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The Grand Tactics of Chess

chessmonger2112

Has anyone read The Grand Tactics of Chess?  Or anything else by Franklin Knowles Young?  Its an older book over a hundred years old and was curious if it was good.  Thanks.

chessmonger2112

No one eh?

goldendog

Yes. His books are very inferior.

vowles_23

Never heard of it. I read in a chess book the other day in the recommendations section at the back, "anything Silman".

chessmonger2112

Oh okay cool thanks guys.

brightwood83

I realize I'm replying to a decade-old thread, but people search the forums like I just did, and may peruse these old threads looking for information.  I've only recently obtained copies of several of F.K. Young's books off of eBay and started exploring them, so can hardly be counted an expert on his ideas, but here's my two cents worth.

"The Grand Tactics Of Chess" is the third volume in a quadrilogy of books on Chess Strategetics, which was Young's approach to modelling chess theory on the basis of military strategy combined with geometry and mathematics.  It presupposes a knowledge of the earlier two volumes "The Minor Tactics Of Chess" and "The Major Tactics Of Chess", so if you're interested in Young's ideas it's best to start with "Minor Tactics" and then "Major Tactics" before moving on to "Grand Tactics" and finally the fourth volume "Chess Stratetgetics Illustrated".

Young's books have gotten a bad rap ever since a scathing contemporary review by a reviewer who openly admitted she'd never read the books, and since then many folks seem to just pass along what they've heard without reading them or trying out the ideas therein.  Personally I'm reserving judgement either way until I've had a chance to do both.

EscherehcsE
brightwood83 wrote:

I realize I'm replying to a decade-old thread, but people search the forums like I just did, and may peruse these old threads looking for information.  I've only recently obtained copies of several of F.K. Young's books off of eBay and started exploring them, so can hardly be counted an expert on his ideas, but here's my two cents worth.

"The Grand Tactics Of Chess" is the third volume in a quadrilogy of books on Chess Strategetics, which was Young's approach to modelling chess theory on the basis of military strategy combined with geometry and mathematics.  It presupposes a knowledge of the earlier two volumes "The Minor Tactics Of Chess" and "The Major Tactics Of Chess", so if you're interested in Young's ideas it's best to start with "Minor Tactics" and then "Major Tactics" before moving on to "Grand Tactics" and finally the fourth volume "Chess Stratetgetics Illustrated".

Young's books have gotten a bad rap ever since a scathing contemporary review by a reviewer who openly admitted she'd never read the books, and since then many folks seem to just pass along what they've heard without reading them or trying out the ideas therein.  Personally I'm reserving judgement either way until I've had a chance to do both.

I haven't read any of them, other than a cursory skimming of some of the pages. Good luck with your task, although I'd recommend that you keep a bottle of Excedrin handy during your readings.

As a general comment, the books are in the public domain and available on the Internet Archive. You also might want to check out what Edward Winter had to say about FKY:

https://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/young.html

madmacsback

I have had in my collection all of Franklin Young’s books at one time or another, and I can tell you firsthand that you will have a headache in short order. His books remind me of Kmoch’s Pawn Power in Chess in that he tries to create a vocabulary of terms from military strategy as taught in a war college in the 1800’s. Kmoch’s book is a much better book, in that you can ditch much of the terminology and still understand the principles behind his examples. Not so with FK Young. As far as the rationale behind the books, while military planning is excellent planning, and looks at all the contingencies, over the chessboard the terminology becomes irrelevant. As Clausewitz said — No plan survives first contact with the enemy. More recently, Mike Tyson once remarked that “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Grandmasters become grandmasters based on two innate talents — the ability to calculate accurately and deeply, and the ability to recognize patterns on the board in a deeper and more profound way than the rest of us. Somehow, I doubt that FK Young’s vocabulary terms ever enter their minds in the process. Lastly, a teenage infatuation with “The Grand Tactics of Chess” didn’t help my game much at all — it wasn’t until I read Max Euwe’s two book set on the middle game, and Reuben Fine’s book Ideas Behind the Chess Openings, and Keres’ book Practical Chess Endings that I really improved. Of course, all of those books have been replaced in the oeuvre by more recent volumes, but if you really want to indulge in FK Young… knock yourself out.