Tactical ability requires knowledge and skills: knowledge of patterns and tactical methods, and the skill to recognize them, combine them, and calculate accurately.
This book features both composed studies and real-game positions. Composed positions distil tactics into their purest form: nothing irrelevant is present on the board. We can focus purely on the key ideas, which makes them an ideal learning tool. As one of the world’s greatest experts on chess composition, Yochanan Afek is the perfect man to select the best studies for this purpose. In over-the-board chess (in which Afek is also highly accomplished), the tactical ideas tend to be less complex, but they may prove harder to identify – unless they are already familiar to you. Afek provides a perfect example in his introduction, where the stunning final move of the 2016 world championship could not possibly have been missed by those familiar with one particular study. All the real-game positions in this book are taken from games by world champions (male or female).
Following the structure of John Nunn’s best-selling Learn Chess Tactics, in each chapter a theme is introduced and a number of examples are explained. Then the reader immediately gets to use this knowledge in a series of carefully selected exercises.
Yochanan Afek is both a Grandmaster of Composition and an over-the-board International Master. This unique combination of talents makes him a highly insightful writer, noted for his work on the factors that make moves hard to see. He grew up in Tel-Aviv and now lives in Amsterdam. His greatest over-the-board success was winning the Paris Championship in 2002.