Matt Forney
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Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors by Lou Hays

winning-chess-tactics-juniorsChess is a funny game: easy to learn but hard to master. The main area where novice chess players get wrong is failing to think in advance. Unlike most games, which emphasize short-term gains, chess forces you to plan things out, to forego instant gratification in favor of long-term victory. An amateur will play chess trying to capture every enemy piece he can, leaving his king open to checkmate and never developing anything close to a winning strategy.

The good news is that learning to win at chess is muceasier than you think.

Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors is my favorite resource for learning chess, a handy book that simplifies the game in a manner that anyone can understand. The principle behind Winning Chess Tactics is that pattern recognition is the key to learning the game; if you can recognize certain patterns in chess, you can come out on top pretty easily. To this end, the book provides you a series of problems, challenging you to solve them through repetition and practice:

The discovery is one of the most powerful types of move possible in a game of chess. The term “discovery” simply means that a piece is moved from a rank, file, or diagonal while uncovering an attack by friendly forces behind it on the line, thereby giving both pieces a chance to simultaneously threaten the opponent. Discoveries come in three varieties. The most powerful is the DOUBLE CHECK, in which the moving piece gives check and uncovers a check on the enemy King by another piece. It is easy to analyze the response to double check: The attacked King must move. Interposition or capture of a checking piece are not possible. DISCOVERED CHECK means that the enemy King is attacked only by the piece unleashed along the line (file, rank, or diagonal), while the moving or discovering piece is free to make threats of its own. DISCOVERED ATTACK occurs in the same manner as the others, except that the enemy King is not directly involved. Discovered attacks of any kind are extremely dangerous and even the threat of a discovered check or double check often brings a chess game to a sudden end. Watch for all three types of discovery in this chapter.

Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors features over 500 problems for you to solve, covering everything from pins to forks and back again. While the book’s insistence that you not use a chessboard to work on the problems is annoying, it definitely helps with your visualization. Within a month of buying the book and doing 20 some-odd problems a day, my game improved immensely.

Bottom line: if you’re looking to get better at chess, Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors is a must-buy.

Click here to buy Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors.

Read Next: The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield