Publisher: Russell Enterprises, 2017, Pages: 840, 5x Paperback
Learn Chess the Right Way is a five-volume chess puzzle book series aimed at the novice, beginner and intermediate level player, using the unique methods of the award-winning coach and former world champion Susan Polgar. It introduces the most important checkmate and material-winning tactics, as well as defensive techniques to the new chess player. Each of the five volumes will consist of 500 puzzles.
In Volume 1, the focus is on one-move checkmate exercises. In each of the first five chapters, a specific piece delivers checkmate (in Chapter 1 – the queen, Chapter 2 – the rook, and so on). In Chapters 6-8, checkmates which involve special tactics (such as pins, discovered attacks, etc.) are introduced. Chapter 9 has a mixed collection of puzzles, without any hint about which piece is to deliver checkmate. Chapter 10 builds on the previous 9 chapters, and introduces basic patterns of checkmate in two moves.
Volume 2 is all about “winning material” exercises. In each of the first six chapters a certain piece captures an enemy piece (in chapter 1 – The Queen, in chapter 2 – The Rook, and so on). In chapter 7, you will get no hint about which piece should be moved. In chapters 8-12, the most common and important chess tactics (such as decoy, fork, pin, discovery and skewer) are introduced. Finally, in chapter 13, in addition to the previously mentioned patterns, you will need to figure out which tactical pattern to use to win material, including concepts like “trapping a piece” or “intermediate move.
In Volume 3, you will be introduced to 500 must-know defensive techniques. Each chapter will start with a few introductory examples and explanation about to what to look for in the puzzles that follow. In chapter 1, the task is to move an attacked piece. In each puzzle, there is only one good solution by moving the attacked piece to a safe square. In chapter 2, one of the kings is in check. The goal is to find the correct response. In chapter 3, a piece is attacked, but has no good square to which to move. So, rather than moving the attacked piece(s), you will need to look for a way to protect it with another piece. In chapter 4, we focus on defensive ideas against a direct checkmate threat. In chapter 5, one side “defends” by counter-attacking. In chapters 6 and 7, you will be introduced to the game-saving techniques of drawing by stalemate or perpetual check. In chapter 8, the task is to catch a pawn that is about to promote. In chapter 9, a certain piece is about to get “trapped.” The task is to prepare for the attack and avoid material loss. Finally, in chapter 10, you can practice solving a variety of defensive ideas, with the goal to avoid or minimize material losses or being checkmated.
Volume 4 is all about exercises where you have to make a “sacrifice” for a material gain or even checkmate. In each of the first five chapters, a certain piece is being sacrificed to checkmate the enemy King (in chapter 1 – The Queen, in chapter 2 – The Rook, and so on). In chapters 6-10, you will get no hint about which piece should be sacrificed. However, you will know what the target is, to win a Queen, or Rook etc. In chapter 11, there will be no hints whatsoever. The goal is simple: sacrifice one of your pieces to either checkmate or gain material. Many of the examples are built on skills (such as forks, discoveries or pins) learned in volumes 1 and 2 of this series. In most of the puzzles, you will need to think 2-3 pairs of moves ahead in order to find the correct solution.
Volume 5 focuses on learning how to find the right continuation in critical positions of a chess game. In the first four books of this series, the reader was introduced to all the most important, basic elements of chess tactics to win material or to checkmate. The first part of this book includes learning about special, more advanced themes such as “Zugzwang,” “Intermediate Moves,” and “Pawn Power.” Building on the knowledge acquired throughout this book series, in the second part of this volume, the reader can practice on familiar patterns. However, just as in the real game situation, there will be no hint which patterns to look for. The goal is simple. Find a way to either checkmate or gain material. In most of the puzzles, you will need to think 2-4 pairs of moves ahead to find the correct solution.
With over 40 years of experience as a world-class player and coach, international grandmaster Susan Polgar has developed the most effective way to help young players and beginners – Learn Chess the Right Way. Let her show you the way to understanding the most common and critical patterns and let her show you the way to becoming a better player.
SUSAN POLGAR is a winner of four Women’s World Championships and the top-ranked woman chess player in the United States. She became the #1 woman player in the world at 15 and remained in the top 3 for over 20 years. In 2013, she received the U.S. Coach of the Year Award and the following year, she was named the Chess Trainer of the Year by the International Chess Federation (FIDE). She thus became the first person in history to be accorded both honors. Under her guidance, SPICE chess teams at both Texas Tech University and Webster University have won a combined seven consecutive National Division I Collegiate Chess Championships.