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Some Book Recommendations for a 1300+ level player
I am Sidharth Sreekumar. My strength is above 1300+. I need some book recommendations for attack. My style is attack. Is looking at Tal's games good? 
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Kevin D

Kevin D 9 months ago

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Answer

Studying well annotated [in Words as well as variations] game collections of famous GM's like Alekhine, Kasparov , Tal, Spassky, Nunn etc. will help build your attacking vocabulary and instincts. Learn to recognise all the well known mating patterns in their simplest form and then work on detecting them in more complicated settings, after that you need to understand the thought process behind what makes a seemingly obvious tactical combination succeed or fail and it usually boils down to two things, pattern recognition and calculation of the details.

Aspiring players usually have little difficulty with the pattern recognition part, but for some reason they assume this is the end of the story  and once a pattern is spotted everything else will just magically fall into place like in the puzzle books. However pattern recognition and calculation go hand in hand, it is not enough to guess at the moves of a combination because a pattern looks familiar, the combination must be validated by accurate analysis. That's why solving puzzles while useful training can also be quite artificial, if only for the reason that we know a solution exists, in a real chess game however with have no such assurance to compel or thinking. 

Have a look at the following diagram taken from an actual game and please do not use an engine, you will only be cheating yourself out of a valuable exercise. What would you play as White and why, share your thought process:  



Sidharth Sreekumar

Sidharth Sreekumar 9 months ago

Thanjk you very much for your answer! 1.Bxh7+ Kxh7 2.Qh5+ Kg8 3.Bxg7 Kxg7 4.Qg4+ followed by Rf3-Rh3# I didn't really think here, I remembered the pattern from a lasker's game.
Devansh Shah

Devansh Shah 10 months ago

I would suggest Kasparov's best games by Igor Stohl

I too am an attacking player

Sidharth Sreekumar

Sidharth Sreekumar 10 months ago

Thank you for your answer.
Inguh Kim

Inguh Kim 10 months ago

Silman's Endgame Course I heartily recommend. It is grouped by rating, which means even a total beginner who just learned the rules of chess can learn something from this book. 

Good way to study the basics, and fun too.

If you want 'attacking stuff', Simple Attacking Plans by Fred Wilson also seems great! 

Sidharth Sreekumar

Sidharth Sreekumar 10 months ago

I have learned the whole Silman book. Thank you for your answer.
Leo Khan

Leo Khan 10 months ago

Hi, you should definitely consider purchasing 100 Endgames You Must Know by Jesus De La Villa if you haven't got it already!
Sidharth Sreekumar

Sidharth Sreekumar 9 months ago

I learned the whole book and I am right now sometimes revising it again.
Kevin D

Kevin D 9 months ago

@ Sidharth

Very good spot sidharth, your mental database of 'Mating Patterns' is quite impressive. This particular pattern is known simply as the 'Lasker Double Bishop Sacrifice' which was made famous following the Lasker game you cited. Recognition of such patterns are essential to a player's development, but as I told you in my initial post 'RECOGNITION' is only the first step, the second step is 'CONFIRMATION'. This second step is partly what separates strong players from merely promising ones.

According to your intuitive knowledge the sequence of moves you gave should simply just work, after all they worked for Lasker in a 'similar' scenario right? But had you concretely analysed the exact position given, as Lasker surely would have done in his game, you would have realised that your combination does not work.

The reason the combination fails is 1.Bxh7+ Kxh7 2.Qh5+ Kg8 3.Bxg7 Kxg7 4.Qg4+ Kh7 and now 5.Rf3 is met by 5...Nxf4 defending against the 6.Rh3 mate threat and intending 6. Rxf4 f5 Now where is the win?  

You or any other interested members are welcome to try again and as always post your thought process along with the moves and please do not consult a chess engine or any other outside assistance for this exercise.    
Avinash 004!

Avinash 004! 9 months ago

Nb6! yeah removing the defender First and then executing the pattern.
Kevin D

Kevin D 9 months ago


Excellent Avinash! 1.Nb6 is absolutely correct, but such a move would be difficult to find without establishing why the combination failed in the first place.

Some of the takeaways from this exercise are as follows:

1- 'Pattern Recognition' is NOT a replacement for calculation but rather just a very useful aspect of it. 

2-  Once calculation reveals a flaw in our intended combination we move to Phase 3 of our 'Thought Process'

3 - Phase 3 consists of problem solving. In the example I gave, calculation showed that Black has the effective defensive resource 5...Nxf4! without which our combination would have worked smoothly. At this point in our 'Thought Process' or internal dialogue if you prefer, we need to ask ourselves a simple but important question 'What If?'. What if we could somehow deflect the Knight from d5 so that the resource ...Nxf4 would no longer be available, only then after clearly defining the problem in this way do stunning moves like 1.Nb6!! appear on our radar, because such a move makes no sense by itself but only as part of the whole tactical operation. 

Thanks for your participation guys, I wish you all the success in your games and I hope you found the exercise instructive.

For your enjoyment see the Lasker game below where the first recorded example of the combination occurred: 


Avinash 004!

Avinash 004! 9 months ago

Wow! Such a Nice Reply for the position @Kevin_D I would like to see many such positions in the near future if possible.Thanks!