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Comment: Markings inside front cover and small markings in pencil in margins. Good readable copy.
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Practical Chess Exercises: 600 Lessons from Tactics to Strategy Paperback – May 15, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Wheatmark; 1st edition (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587368013
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587368011
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you study this book, you will acquire the most important chess skill of all: the ability to think for yourself."

-- John Watson, International Master, Author of the award-winning Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy, Chess Strategy in Action, and Mastering the Chess Openings

"In creating Practical Chess Exercises, Ray Cheng has turned a labor of love into a treasury of instructive problems to help non-beginners improve their chess. The problems are of all types -- tactical and positional -- and all levels. Best of all, they are not labeled in any way other than who is to move, so for each position you have to find the relevant concerns and properly address them. The answers are not just a list of moves, but they also include instructive prose. This book answers the prayers of chess enthusiasts looking for Â'unmarkedÂ' problems to test their skills."

--Dan Heisman, U.S. National Master, Author of the award-winning Novice Nook column at Chess Café and books such as A ParentÂ's Guide to Chess, Looking for Trouble, and EveryoneÂ's 2nd Chess Book

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Customer Reviews

I also like the randomness of the puzzle types and difficulty levels.
Woodpusher
This does not have anything to do with the quality of the book, just the Kindle version after the update.
Piano Man
The Kindle version of this book has been formatted very nicely for use on the Kindle!
D. Calloway

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

154 of 168 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Newell VINE VOICE on September 13, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're a class level player, and are only going to buy one more chess book for the rest of your life, it simply has to be this one. Buy this book in any event and treasure it. It's the problem book we didn't know we needed.

Now, if you've read my other chess and checker book reviews you'll know that I'm not prone to empty praise and the type of hyperbola espoused in the paragraph above. But plain and simple, this book is every bit as good as I imply.

What is it? It's 600 problems, six to a page, with solutions sketched (not detailed) on the facing page (which you need to keep covered with a sheet of note paper sized to fit the book). The problems are not the usual themed and rated tactics collection; they are a completely randomized assortment of REAL LIFE positions, many drawn from amateur games. They range from easy to hard, tactical to positional, opening to endgame, and attack to defense. But what is so great about the collection is that you are given not a single hint as to type, theme, or difficulty (until you look at the solution, wherein all is revealed). This simulates tournament play conditions exactly.

Yes, with this book you are completely on your own and as the introduction points out, you are going to have to think for yourself, just as you do in real play. The intro also recommends taking about 30 minutes per page of six problems, but I'll suggest another way of using, and reusing, this book.

I am going through the book in several passes. On my first pass, I take as long as I want on each problem (within reason).
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Corran Horn on March 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been away from chess for quite some time, in fact, I haven't played it seriously since the 5th and 6th grade. Now that I'm in graduate school, and I need something to "sharpen my mind" after lots of reading and writing, I have turned to chess to hopefully exercise the "other part" of my brain (whether the "chess" part of the brain is the same as the reading and writing part of it, I don't know, this is why I'm in history not science).

This is the first book that I have ever bought concerning chess puzzles, and I must say I am very impressed. Cheng mixes in puzzles of different difficulty levels and simply asks you to make the best move. He doesn't tell you if there is a two move checkmate, or if you are looking for a winning fork, you simply have to study the board and make the best choice. This choice can be anything from creating a space advantage, to an outpost for your Knight, to a fork, to a consolidation of your position, to preventing your opponent from mating you, etc. All you know is that you are either black or white and you must make the best move. I sincerely hope that Cheng comes out with another such book very soon. I am only 80 puzzles into it, and I would definitely consider buying another such book with this format. No hints, no themes, no # of moves to checkmate, simply make the best move. It's brilliant!
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By j clark on June 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
Refreshingly, here's a collection of chess puzzles that mixes tactical
problems with strategic ones, plus some on defense and prophylaxis.
The problems themselves are not necessarily harder than the ones you
see elsewhere, but the fact that all these themes are blended together
means that you have to go through your full mental checklist to
evaluate the position and select the appropriate course of action.
Some of the strategy problems, derived from the classics, are really
quite nice. If you've paid your dues in the tactics department and
want to continue your chess training on a broader and more holistic
basis, this book may be just what you need. I have been working
through these exercises myself, and I plan to give selected problems to
my students to analyze and study. There should be more chess training
books written with this philosophy. Dr. Nunn...Yaz...how about it?
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65 of 79 people found the following review helpful By George Chiramattel on December 5, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just bought the kindle version of the book. To my utter disappointment, I realized that the Kindle version is completely unusable. The image of the chess puzzle appears as a tiny little square - so I effectively ended up buying a book that has lots of tiny little squares, one on each page.

Obviously no one has bothered to review if the "Kindle Version", to check if it is usable or not.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Goncharov on April 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is an outstanding collection of tests on various themes in chess (not only tactics, but also attack, defense, threat identification, counterplay, openings, middlegame, endgame, the thought process, positional play and strategy). The examples are unique here, as John Watson puts it simply in the introduction: "Ray's understanding of the ways in which amateurs oversight that don't occur to the masters who usually write exercise books." This is the key advantage of the collection, which provides very instructive feedback on every test position (running from easy * to very difficult **** regardless of the theme, good for identifying one's weaknesses). The level is about 1600-2000. I hope this approach will become a new popular way to write chess training books for all levels!
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