Publisher: Thinkers Publishing, 2015, Pages: 156, Paperback
For the follow-up to my first book, which was published in December 2014, I decided to write a second volume, composed mainly of exercises.
Once again, my aim was to write something new. So, why a book of exercises? Aren’t there too many already?
Because those books which already exist are a long way from representing the reality of a chess game. They are usually organised by difficulty or by the beauty of the solution. These classic exercises remain an excellent form of mental training. You can liken it to your daily half-hour jog, vital to your other muscles and your circulation: a healthy body for a more vigorous mind!
However, by organising them in this way, the brain is conditioned to look for a very precise type of solution which is often unrealistic.
This is why the exercises here are not organised by difficulty; rather, they have been chosen for their practical value. Indeed, they all come from real games, the vast majority of them recent ones, although in very few an asterisk shows that a small deviation has been made to the game.
The solution may be stylish and complex, but equally it may be simple or basic. The obvious move may be the wrong one, but may equally be right! Besides, the right move has not necessarily been played in the original game.
The exercises vary between easy, moderate and very difficult. Be aware that they are in random order, since the aim is to avoid leading the reader’s thoughts in any single direction.
These teaching exercises are designed to develop your reactions and to teach you new ways of thinking through precise instructions, in order to allow you to apply this methodology to your own games. But don’t worry, solving these exercises is still fun!
They are divided into seven categories in seven chapters. Precise instructions are given at the start of each chapter, as well as an introductory example. The solutions to all the exercises should have one thing in common: they are correct only when you have ironed out every difficulty.
If you find the right move but miss a relevant detail, you have not solved the exercise completely. Hopefully, you’ll do better next time!
Romain Edouard, October 2015.