Saturday, 12 November 2011

Who wants to improve their chess tactics?

If the answer is yes, then I have just the thing for you -

Chess Exam and Training Guide: Tactics by Igor Khmelnitsky - International Chess Master

This is a training resource written with the same ideas in mind as Ray Cheng's 600 Practical Chess Exercises ... You need to look at both the tactics for and against you to be sure that the tactic you 'think' you have is sound.

You are presented with 60 tactics problems. After completing several of these and keeping your score you are given an interim report (a bit like at school!) My tactics have consistently been around 1700-1750, but I would really like to improve on this!

On the whole - I feel I am improving - why? - because I am getting into the habit of assessing ALL candidate moves and looking at as many continuations for BOTH sides. I have experienced many 'Eureka' moments in doing this - e.g. when I was just about to discard a tactical idea because "it looked wrong" - I forced/trained myself to look a little further each time - and sure enough - the reasons/evidence popped out showing me that I COULD play the tactic afterall - the tactic was sound in fact!!

The same is true of the tactics you DON'T want to discard because they "look right" ! - I trained myself to look a little further and found out that with scrutiny, the tactic that originally looked great turned out to be completely unsound !!

This technique, I have found can be learnt and is down to self discipline and habit as much as anything ... I recommend this book to help you train!

Chess Exam - Igor Khmelnitsky

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