What I’m Reading: Winning Chess Tactics

I reviewed former US chess champion Yasser Seirawan’s Play Winning Chess a couple months ago and found it to be a good book, if a little too basic for my level of experience as a chess player. This book, Winning Chess Tactics, is the next in the series and perfect for where I am as a player.

This book is a gold mine. It explains all the basic chess tactics, at least some of which I was already familiar with (pins and skewers), as well as more advanced ideas (deflection, decoys, and the rarely-seen windmill), with plenty of examples and mini-tests at the end of each chapter. Seirawan (and his co-author, Jeremy Silman) explain each concept clearly, thoroughly, and with a bit of humor.

I’ve already seen a great improvement in my game from this book and expect to continue to get better as I apply these ideas. If there’s one thing I have a complaint about, it’s that there aren’t enough practice problems–perhaps four to six at the end of each chapter, plus three pages at the end of the book. I think it could really benefit from more exercises.

To that end, I’ve also bought Winning Chess Exercises for Kids, which is just that–900 tactical exercises of increasing difficulty. Despite the title, it is by no means a book only kids would benefit from. I believe it pairs beautifully with Seirawan’s Winning Chess Tactics.

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