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white_disc 29 ( +1 | -1 )
Tactics improvement plan I have heard quite a bit about improving tactics, and I wish to embark on such a course.

But the 1st obstacle I am facing is to find the tactical positions for me to try, and I think I need a few thousand of them.

Can anyone recommend me some books, or other sources for such tactical positions ?

Thanks a lot.
brucehum 45 ( +1 | -1 )
CT-ARt 3.0 CT-Art 3.0, a chess program from Convekta, is a must. The problems are ordered by a lot of criteria, from difficulty to themes and more. You can buy it online at convekta's site, and at many other online shops.

One good thing is it has the answers to many 'natural' moves that don't work. So, you usually see a 'wonderful' tactic, do it, and discover it was wrong because your opponent could do Y instead of X in move 3.

There are other tactics cd-roms, but this one is, in my opinion, the best.
white_disc 46 ( +1 | -1 )
brucehum Yeah, thanks so much.. will be looking forward to trying out the exercises soon...

Is it a given that once u know about the tactics, the ideas will automatically generate ?

Its like being able to know what to do in a situation IF you have all the tactics at hand...

actually my main goal is to have ideas on what to do at any point of time on the chessboard, but it seem that I must overcome the tactics obstacle first.....


thanks so much :)
myway316 78 ( +1 | -1 )
I don't know anything... ...about CD-Roms,but here are several books that are essential:1001 Chess Sacrifices and Combinations, by Reinfeld;Combination Challenge,by Hays,and the "303" series by Wilson/Albertson. As for your question in your last post,it is not a given that once you know the tactics,the ideas will automatically generate.In order for any idea to work on the chessboard,the elements that make it work must be present on both sides.I've noticed that a great many players of a tactical bent often fall prey to the fallacy that they can pull the needed tactic/sacrifice/combo out of thin air,like a magician pulling a rabbit out of the hat. What happens when the neededT/S/C is not present,or the position demands other than a tactical solutuion?
atrifix 21 ( +1 | -1 )
Combination Challenge I don't like Combination Challenge, mainly because it's just a bunch of Reinfeld problems reorganized with algebraic notation. Sharpen Your Tactics by Anatoly Lein is a good new book though.
superblunder 128 ( +1 | -1 )
Studying tactics pays off. But of course you have to know openings, endgame theory and positional play also to play a complete chesS game.... After all there are many positions with no combinations or tactics...(usually) and if you play a combination and win material it is hard to win without endgame knowledge.

That being said, I still think studying tactics is very important. Today I was able to play a 4-move combination in a blitz game winning two pawns...sacked the exchange to open a line to my opponent's rook, sacked a knight for a pawn, forcing my opponent to take with a pawn, took the pawn with a queen and forked the king and undefended rook, finally picking up the rook. (so in the resulting combination I really just exchanged knights and rooks in order to gain two center pawns.

I was able to see all this in a few moments thought of a blitz game thanks to tactical study. of course I have to mention that the game ended up drawn, because my opponent used some slippery endgame tactics to force me to give up the pawns in the end...damn rook and bishop vs. rook & bishop endgame...I should have won with the two pawns... so the moral of this story is STUDY TACTICS, but also STUDY ENDGAMES AND POSITIONAL CHESS.
brucehum 33 ( +1 | -1 )
Tactic Patterns The more tactic patterns you know (for having tried them in exercises), the easier it will be to spot said possibility if it exists in the possition.

If you don't even know the ideas, sometimes you'll be able to come on your own to them, but if you do know them (patterns), then you'll get the click in your head and have more possibilities.
zdrak 25 ( +1 | -1 )
de la Maza's book, titled something like "400 points in 400 days" is geared towards an amature player wanting to improve his tactical vision. It's a bit too extreme, putting emphasis on tactics over anything else, but some say it works for them ...
peppe_l 96 ( +1 | -1 )
...Propably because It encourages people to spend 4 hours per day for studying chess. I suppose even if one neglects strategy, endgames and openings such a hard work must pay off. The question is what if one spends for example 11/2 hours for tactics, 1 hour for endgames, 1 hour for strategy and 1/2 hours for openings? Or 2 hours for tactics etc...

Ok perhaps his books has good points, dunno. Havent read it and based on quotes from the book I _have_ read I am not planning to buy it :-) Anyway I find his "study tactics only" principle rather strange and somehow I have a feeling that he might be misleading some hobby players...especially patzers like me :-) Some time ago I posted a review about De La Maza's book (Rapid Chess Improvement) by IM Jeremy Silman, I suppose it doesnt hurt to read it before going to bookstore...

I recall "400 points in 400 days" was an article written by De La Maza, for www.chesscafe.com

...And yes, almighty google gives a link to the article (in pdf format).
furryfunbundle 11 ( +1 | -1 )
See also Page 3 of this forum - Chess Vision 19th April for a fuller disciussion on this subject
brucehum 123 ( +1 | -1 )
peppe_l is right He does have a very good point.

Player A follows de la Maza, studying 4 hours a day ONLY tactics.

Player B follows peppe_l, studying:
"11/2 hours for tactics, 1 hour for endgames, 1 hour for strategy and 1/2 hours for openings?"

Guess what player will be more rounded? And which one will be able to follow and like more the games of the GMs? Yep, player B in both cases.

It is true that, maybe, at the begining, (lets say the first 3 months), player A will probably beat player B more often, but, that extra 21/2 hours that he dedicates to tactics wont be as profitable as the other player's. What about the games where A is not able to apply tactics? He'll be crushed by the endgame superiority of B. And, to be honest, Tactics and Strategy HAVE TO go together.

Basically, tactics usually come from a strategically sound possition.

Of course, once one is up at the 2300+ level, his time will be probably something like 2 hours openings, and the other 2 hours evenly split between the rest. But, opening study is not that fun, so, we amateurs (and class players, and even experts), will have more fun with peppe_l's suggestion.

And it wont be 4 hours a day... it will be much less.
mercy 7 ( +1 | -1 )
This is the book Try this book....
"Winning Chess Tactics" by GM Serawan an IM Silman
nwadvana 37 ( +1 | -1 )
In my opinion, having a spood feeding book with tips and hints isnt going to help your tactical vision in the long run. And a NO NO is trying to solve lots of positions a day. I recommend getting a themematic book with minimum help and potential for maximum output such as Test your chess IQ by livshitz. and working through the series.
clemens 33 ( +1 | -1 )
What's wrong with solving lots of problems daily? I think it is a great way to improve your tactical vision and calculation abilities. Doing lots of them ensures the motives get hammered into your head so you will likely spot them in a real game.

Just my opinion, of course.
drgandalf 63 ( +1 | -1 )
I recommend Reinfeld's "Chess Tactics for Beginners". Absolutely everything in the book needs to be mastered. CT-ART 3.0 is great. It offers explanations for each problem.

I am rated 1557 OTB. Today I played a FM (2367). We went through the game after his victory. He saw far more tactics than I did, some quite amazing.

Yet, I also played a peer in the OTB tournament. In the early middlegame, he won the exchange. However, he possessed no game sense after that. He eventually fell for a late middle-game tactic that decided the game.

I believe a wise player is well-rounded, in order to play well during any segment of the game.