Sacrifices are an essential part of chess. Those who never consider sacrificing will miss countless opportunities and find that promising positions repeatedly slip away. Players who do not appreciate their opponents' sacrificial possibilities will be unable to see danger signs, and find themselves on the wrong end of too many king-hunts. Rather than merely cataloguing the various possibilities and providing examples, LeMoir discusses the possible follow-ups to the sacrifices, the defensive options against them, and the positional factors that might suggest whether the sacrifice will be sound or unsound. There are many important types of chess positions that can only be played well by those who understand the thematic sacrifices that are possible.
David LeMoir is an experienced chess-player and writer. He twice won the championship of the West of England and was runner-up on four occasions. In 2000, he was champion of the English county of Norfolk. In a successful career as a business strategy consultant, he has made good use of the strategic and decision-making skills that are developed by playing chess. He has earned a reputation for writing chess books that discuss important practical chess topics with great clarity. This is his third chess book; see also How to be Lucky in Chess and How to be a Deadly Chess Tactician.
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"What makes this book brilliant, is that the concepts and positions examined is part of any top player's fundamental chess knowledge. However, for the average player, below this aura of invincibility, there is no way to gain such an understanding without help from a teacher such as Mr. LeMoir. We cannot sift through games, recognize the themes, make numerous case studies, and figure out what factors leads to success, and what factors let you down. David LeMoir has done this for us, and anyone who devotes some time to this book will emerge a better chess player." - Soren Sogaard, Seagaard's Reviews
"The blurb on the back calls this book unique. I wouldn't argue with that. I would add that going through its 224 pages will almost certainly add a significant number of grading points to anyone below master level. I wouldn't be surprised if stronger players could also greatly benefit from reading it. LeMoir has come up with a clever book that may quietly become a classic." - Tim Spanton, Weekend Chess
"It's a veritable feast of exciting and attractive chess, as well as being very instructive. ... Verdict: a fantastic book, which I think readers of all standards will find enjoyable as well as useful." - Phil Adams, 3Cs website
"Essential Chess Sacrifices is a must-buy for anyone who ever harboured hopes of being a combinative chessplayer I would rank it as the definitive manual of the piece-sacrifice." - Norman Stephenson, www.clevelandchess.co.uk
"...a modern successor to Vladimir Vukovic's groundbreaking The Art of Attack in Chess. Mr. LeMoir, who has authored two other books for Gambit, may not be as well known as some of the other writers for this publishing house, but he is quickly making a reputation for himself. His newest book is a methodical look at different sacrifices. The material is set up schematically with chapters devoted to different themes, like sacrifices on e6, Nf5 and Nd5 in the Sicilian, Bxh7+, etc. Mr. LeMoir does a good job of describing the conditions that make these sacrifices work successfully. There is plenty of prose to explain the ideas, as well as many exercises to test what the student has learned. The examples are a mixture of classics from the past, as well as new examples." - John Donaldson
"The definitive and BEST word on this subject. I have already played through 5 games of systems which can or could concern me, and I intend to go through another 30 or more. This book should have been written a long time ago. His historical and database selections are also perfectly chosen. A true treasure in chess for which I predict a good future." - Chessco
"The beauty of a book like this for average club players is that it reinforces what you are already rather vaguely aware of. It provides a more structured approach to understanding the potential of typical sacrificial continuations and gives you the confidence to take the plunge where previously you might have ducked out and taken a more positional approach. What amazes me is the number of times strong players allow themselves to be victims of such sacrificial attacks. If they can be caught out, so can your much less able club opponent. Read the book and arm yourself!" - Alan Sutton, En Passant
"If you've had difficulty understanding the concept behind supposedly 'thematic' sacrifices, this may be the book for you. While many books cover sacrifices in general, this book concentrates on a specific set of minor piece sacrifices that occur with a certain amount of frequency. The book provides many examples of success and failure, and this allows the reader the opportunity to develop a systematic understanding of these key sacrificial tries." Randy Bauer
"LeMoir fulfills my requirements for a great chess book. He gives us mostly complete games so you can see how the position develops. There is lots of text, not just for the attacker but for the defender also. Then he concludes with why the sac worked and what to look for and plenty of diagrams to follow 'How To Make Sacrifices Work'." - Sigurd, Sig's Chess
"LeMoir has done a tremendous job; for each sacrifice he has gone through about hundred games and picked out the main themes, and then presenting these themes through annotated illustrative games (about 16 per chapter). These themes are well presented, and working hard on this material is an excellent way to pick up these main topics. In short, this is a good discussion of the 15 most frequent piece sacrifices. And sacrifices are an essential part of chess, but it is still only a part of the game." - Kjell Arne Brekke, Chesscafe.com
"There are just enough variations to help understand why a particular move was made or where improvements could be made but not so many that you are bogged down in too much detail. LeMoir's writing style is very engaging. He sprinkles quite a bit of text instruction throughout the games, especially pointing out ideas that set-up, execute, and complete the sacrificial attack and defense. I have to admit that I had a lot of fun playing through this book. The games were exciting and the subject matter was appealing." - Chessville.com
"Players with little experience sometimes have the idea that sacrifices simply fall out of the sky... to correct that misunderstanding we have this new book from Gambit. LeMoir approaches the subject scientifically, and discusses many well-known sacrifices which occur on certain squares. There are clear guidelines as to when a sacrifice is possible and desirable " - Bab Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad
"The difference between this book and many others is that David LeMoir doesn't just catalogue the examples and provide a list of games; instead he discusses the positional factors that might decide whether a sacrifice would be sound or unsound, the defensive options against them and the possible follow-ups. Many openings have their own standard piece sacrifices and the author's identifying of the various openings within the chapters using fully annotated games helps the reader fully understand them and use the openings successfully." - Marvin Carbin, Open File