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  1. Standard member hunterknox
    Hopeless romantic
    17 Oct '11 17:00
    Looking at normal tactics books leaves me searching for spectacular queen sacs at every move. Not the most useful thing to be doing.

    Can anyone recommend a book featuring defensive or subtle tactics? Something along the lines of "black to play and not to lose" or "white to play and gain an incremental advantage"...
  2. Standard member TimmyBx
    TacticsTime.com
    17 Oct '11 17:27
    Lev Alburt's Chess Training Pocket Book might be what you are looking for. There are some "trick" positions in there - where the typical queen sac looks like the right move, but the correct answer is to make a defensive move first, etc.

    I write a chess tactics email newsletter that comes out every other day, and contains a new, original, chess tactic. I include a lot of games from RHP, and try to focus on common patterns that class players use to win games (or miss in their own games), kind of like greenpawn34 does in his blog.

    You can sign up at http://tacticstime.com and there is an easy one click unsubscribe option if you don't like it
  3. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    17 Oct '11 18:59
    Originally posted by hunterknox
    Looking at normal tactics books leaves me searching for spectacular queen sacs at every move. Not the most useful thing to be doing.

    Can anyone recommend a book featuring defensive or subtle tactics? Something along the lines of "black to play and not to lose" or "white to play and gain an incremental advantage"...
    Find a book about World Champion Tigran Petrosian's games, and play through every game. Pay special attention to the notes, which will show you all the disasters he prevented from happening on the board.

    If you need more, I would move on to the games of World Champion Vassily Smyslov, as he was also very strong in this department, and even better in the endings.
  4. 17 Oct '11 19:28 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by hunterknox
    Looking at normal tactics books leaves me searching for spectacular queen sacs at every move. Not the most useful thing to be doing.

    Can anyone recommend a book featuring defensive or subtle tactics? Something along the lines of "black to play and not to lose" or "white to play and gain an incremental advantage"...
    Is it because you are trying to play chess tactically all the time? trying to calculate
    every single move? playing over some master games and trying to work out why,
    little, subtle moves are being played may help.
  5. Subscriber Ragwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
    17 Oct '11 19:30
    Originally posted by hunterknox
    Looking at normal tactics books leaves me searching for spectacular queen sacs at every move. Not the most useful thing to be doing.

    Can anyone recommend a book featuring defensive or subtle tactics? Something along the lines of "black to play and not to lose" or "white to play and gain an incremental advantage"...
    I have mentioned this book before. At a weekend congress earlier in the year I picked up the Quality Chess Puzzle book by GM John Shaw (from Scotland). Chapter 10 is called "drawing the endgame" and Chapter 12 is "Defence"
    The positions in the book are all modern, all very complex and give an insight into the depth a GM has be visualizing tactically to bring home the points. Its not the sort of book where you can do "10 tactics puzzles a day." One or two is more likely unless you are master strength. I think it features harder positions than Chernev's the heart of combinations in chess, or the Martin Weteschik book on tactics for example. I can't compare it to internet tactics sites because I don't use them, but It definitely shows how difficult chess can be. Anyway it's the only puzzle book I have come across with a section on defence. Not that I'm particularly well read on the subject.

    You can read a review here and see a pdf extract of a part of an early chapter that shows some of the "easier" examples from the book. The whole book is set out in this fashion.

    http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/products/2/50/the_quality_chess_puzzle_book__by_john_shaw/
  6. Standard member nimzo5
    Ronin
    19 Oct '11 11:25
    "sharpen your tactics now" by GM Lein had a fair number of drawing tactics. That being said, a tactics book focused on saving lost positions or creating small advantages just wouldn't sell enough copies to justify the work.

    What you probably want is something akin to Tactics trainer on the iphone which is just a computer checked dump of games. In those problems the right move can be anything from finding the defensive move that refutes an aggressive play or winning an exchange etc. It's rarely every anything that you would find in a typical tactics book.
  7. Standard member hunterknox
    Hopeless romantic
    19 Oct '11 18:59
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Is it because you are trying to play chess tactically all the time? trying to calculate
    every single move?
    If you'd seen my games you'd know that's unlikely to be the case . It's more that tactics books often seem artificially concerned with spectacular attack.

    Game collections it is, I think. Thanks guys!
  8. 22 Oct '11 15:13
    Originally posted by hunterknox
    Game collections it is, I think. Thanks guys!
    I must say, I find game collections or tournament books rather more of a pleasure to read than tactics books, anyway. Particularly if the annotations are by one of the participants.

    Richard