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School of Chess Excellence 2: Tactical Play Paperback – April 1, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
The analysis itself is first-rate. As a player of average talent, I often find tactical analysis comes most easily in positions that are already themselves overtly tactical. By contrast, Dvoretsky excels at revealing the subtlety of tactical thought as it develops through the course of a game. As a result, he routinely shows a culminating tactical shot to be the punctuation mark to a rigorous process of continually seeking out the best move, rather than a stroke of brilliance arriving like a bolt from the blue.
As a stylist, Dvoretsky can tend towards the self-congratulatory from time to time, though this may be as much a result of the difficulties of translation as anything else. For the most part he is likeable and accessible. I agree with previous reviewers that the ideas presented are both difficult and dense, but they should not prevent any player beyond a beginner level from comprehending the book and benefiting greatly from it, provided one is patient. I recommend it.
This is where Dvoretsky comes in. The book is packed with complex games and analysis of very high quality, with additional observations and succinct advice about decision-making and psychology in tactical situations. In this book chess is a very concrete game - the master-teacher is a firm believer in the power of the specific example more than in overall synthesis or general conclusions.
If you are looking for quick fixes or easily digested "lessons", look elsewhere. However, if you have reached a certain level of play and are willing to put in the work (answering the training questions, doing independent analysis) its instructional value is very high.
I am rated 2200 ICC standard and have gone through about half of the book. In some positions I have managed very well, but in many others I have missed some points or the main point. I know that I am relatively weak tactically so I have to remind myself that rewards will come from the very fact of trying to solve these problems.
In short: a excellent book for hard-working advanced players