tactical focal point; i. If you are rated under you should be devouring this material, and not just once. Just do the work, the good chess will eventually follow.
Here are two personal stories about this book that you might find helpful or interesting. A few years ago a family, who knew virtually nothing about chess, except that they wanted their little girl to be the next Humpty Koneru, contacted me about coaching their 6 year old daughter. They had mentioned that previously she had been studying with a certain IM but that they thought he was not a good fit.
Okay, so I meet with the family and the kid and find out that the only study material the IM had provided other than the weekly one hour in-person meeting was this Polgar book, and it was the hardcover edition, to boot. The hardcover, I believe, is what the young 4 year old Capablanca sat on to see the board when he was beating up on his father in that photo.
I mean, this 6 year old girl was barely bigger than the book. One final thought about a couple of criticisms of this book that are either just empirically false, misguided, or the sort of stuff the lazy repeat mindlessly.
Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games
Polgar's 5334 Problems
5334 Chess Problems, Combinations and Games