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I'm looking for a good book on tactics to use as a substitute for the chess mentor tactics courses that are suggested in the study guide for intermediate players tactics section. I've heard good things about "Art of Attack", but haven't seen it suggested as a good book for working on tactics (in the 1400-1800 range). Does anybody know if this would be a good book for this purpose, or if there are other better books for the job? Or is there just no substitute for chess mentor?
Art of Attack is good but quite advanced, and it's really a book on strategy. Have a look at Dan Heisman's recommendations, see http://home.comcast.net/~danheisman/Events_Books/General_Book_Guide.htm
I have one of the books he recommends, "Winning Chess Exercises for Kids", and I really like it, even though I stopped being a kid back in the 80's.
@IpswichMatt, thanks for the tip. Regarding Art of the Attack; when you say advanced, do you mean appropriate for a player rated ~2000 or higher? I do have to say that the approach of teaching tactics along with the strategies that make them possible interests me, but maybe I'm better off just doing a lot of basic themed tactics excercises.
One of the frustrating things I found in trying to use advanced material until you reach that level of comprehension is that often the author assumes competence and leaves the position with a comment "white stands better" or "black gains the initiative." In less advanced books, the author explains why the position favors one or the other. In advanced books, authors do not feel the need to explain subtleties and you'll pass over a lot of good insight because you don't recognize it.
I agree with mldavis617. I get very frustrated with books that are over my head (although being able to use an engine to help me understand why the f**k the move I was thinking of isn't mentioned helps a lot in this regard!)
I think Art of Attack is probably suitable for anyone over 1600 or so. But it is not a tactics book - as you say, it is about strategies that may bring about tactics, about the strategies of attacking. There are simpler books which cover this, for example Lev Albert's "The King in Jeopardy". Might be better to read this first, and get a book of tactics exercises too
Art of attack in chess is a book which explains how to attack in all positions. It explains how to attack the king in the centre, how to attack the fianchettoed king and so on. Also the greek gift and when it works.
It's not a tactic book.
Depending on your time and motivation, I think Art of Attack could be usefull as supplement for improving your calculation and visualisation.
As allready mentioned, the book is about attack in different types of games. So you will have examples with complete games and then a diagram with the critical position for calculation. I think it is a great combination of usefull study.
I am currently about rating 1600 and can easy spend an hour on one game from the book.
I'm looking for a good book on tactics to use as a substitute for the chess mentor tactics courses that are suggested in the study guide for intermediate players tactics section.
The workbooks from Chess Steps are really good. You can probably skip steps 1 and 2. After step 3, 4 and 5, move on to Yusupov's orange books.
I have Dan Heismann's "Back to basics: tactics" and Nunn's "Learn chess tactics" and I find them good.
Definitely work through lots of easy tactics puzzles, such as the recommendations in this thread and on Heisman's page, until you can spot the easy stuff quickly and reliably. Then move on to more advanced material.
For a good first book that covers some of the same material as Art of Attack, but at a much easier to understand level, I highly recommend "How to Beat Your Dad at Chess". Don't let the silly title fool you - it's a GREAT book.
i think its a great title
The art of attack while not necessarily a tactics book, can help you with your tactics. However it is quite advanced. It takes forever to read as the author gives tons of analysis for each game. It can take well over an hour just to go through one game thoroughly so be prepared to put some time into it. I took the time and read it going through alot of variations, but at the time I felt it was definitely over my head. It probably still is. If you're just looking for a simple tactics book than any book with tactical puzzles will do.
Thanks for all the suggestions, I see what you guys are saying about Art of Attack dealing with strategy, and while I might still take a look at it at some point, doesn't seem to be what I'm really looking for. After taking a look at Nunn's "Learn Chess Tactics", it seems like a good fit.
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