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The King in Jeopardy: The Best Techniques for Attack and Defense (Comprehensive Chess Course Series) Paperback – 1999
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Grandmasters Alburt and Palatnik boldly pledged to give the best techniques for attack and defense of the king. They have managed to live up completely to their promise. A truly great book! -- Grandmaster Maxim Dlugy
About the Author
International Grandmaster Lev Alburt, three-time U.S. champion and former European champion, is one of the most sought-after chess teachers in the world. He lives in New York.
Sam Palatnik teaches in Bethesda, Maryland. Ten of his students have reached the list of the world’s 100 best players.
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Top Customer Reviews
* The collection of games and positions was HIGHLY unoriginal. In fact, in 247 pages, there were only FIVE games which I had not seen previously.
* The book in general consists of a series of vague generalities. For example, on p99, the authors pose all of the following incredibly interesting questions, "When should the attack involve pawns, and when should it be led without them? Can we determine the proper role of pawns in an attack with kings castled on the same side? Is there a strategic basis for determining correct attacking methods?" Their reply to all of these questions - and I am quoting IN FULL here - "The character of an attack is determined by the nature of the position." They even italicize this sentence for emphasis; apparently they think this is some brilliant insight. Duh! Very helpful, thanks.
* Comments are still ridiculously scarce for many of the games. Concrete variations are even more scarce. Several of the games lack even ONE variation or alternative move.
* Analysis is always superficial, and sometimes incorrect. For example, in Alekhine-Asztalos (p175), we are told "42.Nxf7! 1-0 (42....Qxf7 43.Bd3+ Qg6 44.Qf8!)." Well, that evaluation appears to have been uncritically copied from Alekhine's Best Games book. But in fact, this analysis is incorrect. Chess Life (May 1993) showed that the correct move is 42.Nf3! and 42.Nxf7 merits a ? not a !.
* In some cases essential analysis is missing altogether. One of the most debated moves in chess (17....Rxf2 in Bird-Morphy, p198) is given a !? without comment or analysis.
* Commentary when provided is as vague as the rest of the writing. Page 128 rambles on for three paragraphs about the position after White's 28th move in the game Euwe-Keres. The three paragraphs contain absolutely nothing of value. The three questions to take away from the position are: who stands better? (Black) why? (The square e4 is weak, Black can quickly mass all his pieces for an attack, and the White queen is out of play on c4) what should he do about it? (improve the position of his pieces to go on the attack). The authors attempt to answer only the third question, and don't answer even that one particularly clearly.
Conclusion: You will not learn very much from this book.
At just over 200 pages, using reasonably large font, this book is a managable size for someone seeking an introduction to the mysteries of systematically attacking the king. The drawback to this is that, while the games often beautifully illustrate the ideas and principles for conducting an attack, this book really is an introduction. For the best treatment of attacking the king, ART OF ATTACK by Vladimir Vulkovic (everyman chess publishing) it the undisputed source for becoming a master of the kingside attack. As it is much larger, it more thouroughly covers what THE KING IN JEOPARDY does, and touches on many additional, important issues. However, THE KING IN JEOPARDY is a fine book to jump in with and start adding some really exciting battles to your chess game. Last thought: Both these books require a good introductory knowledge of tactics in order to reap their rewards. If you are new to tactics in chess then I would suggest either CHESS TACTICS FOR THE TOURNAMENT PLAYER (same author) or WINNING CHESS TACTICS by Yasser Sierrawan, before launching into this book.