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Reading 1001 Brilliant Chess Sacrifices and Combinations, by Fred Reinfeld is the best way to improve your game. It is my substitute for " Tactics Trainer ".
He also wrote a companion book 1001 Ways To Checkmate.
Another view of this is to imagine 2002 chess diagrams all about destroying your opponents.
Using these books, I have no need for any other tactics training (some of which has been borrowed from the first Reinfeld book). If you run across one of these books, pick it up. It seems it may be possible to download the first book online, I have been told. My problem is I am often too lazy, or not in the mood to pick them up and read them. If I don't I will cease to progress. As Mike Ditka (an American Football coach) once remarked, "Winning takes more effort than just wanting to win". To paraphrase Shakespeare, " If wishes were horses beggars could ride." We also must do the work, inspired or not. That is why tactics trainer is also good. It is a modular, and more systematic method of working on tactics.
After that I go to Chessgames.com and study the games of Tal, Alekhine, Bagirov, Sokolsky, Bird, Marshall, Diemer, Kasparov and Tartakover to copy their styles. Particularly Diemer, Alekhine and Bagirov in order to learn more about the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, the Nimzo-Indian (as played by Alekhine) the Nimzo-Larsen Attack and Alekhine's Defense (as played by Bagirov). I play through Kasparov's games with the Sicilian Scheveningen and also look at Tal's games with White against the Sicilian Defense. Frank Marshall's games with Black in the Queen Pawn Openings are very valuable these days. These are defenses where 2.c4 (the Queen's Gambit) is not played by White. The Colle goes back at least 100 years, so why not ways to combat it as well? Marshall had some answers. If you think Frank Marshall was not a good player look at the game Livitsky - Marshall (Poland, 1912). It is somewhere on Chess Showcase, one of the " Immortal Classics " of the game. If you want to learn the Petrov (or Russian Defense), then Marshall is your man. Throughout your life you will hear "study the games of the masters." The games of the masters past and present! Bobby Fischer is now one of those who has passed into chess history. If you like to play the Sicilian Najdorf and King's Indian Defense, Fischer is your man.
All that is missing now would be a study of the endgames, in which Irving Chernev's book Practical Chess Endings is my guide. Very practical indeed. Also found on the web to download. For all those who would rather learn at the computer or have no source for chess books just remember, (even if you are running Fritz, Rybka or chess databases) openings do not win chess games - people do. Otherwise what would be the point of tactics studies? Databases help you to bypass almost all chess traps, (many of which, using databases, you are not even aware of) since databases do not suggest losing moves. So, do not get hung up on openings. Openings do not win chess games. If databases help you decide moves that is fine, but grandmaster games take you a step beyond that. They teach you, over time, how best to develop a chess style and to choose your own moves.
Aren't they all in descriptive notation?
I will look for it thx
A link to reinfelds puzzles (legal, since they are printed without the solutions)
If Fischer could follow chess annotations in Russian, I suppose a few of us can deal with English (descriptive) Chess notation until some publisher reprints them in algebraic notation. If Bobby learned Russian because he desired so strongly to win at chess, to see what new opening variations the Soviets were discovering, then it seems we all can muddle through with this. If we desperately want to improve the level of our play, then no holds are barred. Conversation is a game of political correctness, not chess. You do what you have to do to win. I have not heard of anyone (except Jose Raul Capablanca) say chess is easy. He grasped all of these concepts without apparent effort.
Anyway, the diagrams speak for themselves, we don't need too use much notation. There are sections on the "pin", the "knight fork," "the double attack", etc. That makes the positions easier to figure out. Each chapter is a different theme. That's the point of the book. These are not really books of puzzles at all, but a teaching method. It is a book of attacking themes in which the diagrams are evidence that said different themes are reoccuring and can be identified within the mosaic of the chess board.
tells us that notation is not important at the thread he posted, as the answers are not given. Nevertheless, half the checkmates and winning attacks can be figured out without setting up a board. Some are easy to see, and only 2/5 or 1/3 are difficult, where we would need the help of a board or the answers. Sometimes it takes a little effort, but these are the views we would have in over the board games. So we would have to see the win coming in exactly the same way (without looking up the answer). This is what we are training to do in learning additional tactical skills. To see the moves for ourselves on screen or OTB.
For future reference, 50 years after an author's dead his books are in the public domain, and can be reprinted without paying royalties to the author's family or estate.
Fred Reinfeld published this book in 1955. 50 years later it is still being published. That has to tell us something right there. Other chess authors have written books incorporating some of the knowledge imparted to us by Mr. Reinfeld, by virtue of the fact that they had earlier read his book. I believe he co-authored Logical Chess Move By Move with Irving Chernev. In it he even recycles some of these ideas himself.
A boxer needs to know he can counter a left hook with a left hook of his own. He needs to know that if he can work one foot in between his opponents two feet, a knockdown punch is then a good possibility. Chess also has its tecniques like doubling your rooks on the seventh rank, smothered mate and "removing the guard". What Reinfeld re-emphasizes and others write about are the systematic uses of these techniques when they are spotted and become available in a game. These are thematic moves. That is what Reinfeld taught and retaught. That is what Nimzovitch taught - pin the enemy knights, put your rooks on open files, blocade the enemy pawns with your knights. We are not discussing fashionable books here. We are discussing the secondary rules of chess. The rules of the game are about how the pieces move. The techniques of the game are about how games are won (up to and including how endgames are won). If you want to win, you must learn your Reinfeld and your Nimzovitch.
I think the book Winning Chess Traps, by Irving Chernev, is a very good book on openings. In it is everything one needs to know about playing the Cambridge Springs Defense. Dr. Max Euwe, Andrew Soltis, Edgar Mednis and Alevander Kotov (or even our friend Jeremy Silman) are more for strong intermediate players, who already should understand Nimzovitch and Reinfeld. Andrew Soltis' book Pawn Structure Chess is very good, but not so comprehensive as it emphasizes only certain chess openings like the Slav/Caro Kann and King's Indian formations over others. Once people have mastered Nimzovitch (My System) and 1001 Brilliant Sacrifices, they can go on to Euwe's Books Chess Master vs. Chess Amature and Chess Master vs. Chess Master. All of these other books are about structures and not about tactics.
Simply put, structures are static and tactics are dynamic. Mikhail Tal put the capitol "D" in dynamic for us, while Fischer, Botvinnik and Karpov played with more of an eye toward chess structures. Tal looked at Frank J. Marshall's games and decided against sacrificing pawns in the openings. He elevated queen sacrifices to an art form. He did not like to sacrifice his pawns. When Reinfeld wrote his 1001 Ways To Checkmate he wrote that the only reward for sacrificing ones' queen should be a checkmate. Tal went one step father and learned to sacrifice the queen for presumably won positions. What Schlielmann called the "true sacrifice", rather than the "sham sacrifice" (where one can see all the sacrificed material must be returned to you). It is often difficult to calculate exactly what material you do get back after a queen sacrifice, including what it is worth positionally. Probably more than any other book, Schlielmann's " The Art of Sacrifice," has been copied and imitated in books by other people. Therefore I must conclude with, learn your Nimzovitch, learn your Reinfeld and learn your Schlielmann.
Chess in a nutshell. "Simple as ABC .... 123".
So let's get out there and sacrifice those queens people.
" What happened to me? My name starts with a C."
Thanks! I'll check him out
Some people used to mock Reinfeld because he turned out so many books (over 100 on chess alone, plus some more on checkers). But when I was learning to play in the '60s, there just weren't many chess books on the market in the USA at all, and most were just basic beginners' books about learning the moves. If you learned to play and wanted to improve, Reinfeld's books were all you could find, and they were treasured by many. He brought more people into chess in the US than anyone else before Fischer.
Although not a GM, he was a strong player, among the best dozen or so in the US for years, and recorded wins against both Frank Marshall and Sammy Reshevsky in his career.
RIP and Thank You, Fred!
Absolutely good info! And what made me think you were a novice??
... Efim Geller played the Opencensky Variation against the Sicilian Najdorf 30 times (including games against Fischer) and never lost a single game. All were either draws or wins.... Bobby Fischer's games with the Ruy Lopez as White are what everyone looks at to play employ The Spanish Torture. Personally I prefer to study the games of Efim Geller with the King's Indian Defence rather than Fischer. Geller was playing it against GMs (in the 40s and 50s) while Fischer, as a school boy, was still trying to keep up the the latest openings variations of "The Russian School" in Russian pamphlets. Geller has more of a fluid style of play, like Vladimir Bagirov had with Alekhine's Defense. Alekander Shabalov was a pupil of Bagriov (As were Tal and Kasparov) but Shabalov plays Alekhine's Defense in chess tournaments..... I like to look at Marshall's games with the Petroff Defense. Kramnik is the best with the Petroff. He has played it more than any other grandmaster but only he uses it primarily as a weapon to draw with grandmasters rather than beat them. He has an incredible numbers of draws versus wins with the Petroff (or Russian Defense). Marshall had to attack at all costs (and like Tal and Diemer he often gave away too much material doing it). If wins were awarded in drawn games for "fighting spirit" Frank Marshall would have had a lot more won games. .... Marshall also leads the way in the Queen Pawn openings where White refuses to play a Queen's Gambit..... There is so much information on the Petroff Defense, the Najdorf and Lasker's Defense to the Queen's Gambit Declined that no one (with proper tactics and endgame techniques) should have to lose playing them. One international master I know began his career learning the Petroff Defense completely because he thought the Sicilian was too complicated for him. When he did begin playing the Sicilian he began with the Boleslavsky Variation. .... I like the games of Alekhine (which were less speculative than those of Tal). I can see that Bagirov studied Alekhine's published games (even while World War II was going on) as their styles were similar. He was in that regard a pupil of Alekhine. As a world champion, Alekhine was less creative than Mikhail Tal. The difference with Alekhine was he never missed seeing an attacking move winning material over the board. No doubt the Russians studied Alekine's games in the 40s just as Americans studied Fischer's games in the 60s.
How many people myself included fell in love with the game after reading REINFELD ! he absolutely makes learning a joy as he wrote about this complex game in story-book form.
Reinfeld did one larger book on chess opening which wasn't bad for it's day. I found it in a used bookstore. He stress ideas like controling the central squares. There were a lot of double king pawn openings. Yet again, it explained chess openings to people below master level.Today many people can't find Reinfeld books which can help them in algebraic notation. Most players believe we have gone beyond the My System book by Nimzovitch and the Reinfeld books. They would be wrong about 1001 Brilliant Chess Sacrifices and Combinations not being essential reading for those below a 2200 rating here (and that would enclude some chess coaches on Chess.com).Irving Chernev's book Practical Chess Endings is another classic I hope someone published in algebraic notation. "Practical" is the operative word. It is far more useful to the amature players than the Ruben Fine book Basic Chess Endings. The Fine book does have it's uses in analysing and evaluating chess positions in correspondence play, and in Chess.com matches (running to nearly 600 pages in English notation). Some chess players carp at having to learn English notation. I had to learn both. If one can read and write English, one can learn English chess notation if it is usuful to them. For King's Indian Defense players I would recommend buying 200 Modern Chess Traps in the Fianchetto Openings (Howson), and Pawn Structure Chess (Soltis). All the essentials of playing the KID with confidense are included in these two books from openings to end games.
You know Mr. Idle I used to know a lot of those names and styles of play - as I read them it comes back to me. Not the execution but the names...What you said about Rienfeld is true - so much easier to read and therein lies the problem with 99% of chess books - they are more boring than watching paint peel! That's why my end game sucks so bad! I could muddle my way threw some openings and middle game but by the time these Grand masters got to the end game I was ready to end something...lol...
BEST SOURCE FOR CHESS BOOKS IN THE USA IS:
POWELL'S BOOKS (Online)
Great used books! Both hardcover and soft cover. Powell's inventory of books (new and used) is over six million.They mail the books to your house via the US Postal Service.
To Search online for the chess book you are looking for enter Games/Chess Books.
People in other countries can find some of the classic chess books (like the Reinfeld books) as free e-books online. All the " tactics training" is based on Reinfeld's book 1001 Brilliant Chess Sacrifices and Combinations. Fred wrote another book based on that one. I believe it was How To Play Winning Chess. This is a good book to own because you can take it along with you to waiting rooms, on busses and trains, etc. You do not need English. Just look at the 1001 diagrams.
I am not in the circus, and I am not Lion.
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