The Woodpecker Method is the name given by Axel Smith to a training system developed by his compatriot and co-author Hans Tikkanen. After training with his method in 2010, Tikkanen achieved three GM norms within a seven-week period.
“Together With Mamedyarov” is not a collection of his selected games but it is primarily a study-book. It contains test positions taken from games of the famous Azeri grandmaster with detailed comments on the solutions to the tasks. In this book the solutions have been placed right after a diagram with a test except for the six positions given as a warm-up in the beginning of the chapter one. For those of you who work without the assistance of a coach would recommend that you cover the answer with a sheet of paper to avoid spoiling the benefit of solving the problem.
The tests’ tasks are intended for training:
1. tactical vision,
2. calculation of variations,
3. strategic decision-making,
4. your assessment of a position.
The solutions have been given points ranging from 1 up to 7. After calculating their total amount, you can determine your approximate level by the author’s ranking scale. But do not forget that this ranking scale is subjective. After totaling your result, you should have an idea about what type of tasks are the most challenging for you. This will help you direct your time and efforts on the areas where you need further improvement. The tests given in the first and the second chapters differ by the level of complexity. The tests in chapter one corresponds to an Elo rating of 1400–1900 while chapter two is aimed at players rated 1700–2100. When you solve the tests from Mamedyarov’s games try to reproduce the thought process of one of the most creative and bright grandmasters of today. Imagine yourself in his place during a game, look at the chessboard through his eyes and think about the positions together with Mamedyarov.
The book Together with the Candidates that you are holding is firstly a book of tests with their solutions, given in the format of game fragments with detailed comments. All the tasks in this book have been taken from games of the Candidates competitions. They differ very much in their degree of complexity. I hope this will allow a wide circle of readers to find the tests corresponding to their own chess level here.
A new collection of puzzles carefully selected by two experienced trainers.
Combinations are the central element in chess; they make the game so magical and captivating. The beautiful point of sacrificing a queen, the strongest piece, in order to checkmate with a lowly pawn brings a smile of joy to all chess lovers. Virtually all chess games possess a combination, either one hidden in the shadows of analysis carefully avoided or one that provides a decisive blow.
Winning Chess Combinations is a unique work that doesn't merely repeat the wonderfully rich and vast numbers of combinations, asking readers to solve a particular diagrammed position; it is a work that is far more realistic. A combination involves a sacrifice upsetting the balance of forces, but will it work or tragically boomerang? The reader is invited to solve this critical question by identifying the advantages that a specific position holds which might make the combination successful.
Learn sure-fire tactics and combinations from one of the worlds top chess players. Attack? Defend? Swap pieces? Tactics are the watchdogs of strategy that take advantage of short-term opportunities to trap or ambush your opponent and quite possiblychange the course of a game in a single move. Why play in a fog, only hoping that your opponent will blunder when International Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan can show you how to put the tactics of the worlds chess legends to work for you. Choose from the double attack, the pin, the skewer, deflection, the cor, x-rays, windmills and many more time-tested tactics.Using classic board situations arranged in chapters by tactical themes, Seirawan teaches you how to:
Plan your entire game from the very first move.Think ahead, step-by-step, anticipating every obstacle your opponent can throw your way;
Position yourself for the smashing combination and endgame you've always dreamed of.
Board positions from actual games played by historys great chess tacticians are provided throughout. Review tests for each topic let you track your improvement. In no time you'll be playing better, with more confidence than you ever thought possible.
Pattern recognition is perhaps the single most important thing in Chess. This is true in all three phases of the game and it applies to both positional and tactical themes. The book you hold in your hands provides a sufficiently comprehensive overview of the latter. The main goal of this book is aimed at improving pattern recognition and tactical vision, while also treating the reader with nice combinations.
There are two parts to this book. The first 17 chapters elaborate on the most important motifs in practical chess. The remaining 8 chapters showcase the art of attack and defense. Certain motifs feel like they belong together and the order of the chapters in which they are discussed reflects that. All 25 chapters of this book begin with an introduction which is always designed to clearly illustrate the motif or theme at hand. Most but not all of the games here are classics. All the introductions are followed by training puzzles in order to reinforce pattern recognition and learning for what has been discussed beforehand.
It has to be emphasized that motifs in chess are interwoven and it is the rarest occasion in practical games that only one motif is present. Often, even a single move features multiple motifs and the one we are studying depends on which aspect of the move we are looking at. It was not an easy feat to sort the puzzles appropriately. Therefore, the approach I took when assorting the puzzles was to decide which theme or motif best characterizes the tactic. The total number of training puzzles is 365, one for every day of the calendar year. All of them are from real games and most from Grandmaster practice. This should give the book more practical value. In some of the games the player found the solution, while in others the combination was missed.
With the training puzzles I put a lot of emphasis on being original. This means that during my research I mostly collected puzzles from recent games while also incorporating tactics from my own practice. There are a number of combinations from my friends’ games as well that I am immensely grateful they shared with me.