Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Only Chess Forum

Only Chess Forum

  1. 16 Jul '08 20:47
    The Chess Book Club (which is a clan set up to share study notes) is studying "The Art of Attack" by Vladamir Vukovic (the algebraic version updated by John Nunn).

    This clan plays no challenges but the members share notes in the forum.

    The Art of Attack is not an easy book and players between 1500 and 1700 (myself included) admit to finding it requires a fair bit of work and commitment to get through it...but that's why we have the forum to help us all with motivation. One day when we complete this book we plan to take up another but for now we're concentrating on working through this one.

    There has been a bit of stopping and starting along the way and now is a good time for new members to join.
  2. 16 Jul '08 21:03
    Excellent book.
    I have over 600 chess books and can honestly say I have only read
    6 or 7 of them. I mean read - every page, every game and every
    piece of analysis.

    The Art of Attack is one of them.

    "it requires a fair bit of work and commitment to get through it..."

    There is no easy way. There are no short cuts.
    You have to do it. It will repay you 1,000 times in the future.

    Get this one under your belt and into the armoury.

    As well as the attacking ideas make sure you store the defensive
    ideas .
    This will not only help you defend yourself,
    (very rare for under 2000 player's to do this well) but will help
    warn you when you are about to sac unsoundly.
  3. 16 Jul '08 21:23
    Originally posted by Mahout
    The Chess Book Club (which is a clan set up to share study notes) is studying "The Art of Attack" by Vladamir Vukovic (the algebraic version updated by John Nunn).

    This clan plays no challenges but the members share notes in the forum.

    The Art of Attack is not an easy book and players between 1500 and 1700 (myself included) admit to finding it requires ...[text shortened]... a bit of stopping and starting along the way and now is a good time for new members to join.
    I struggled with it.
    I think it's for ECF 120+ (Elo 1800)
  4. 17 Jul '08 02:18
    I'm going to break with the trend here and say that I found art of attack to be pretty useless. I think a collection of well annotated games with an attacking theme will do just as well. My problem was that I was familiar either on a conscious or an intuitive level with most of the themes discussed at length in the book. I think anyone at or nearing my level (1650 OTB) will probably be familiar with the themes discussed as well.

    The problem with books like this in general is that you won't incorporate any of the points in the essays given in the book into your thought process in a real game. The only benefit I really derived from this book is that it gave a name and category to themes I had intuitively known already, so it was easier to pinpoint OTB.

    Maybe I completely missed the point of the book...but I'm going to pick up "rocking the ramparts" by larry christiansen, which is a collection of games with an attacking theme and compare it to art of attack.
  5. 17 Jul '08 12:26
    You are correct to buck the trend if it did not work for you.
    I also agree that a collection of well annotated games is priceless
    in developing at chess.

    It's what does it for you that matters.
    I grafted on this book, set up the positions, played over everything.
    I know it helped me become - good.

    When I started playing seriously , 1972 (thank you Bobby)
    there was not the wide choice of books you have these days -
    the were some great chess books yes, but nothing like the gems of today.

    But beware amongst the gems are thousands of dull stones.
    (far too many to list here.)
  6. 17 Jul '08 16:56
    Originally posted by ericmittens
    I'm going to break with the trend here and say that I found art of attack to be pretty useless. I think a collection of well annotated games with an attacking theme will do just as well. My problem was that I was familiar either on a conscious or an intuitive level with most of the themes discussed at length in the book. I think anyone at or nearing my l ...[text shortened]... en, which is a collection of games with an attacking theme and compare it to art of attack.
    I understand your point, but don't you think studying books isn't only about learning about themes and concepts, but also applications of them? I mean calculating, analysing positions with the same theme over and over?
  7. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    17 Jul '08 17:21 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by diskamyl
    I understand your point, but don't you think studying books isn't only about learning about themes and concepts, but also applications of them? I mean calculating, analysing positions with the same theme over and over?
    I've been training Q vs R mate against fritz for a couple of days now. it took maybe an hour to learn the ideas & concepts, but after roughly 10h of drilling I still draw maybe 30% of the time.

    it's just not even close to enough to just 'know' the things. you definitely need to beat it into your backbone, do the things over and over, until you can't get it wrong.
  8. Standard member Dragon Fire
    Lord of all beasts
    17 Jul '08 17:23
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Excellent book.
    I have over 600 chess books and can honestly say I have only read
    6 or 7 of them. I mean read - every page, every game and every
    piece of analysis.

    The Art of Attack is one of them.

    "it requires a fair bit of work and commitment to get through it..."

    There is no easy way. There are no short cuts.
    You have to do it. It ...[text shortened]... r 2000 player's to do this well) but will help
    warn you when you are about to sac unsoundly.
    Thats some going even to read every page or 6 or 7 books.

    I only have a puny 50 by comparison and I can honestly say I have read all of none of them.
  9. Standard member Dragon Fire
    Lord of all beasts
    17 Jul '08 17:25
    Originally posted by wormwood
    I've been training Q vs R mate against fritz for a couple of days now. it took maybe an hour to learn the ideas & concepts, but after roughly 10h of drilling I still draw maybe 30% of the time.

    it's just not even close to enough to just 'know' the things. you definitely need to beat it into your backbone, do the things over and over, until you can't get it wrong.
    Q vs R? What can I say. I sat down with Averbakhs excellent book on the subject for 14 days and read it night after night whilst playing Game 4839399 and where did it get me?
  10. 17 Jul '08 17:51
    Originally posted by wormwood
    I've been training Q vs R mate against fritz for a couple of days now. it took maybe an hour to learn the ideas & concepts, but after roughly 10h of drilling I still draw maybe 30% of the time.

    it's just not even close to enough to just 'know' the things. you definitely need to beat it into your backbone, do the things over and over, until you can't get it wrong.
    that's what I think too.
  11. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    17 Jul '08 18:14 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Dragon Fire
    Q vs R? What can I say. I sat down with Averbakhs excellent book on the subject for 14 days and read it night after night whilst playing Game 4839399 and where did it get me?
    edits: hah, of course I screwed it up! back to work...
  12. Standard member JonathanB of London
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    17 Jul '08 19:35
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Excellent book.
    I have over 600 chess books and can honestly say I have only read
    6 or 7 of them. I mean read - every page, every game and every
    piece of analysis.

    The Art of Attack is one of them.

    "it requires a fair bit of work and commitment to get through it..."

    There is no easy way. There are no short cuts.
    You have to do it. It ...[text shortened]... r 2000 player's to do this well) but will help
    warn you when you are about to sac unsoundly.
    I used to have well over 100 books - sold most of them recently for reasons of space.

    One book I kept was MasterChess: A Course in 21 Lessons. I found the chapter on tactics and combinations very useful. I remember the mating patterns page got me one of my most memorable moments in chess ... an 8 move combination that led to a queen sac on the 5th move and eventually mate. Unfortunately I can't remember the starting position but I still know the mating pattern (Ne7+, Qxh7+, Rh5 mate).

    Being familar with the concepts and studying books are not at all the same thing - as other people have said.
  13. 17 Jul '08 22:11
    Originally posted by JonathanB of London

    One book I kept was MasterChess: A Course in 21 Lessons.
    This is a wind up....

    A good wind up...

    But I will fall for it....

    You do know it was me who wrote that section on Tactics and Combinations.

    Modesty forbids me to plug it.

    Master Chess ran for 20 editions (huge for a chess book) and through
    3 different publishing houses.

    It was translated into foreign languages.

    But I'm 99% sure you knew all this - you just wanted me to say it.

    OK I'm ready - what is the come back.
  14. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    17 Jul '08 22:52 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Dragon Fire
    Q vs R? What can I say. I sat down with Averbakhs excellent book on the subject for 14 days and read it night after night whilst playing Game 4839399 and where did it get me?
    okay, here's one pretty typical mating pattern in 2nd rank Q vs R. the first moves are a bit random, but I'm trying to get the defender into a position where zugzwang would force the rook to abandon queen or go into the starting position of a familiar mating sequence. with 9.Qd5 I reach a typical one. most of my successful tries have started from that one, and after that I'm more or less on autopilot.

    [Event "Blitz:4'+2""]
    [Site "g"]
    [Date "????.??.??"]
    [Round "?"]
    [White "wormwood"]
    [Black "Fritz 9"]
    [Result "*"]
    [SetUp "1"]
    [FEN "8/3rk3/8/4KQ2/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 0"]
    [PlyCount "38"]

    1. Qf6+ Ke8 2. Qh8+ Kf7 3. Qh5+ Ke7 4. Qh7+ Kd8 5. Qg8+ Kc7 6. Qa8 Re7+ 7. Kd5
    Rd7+ 8. Kc5 Re7 9. Qd5 Rd7 10. Qe5+ Kb7 11. Kb5 Rc7 12. Qe8 Rc1 13. Qe4+ Kc8
    14. Kb6 Kd7 15. Qd3+ Kc8 16. Qe3 Rb1+ 17. Kc6 Kd8 18. Qd3+ Ke7 19. Qxb1 Kf6 *




    12.Qe8 is a very important idea once you've driven the defending king to b7. the sequance before that is the standard technique of driving the king sideways.

    13.Qe4+ is another typical one. the most important function is to control b1 to prevent the rook from checking. this idea works every time the rook abandons king. -secondary function is to prevent the defending king from going to dark squares by threatening to capture the rook after a check (the main way to win the separated rook in general).

    after king goes to d-file, it's over:

    15.Qd3+ remember this move as well, it's the coffin nail. if king escapes to e-file, rook drops with check. back to Kc8 and 16.Qe3 threatens rook, Qe8#, and the rook check just chases attacking king to a better mating square (observe queen now controlling c1, very typical). game over.

    oh, and an extremely useful tip for reaching the 9.Qd5 position: look for non-checking moves which restrict the king the most.


    I hope this example helps, I know your KNB examples helped me a great deal.
  15. 17 Jul '08 22:55
    Originally posted by ericmittens
    I'm going to break with the trend here and say that I found art of attack to be pretty useless. I think a collection of well annotated games with an attacking theme will do just as well. My problem was that I was familiar either on a conscious or an intuitive level with most of the themes discussed at length in the book. I think anyone at or nearing my l ...[text shortened]... en, which is a collection of games with an attacking theme and compare it to art of attack.
    As Bruce Lee once said: "Use what you find useful" and there's no reason any book should be right for everyone. But I do have responses to some of your comments:

    I think a collection of well annotated games with an attacking theme will do just as well.

    Yes...but I think it does contain a collection of well annotated games with an attacking theme. Although you may have a preference for more recent games. One of the issues raised in our forums was just how many games it contains and how much time it takes to go through them properly . But if you consider the book was first published in 1965...long before the abundance of master games we have available now via the internet. Back then I expect it would have been really valuable to get so many complete games in a book.

    My problem was that I was familiar either on a conscious or an intuitive level with most of the themes discussed at length in the book.

    It does describe in detail things like criteria for an attack on the uncastled king on the e-file and it can be a little pedantic in stating the obvious (e.g. the opponents king should be on that file) alongside multifaceted considerations: The e-file should be open or it should be in the attackers power to open it, the attacker should have a piece to control the file (queen or rook) or be able to quickly post one on it...and so on.

    The material I agree could be re-written to be more accessible as even after some modernisation by John Nunn, the language remains a little archaic...the above text is actually abbreviated.

    But the games are real crackers and after going through this chapter I became much more alert to attacking opportunities in the opening and quicker at assessing if an early attack was viable.

    Also - I think a good book should confirm what you already know to be correct as well as revealing new concepts.

    But I do understand your views.