Excelling at Chess Calculation - Capitalising on Tactical Chances, 2004


   These days a lot of chess books are published on what I like to call 'general themes'. In most of them the author srarts out by claiming tliat there exist virtually no books on... How to think in chess; endgame strategy; this or tliat positional theme; basically whatever... (seen most recently in Paata Gaprindashvili's fabulous Imagination in Chess, Batsford 2004). Of course this is no longer quite true (though it might have been when the writers were read ing chess books themselves). I will not try to claim here, for instance, that there are no books on calculation. There are in faci several and they are all worth reading; I mention them in the bibliography and more than once elsewhere. If, after reading this book with the TV turned on, you cannot remember the titles, then perhaps you should turn off the TV and focus a bit more on chess!
Practical Chess Defence, 2006 - download book


   Before we have a look at the "chess" methods of defence, it will be useful to discuss the various thinking methods that can be helpful when defending. I find that the most positive changes to my own play, and that of my students, has come about when we look at the chessboard and see something that was not there before. A sensation not too different from what you get when you are reading a text in a foreign language, which before was a random selection of letters. The same can happen when we see pins, forks and weaknesses for the first time. Previously we did simply not have the vocabulary. In my jollier moods I refer to this experience as the blind man exclaiming: "I was blind and now I can see," right before he walks out in front of a truck.
Mating the Castled King - download book


   Right from when we first start to play chess, we are taught quick knock-out ways of checkmating our opponent's king. We quickly learn Scholar's mate and other speedy methods of scoring an easy win. At that point, the more difficult and sophisticated job of trying to break down a castled king is only a vague outline in our mind. Eventually we develop various slapdash methods of attacking the king that has fled to safety. However, it seems to me that the topic of attacking the castled king is poorly represented in chess literature, and as a consequence, very few of us are true masters of this tricky subject.
The Attacking Manual (2 parts), Aagaard Jacob, 2010 - download


   As a chess player I know there is almost always more to be learned from defeats than victories, especially the spectacular ones. So, though these two books will inevitably fall short of their aim, I hope the reader will agree that at least I fought valiantly to make sure that it was not by much.