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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book is my kind of chess book. The authors give literally one thousand examples of real world chess games at the moment that a power shift should have happened but didn't. The key here is that I'm looking at real-world games. The tactics puzzles that I so often see are manufactured to show something or prove a point. Because these are taken from real games, from players ranked as high as the 2000s they are created from situations that I often face.

I'm popping this book open on my kindle whenever I had a spare minute. It's perfect on the subway or waiting in at the grocer. The solution is on the next page so my eyes can't drift to the answer. That's the beauty of an ebook and the authors have used the format to its best effect. If it was paper, it would be 9,400 pages!

One of the greatest features is the search. If I want to see all the puzzles that involve a knight taking a piece, I just had to search for "Nx" and I had every single example.

I'm not close to finished but wanted to recognize and recommend a detailed and thorough book.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The concept is good: lots of different games at the amateur level with all the themes mixed together.

However, many of the games are taken from fast and stupid Internet blitz chess by players rated 800 and below. After a while the large number of "mate in 1" and "exploit the pin" positions become grating.

Worse than that, quite a few games have analysis that is superficial or wrong (see my notes).

This e-book could be considerably better: toss out about half the games and spend a little more time on the analysis.

Also, about 99% of the positions are from the POV of an attacker. It would be interesting -- and practical -- to show more positions from the POV of a defender looking for an accurate defense against an unsound attacker.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I agree with the other positive reviews.

To help others decide if this book is right for them, I have a 1720 rating on Chess.com's Tactics Trainer where I get about 2/3 of the problems correct (though I sometimes lose rating points on that system due to how long I take to find the correct moves.) For comparison, I get about 85% of the problems in this book correct though I learn something from even the simplest problems (another new pattern goes into the brain). This is excellent value for money.

The only limitation is that the solutions may leave out plausible alternative lines, leaving you to figure out why a wrong move is wrong. I have needed to plug a position into a computer a few times to see why the move I chose didn't work. But if you are near my rating level or below, this book will definitely improve your game.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I really love this book. Things I like about it...

* Contains a huge number of problems to solve
* Problems are not too easy, not too hard
* Problems comes from real games
* You can see the players names, ratings, and where it was played, etc
* Positions from blitz, correspondence, rated USCF games, scholastic tournaments, etc
* solutions are clear and easy to understand
* very reasonable price (many chess books selling for 2-3 times as much)
* Built specifically for Kindle with problem then solution on the next page
* Good mix of types of tactics (pins, forks, skewers, checkmates, trapping pieces, etc)
* lots of practical positions and patterns (no composed problems that would never happen in real life)
* Problems given from the point of view of both white and black
* Diagrams are clear and easy to view

If you want to improve your chess, and win more games, this book will help you a lot!

Highly recommended!
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I have several chess puzzle books and this one is my favorite. Layout is clean, diagrams are clear in every Kindle version, answers are conveniently on the next page and puzzles themselves are fantastic.
Tim and Anthea have assembled a great set that will help any player take their game to the next level.
Highly recommended!
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
GM Roman Dzindzichashvili would scoff whenever I asked if he bought the latest wordy Chess tome. Many times he would tell me -

Brian, you know my idea of a good Chess book is just a thousand combination diagrams.

I found it interesting that the famous GM just wanted to stuff his head with as many patterns as he could so they would already be in place when he needed them.

Everyone from Colorado is buying Tactics Time to see how many of their games or their friends are in there. Tim is a writer so the solutions often contain witty analogies to help you retain the point.

As a Fishing Pole promoter I was happy to see both my games and Fishing Pole tactics from other players.

This book is a labor of love, you couldn't pay someone to spend the years necessary collecting puzzles this book took to create.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Excellent for the club player in every way. Extremely pleasant and efficient format. Different from other tactics trainers that often leave you stumped. Structured progressively. At last I have found an e-book that motivates me. What's more the price is tiny for such a carefully devised work. My congratulations to the authors.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is THE best tactics book for anyone who's stuck in class player hell.

I am one of those very class players, and have done TONS and TONS of tactics over several years, in many formats. Literally 5000+ problems on ChessTempo rated to my ability, most of the Reinfeld books, Polgar, etc. I've known from when I started chess that for class players, tactics dominate performance, so I've worked hard on it.

Still, I hit a plateau pretty quickly in my playing that I couldn't break thru, and it was a fairly low plateau, like a 1400 UCSF player. While I could solve some master-level problems with 7-10 moves, I'd fall more than uncommonly to simple 2 movers that I'd just missed. Furthermore, I would just get annihilated in 5 minute blitz. It was as if none of those hard-earned tactics skills I'd practiced came into play, despite the fact I was losing on blunders and missing key tactics in nearly every game.

This book is the cure. I really think the key is that these are from CLASS PLAYER games, so these tactics are extremely, extremely common in blitz and class tournament play. I am not even exaggerating when I say that I bought this on a whim because I just wanted something on my Kindle to read without an internet connection, and was horrified (in a good way) when I revisited chess.com after solving 400 of these problems over 3 days, and seeing my rating rise by a full 75 points. To put it in perspective, I only gained 50 points in the entire last 2 years while studying for hours consistently on chesstempo and other resources. It's now been 2 weeks with this book and I'm still improving, and am now 150points higher than where I was 2 weeks ago, a level I thought was impossible because I was studying tactics so hard even before this book. And the crazy part is that I'm not even working super hard mentally - it's doesn't take that much brainpower to solve and resolve 2-3 movers, unlike 8-movers which requires painful concentration every time so much so that you get fatigued and want to stop.

Most of these problems don't seem particularly hard either - I got 80% of them right on my first try, and thought this book would be too easy. Turns out that the rapidity of seeing even the ones you know, plus mastering that last 20%, yields huge dividends for class level. Because they're straightforward, you can really burn the patterns into your brain so you don't even need to think - they are just recognized. Still, it won't be a waste of money for the typical class player - there are 'fair' number of more complex problems, even 6-10 movers in sublines that will require tons of concentration if you want to really get the whole problem.

I know this sounds too good to be true, and you're thinking 'tactics are tactics, the harder the better', but I'm now convinced that it's crucially important to not only master tactics, but master BASIC tactics. It doesn't matter if you can solve 80% of 8-movers if you're still missing 10% of 2-3 movers - you'll lose every time to an opponent who only misses 5% of 2 movers even if they can't solve anything harder. This almost certainly explains why I didn't get any better for years despite doing 'everything right by studying tactics' - turns out I was studying tactics that were probably too hard for my playing level, and I wasn't burning in the basic patterns so it doesn't even require any thought.

If you're going to spend time studying chess and you're one of those like me stuck in class player hell and not improving, you really, really have to get this book. Stop wasting your time on grandmaster-game problems that you'll never encounter, or falling to cheap shots that you can't defend against in blitz because they're so cheap that no other books have problems like that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I have several chess puzzle books but this is the best. The positions are from real games rather than artificially created puzzles. Therefore, the situations presented are ones that I will most likely enconter in games that I play. I have only completed the frist 300 or so problems but I already notice an improvement in my ability to spot oportunities for pins, forks, mating combinations, etc. Spending a few minutes each day with these problems and reading the solutions which are conveniently placed on the next page is helping me to become a beter ches player.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Great book on basic tactics. These are the types of problems that Dan Heisman recommends solving to gain the ability to spot elementary motifs quickly - see his article "A Different Approach to Studying Tactics". Probably best for Class C (USCF 1600) and below.
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