In a sense there was no need for this book to be so large. The simple and powerful idea put across is that when calculating, analyse forcing moves first, however rediculous these may seem. The author calls this, seeing with computer eyes, as this is more akin to the way a computer would calculate. Most of the book is taken up by demonstrative positions and exercises. However, these are well presented and always appropriate. Chapters are divied into things like Stock Forcing Moves, Defensive Forcing Moves etc. I must give my own anecdotal evidence for the power of this approach. It works! My calculation has improved immediately, both in speed clarity, and also originality (spotting unusual moves not immediately apparent) 5 stars just for the concept.
Forcing Chess Moves is a well thought out book that will definitely help many players improve their chess calculating ability as well as their evaluation skills. The key in using this book efficiently is to really try solving the positions as if they were real games. Hide the solutions with a 3x5 card and get a chess clock ticking away near your chess board for more 'true to life' feel. Give yourself a realistic time frame to find a solution: 5, 10 or 20 minutes. I carry on a mental dialogue as I analyse the various possibilities. When you check out your solutions, give yourself a fair assessment: check mark (I found all or most variations correctly), tilde (partially correct) or x (nope, missed that one). I am approximately 2050 FIDE rated and I find that this book is really helpful in sharpening my analytical and visualisation skills. It's a bit like doing daily exercises at the gym! If you don't use it you tend to lose it.
It is an enjoyable book to read and study from and I can see how many different grades of players can benefit from using it. Actually, you might want to re-read it a few times and get even better results on re-runs!
If anyone has any doubt about buying this book then then don't think anymore - buy it! This chess tactics problem solving book has been written in a jaunty, modern, layed-back style and promises a fresh new approach to solving tactics over the board. Charles Hertan wants us to look at positions through our "Computer Eyes" to find the most forcing set of moves. This technique encourages us to look at the most outrageous possibilities (often involving Queen sacrifices) with a view to wining with simple mating patterns!
This book is divided into 12 chapters. Each chapter begins with a tutorial concerning a tactical theme and a walk through some grandmaster games. There then follow a set of exercises which should be mastered to prove that you have fully understood the tutorial. For each exercise you are prompted with a clue, which helps. Importantly I found a very wide range of games from a variety of grandmasters including Kramnik, Korchnoi and Topalov to name but a few.
I especially enjoyed the chapters on "Brute Force Combnations" and "Defensive Forcing Moves" because I found them most challenging ... Chapter 1: "Stock Forcing Moves" and Chapter 2: "Stock Mating Attacks" should provide the average club player with some excellent tacticial problems and are good for a general "sharpening up". Whereas other chapters e.g. Chapter 6: "Quiet Forcing Moves" are more subtle and require a high level of calculation.
Throughout this book the message is clear, cold and calulated logic wins the day. This logic is akin to the logic that computers employ to solve problems, and if there is a forcing combination to be found then the computer will find it. Hertan believes that average players can improve by simply training themselves to think more tactically by finding the most promising set of forcing moves in any given position, which is reflected in the chapter headings.
Although a little pricey this book is definitely worth investing in and will bring about improvement in your games ...
Overall a good combination of a puzzle book and skill training. Many of the games are recent(from within the last 10 years) There are many hours to read, practice and study. Its very comprehensive with lots of examples in each chaptor. The examples are complex and not only 2-3 moves. The few down sides are, that the examples are very good but you need to have a piece of paper to cover up the solution when you read through them!. The examples are actually very good as puzzles as well, and should have been promoted so with the solution hiddin on next page. When you get to the actual puzzles at the end of each chaptor, the solution is though placed on the next page.
you get a little tired of reading the repeative words of the author "COMPUTER EYES" bla bla bla on every page, as the subject of the books is all about trying to view the chessboard as a computer.