This is Murray Chandler's follow up to his highly successful “How To Beat Your Dad At Chess”. The book presents 50 common tactical ideas - pins, skewers, forks, stalemate and many more - each one explained and illustrated in a double page spread. Only themes which occur fairly commonly in practice are included, and there are six diagrams per double page. The explanations are in simple language, and each diagram is accompanied by a brief commentary pointing out the salient features of the position. The continuations are very short (usually only one or two moves) so they can be followed easily without the need for a board. Three or four examples are given of each tactical trick, with the aim of getting the reader to recognise certain patterns, and hopefully apply this newly acquired pattern recognition to his/her own games. To test how well the patterns have been absorbed there are 54 test positions for the reader to try. If the reader is unable to spot the continuation, a hint is given by way of a reference to the number of the tricky tactic that is being tested. So you can refresh your memory by looking back at the illustrated examples and then hopefully spot the same theme in the test position. All of the illustrative positions and test positions are taken from actual play (though there are no game references given), and there are no artificially composed positions. Although the book is aimed at children in the first instance, it could be used equally profitably by adult beginners who wish to sharpen up their tactical awareness. This review first appeared in the magazine En Passant.
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