Ray Cheng loves chess. I know this because he has been my student for several years and his enthusiasm has never waned. Nevertheless, when Ray first mentioned that he wanted to write a book of training exercises for the amateur player, I was skeptical. The chess market has its share of training material, including an abundance of books with collections of positions to be solved. But as Ray unfolded the plans for his work, I became more and more intrigued. He had come up with several innovative ideas, methods that offer the reader a genuine opportunity to acquire the skills needed for actual play.
Chessplayers possess plenty of manuals on tactics, quite a few textbooks on strategy, and stacks of books on the opening and endgame. Yet there are hardly any publications dealing with the main thing-the process of thought, the evaluation and development of the brain's reflective activity.
With this bit of preliminary shaping up, you are ready to tackle the 320 ensuing positions in WINNING CHESS TACTICS ILLUSTRATED. You will come across a host of tactical motifs: the pin, destroying the guard, mate on the back rank, under-promotion, deflecting the guard, smothered mate, double, discovered check. Queen sacrifices, etc.
One last word Few fringe variations are given. Thus the reader will not be deprived from exercising some original initiative. In many of the diagrams, solutions other than the ones given are possible. They are, however, not the shortest. And the prolongation of the game will create further opportunities for blunder.