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33 Reviews
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130 of 132 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TACTICS come to life! ------ A different type of tactics book.
This is a fun to read tactics book. Josh Waitzkin (the subject of the movie, "Seaching for Bobby Fisher") tells some interesting stories about his life in chess and uses tactics in a puzzle form to find the solution. This is not a "dry" book and Waitzkin is one of my favorite authors along with Snyder and Polgar who all have an entertaining style along with good solid...
Published on September 20, 2006

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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy read. Light on Chess
This is a nice interesting book and an easy read. It is pretty light on chess. Waitzkin shows you about two games per chapter and asks you to figure out his next move based upon the theme of the chapter. So in the chapter on pins, you get to think through a couple of pin problems.
However, he doesn't really generalize to any rules to think about. You won't walk...
Published on July 14, 1999 by Ray Salemi


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130 of 132 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TACTICS come to life! ------ A different type of tactics book., September 20, 2006
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Attacking Chess: Aggressive Strategies and Inside Moves from the U.S. Junior Chess Champion (Fireside Chess Library) (Paperback)
This is a fun to read tactics book. Josh Waitzkin (the subject of the movie, "Seaching for Bobby Fisher") tells some interesting stories about his life in chess and uses tactics in a puzzle form to find the solution. This is not a "dry" book and Waitzkin is one of my favorite authors along with Snyder and Polgar who all have an entertaining style along with good solid teaching materials. This is a book for someone who maybe has read a beginning book (like Learn Chess or Chess Juniors) or has been playing for a little while but wants a fun next step in chess. I hope he writes more chess books like this one especially using traps and tactics.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy read. Light on Chess, July 14, 1999
By 
Ray Salemi (Framingham, MA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Attacking Chess: Aggressive Strategies and Inside Moves from the U.S. Junior Chess Champion (Fireside Chess Library) (Paperback)
This is a nice interesting book and an easy read. It is pretty light on chess. Waitzkin shows you about two games per chapter and asks you to figure out his next move based upon the theme of the chapter. So in the chapter on pins, you get to think through a couple of pin problems.
However, he doesn't really generalize to any rules to think about. You won't walk away really knowing anything well.
Given that, the book is kind of fun and light. Waitzkin (either Josh or Fred) is a good writer and the book is enjoyable.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reader Friendly, July 19, 2004
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This review is from: Attacking Chess: Aggressive Strategies and Inside Moves from the U.S. Junior Chess Champion (Fireside Chess Library) (Paperback)
The single biggest compliment I could give this book is that it is the first chess book I have ever read cover to cover! This despite a rapidly growing chess library, the result of the occasional buying spree despite complaints from my wife. I found it to be by far the most reader friendly of my collection. Why?
1) This is chess book lite. Instead of intimidating dense passages of double columned text with diagrams you need a magnifying glass to decipher, here you have short chapters dominated by enormous diagrams that take up almost the whole page. I guess this might be a turnoff for those who seek a deeper treatment of the game.
2) Though occasionally there are long combinations that you need to follow on a chess board, most of the time the combinations are short enough, or else Josh will provide new diagrams every 3-4 moves, so that you can actually follow his examples without having to set up the chess board all the time. What a breath of fresh air!
3) As a beginner-intermediate casual chess player, I found this book to be more accessible than others and easier to grasp. Other books often go over my head ('Obviously in this position, black is CLEARLY better!' er....why???) but this one I felt I could follow most of the lessons.
4) Josh makes it an explicit aim to write colourfully and avoid the dry monotony of other chess books and for the most part succeeds.
In the end, can this book make you a better chess player? Not particularly, but I am beginning to doubt whether any chess book can. But it does give you some insights into how strong chess players play and think, and it's fun to read. I find Josh, in retelling his chess experiences, to be arrogant at times (in his defence, I guess you have to be if you want to be the best), and there appears to be constant references to his adoration of Kasparov which I found annoying. Overall, however, Josh is nothing if not passionate about chess, and this comes through very clearly.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learning through Enjoyment!..., April 11, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Attacking Chess: Aggressive Strategies and Inside Moves from the U.S. Junior Chess Champion (Fireside Chess Library) (Paperback)
Both fun and informative to read. Beginners will receive a useful introduction to tactics and elements of strategy while intermediate players can review concepts they "know." I liked Josh Waitzkin's background notes to his examples - chess books can be so dry and uninviting. I feel that books that are more user-friendly are more likely to be read and studied than definitive bone-dry dissections of an author's triumphs. If you have Chessmaster 6000 then you've heard and studied Waitzkin's games - why can't more masters add a little life to their annotations? I'd rather be caught up in the adrenaline-pumping, nail-biting anxiety, of a master's game (and learn more) than lifelessly (and tiredly) shuffling the pieces around. Better one game lived with a master than a dozen studied as though it was a calculus problem.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a modern classic, January 10, 2001
This review is from: Attacking Chess: Aggressive Strategies and Inside Moves from the U.S. Junior Chess Champion (Fireside Chess Library) (Paperback)
What a joy this book is to read! Not only does Josh give us the way chess is really played, but the book is full of instructions and tactical methods, including ways of opening lines for effective attack. I am a bit amazed that this book was given average reviews by a few people. They claim this book is only for beginners to intermediate. However, the author clearly states at the beginning of the book that the combination of methods he presents make for the highest forms of chess. No doubt. It is true that he starts with basic tactics but he works up very quickly to advanced concepts. I do not give high praise easily to books, but this one certainly deserves it. Mastery of the information Josh presents can put one very quickly on the road to chess mastery. He gives basic tactics, then works to sacrifices, opening lines and a ton of excellent information on breaking through the oppositions defense. This book is one of the few classics in chess. A truly great book.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for all levels!, April 17, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Attacking Chess: Aggressive Strategies and Inside Moves from the U.S. Junior Chess Champion (Fireside Chess Library) (Paperback)
This is unlike any other chess book I've read, which is a whole lot. Not only does it provide excellent instruction, but it has narrative selections about Josh Waitzkin's life that kept me interested and gave me a love for chess. I loved his unique chapter about placing the rook on the seventh rank. It is true that it doesn't have that many puzzles, but he elaborates on each one. Because of this, I remember each theme he mentions and I am able to apply these to my games. This should definitely be on the shelf of every chess player whether they're serious players or not. Excellent book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a Book About Chess, January 10, 2007
This review is from: Attacking Chess: Aggressive Strategies and Inside Moves from the U.S. Junior Chess Champion (Fireside Chess Library) (Paperback)
I've played chess since I was a kid, but have never studied the game, which means I play what I call jail house chess, the kind of chess guys pick up in the joint without ever studying the game or really learning to play it well. The reason, of course, is that every chess book I picked up was dry as dust and only showed chess diagrams. Josh Waitzkin does more than that. He talks about the game. He manages to convey the joy of combat, the thrill of the attack, the terror of being on the run. He puts the emotions into chess, which of course is why we play it. So the book is a good light read, lots of fun, and inspired me to play more chess again. What more can you ask from a book about chess. If you are an advanced player, you probably won't learn anything you didn't know about the game. I didn't learn all that much, though it was good to learn that I had more or less figured out all the principles on my own over the years. I did learn one opening trap, which I'll never forget now. I did pick up on Josh's principle of destroying the defences even if it takes a sacrifice. Most of all, I enjoyed the book. Ranks as one of the best Christmas presents I've ever had, in terms of hours of entertainment.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable and worthwile, November 16, 2002
By 
This review is from: Attacking Chess: Aggressive Strategies and Inside Moves from the U.S. Junior Chess Champion (Fireside Chess Library) (Paperback)
If you are like me and find that a good number of the chess books out there are to hard to follow and or put you to sleep in the first couple pages then this book is for you. Josh does more than teach you principles of attack that lead to checkmate, material advantage, and or positional advantage. He does teach you principles but he also encourages you to think. He is constantly quoting his mentor Bruce Pandolfini and telling you to work out the position at hand, "don't look at the solution until you've worked out each variation." Then when you go to the solution he doesn't just give you the answer but helps you to see what he was thinking when he was working out the variations. For me Josh is the most understandable chess teacher I've found and this book is no exception. It's a can't put it down book, quite the opposite of far too many chess books!!!
addendum, I am not a master or even close. Obviously if you are a master or a gm this book will have little that you don't already know.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fresh survey of tactics for chess players of any strength, October 15, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Attacking Chess: Aggressive Strategies and Inside Moves from the U.S. Junior Chess Champion (Fireside Chess Library) (Paperback)
If you're looking for a fun, easy to read survey of the tactics used by the cream of the chess playing crop, "Josh Waitzkin's Attacking Chess" is for you. True, there are many books on tactical chess that will give you a more comprehensive study of each tactic. However, these books rarely give you what Josh (subject of the book and film "Searching for Bobby Fischer") gives with nearly every example, that is, the behind the scenes story and the raw emotions of the moment that give the reader an engaging look into the process of thinking tactically at the chessboard. The book is geared toward beginners, but even more experienced tacticians can appreciate and enjoy this refreshing presentation of the gritty world of chess tactics.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book for learning and a great book for reading, March 14, 2006
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Attacking Chess: Aggressive Strategies and Inside Moves from the U.S. Junior Chess Champion (Fireside Chess Library) (Paperback)
Josh Waitzkin's book is well written and useful. The beginner parts are easy, but the more advanced parts really helped me. The things that really helped me improve were

-The power of kamikaze

-The bust( this chapter makes the whole book worthwhile)

-Zwichenzug

-Pawn Storm

All of these things, especially the bust, helped me win the 2005 Supernationals for my section. I give the credit to this book. I recommend a 900-1400 read this book. It's too simple for anyone above that rating. In addition, it is a very entertaining book, and has a lot of nice narrative stories. An overall good buy, and I highly recommend it.
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Attacking Chess: Aggressive Strategies and Inside Moves from the U.S. Junior Chess Champion (Fireside Chess Library)
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