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 an earlier game. 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.
Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.
“One of the book’s great strengths is clarity. The material is highly accessible and expertly arranged; the layout very clear indeed. I enjoyed testing out the material on a number of my junior students and it all worked well. As a tutor I was able to guide the children to the solutions once the material turned more difficult. It is suitable for club players upwards and the easier examples will draw the readers in and keep them there to stretch their brains on the harder material” – Sean Marsh, CHESS Magazine
“Instructive and aesthetic: tactical exercises are the way to remain fit for a tournament. A wonderful tactics book!” – FM Florian Jacobs, MAX EUWE NEWSLETTER
“He presents a selection of positions from the praxis of the world champions, providing inspiration (can you find what Carlsen played?) and here’s what makes this book so special: he also presents studies showing the same tactical motifs as in the games, distilling their essence and delighting the solver. Most enjoyable…” – David Friedgood, THE PROBLEMIST
“Positions have been taken in equal measure from both games and studies, which highlights the fact that tactics can occur with just a few pieces on the board... Rich content makes for an instructive book that will help to broaden your tactical vision” – Carsten Hansen, AMERICAN CHESS JOURNAL
“I think this is a perfect training book for both the study solver and the over-the-board-player. I can highly recommend this competently and entertainingly written book.” – Martin Minski, PROBLEM FORUM
“The examples, carefully selected by Yochanan Afek, a grandmaster of chess composition (and an over the board IM) are especially enjoyable and demonstrate the tied linkage between the two disciplines” – IM Israel Shrentzel, HAARETZ
“The book aims to develop the readers ability to find stunning tactics… just what the doctor ordered. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it is a book that stays ‘live’ with me, showing positions to friends, clubmates and enthusiasts alike” – Carl Portman’s Book Reviews
“If you have the word ‘Extreme’ in a book title, it is bound to be fun. If to that we add that the author is one of the greatest chess composers of our time, with a long and amazing chess career, well clearly this is the book for everyone. Don’t miss this chance to own a masterpiece” – Davide Nastasio, GEORGIA CHESS NEWS
“The phenomenal Yochanan Afek, grandmaster of compositions, provides an amazing collection of studies and real-game positions” – John Elburg, chessbooks.nl
“Holding the titles of Grandmaster of Chess Composition and International Master, Yochanan Afek is well-qualified ... Extreme Chess Tactics provides both instruction and training, and will prove useful for players rated between 1800 and 2400” – IM John Donaldson
“Afek divides the study of tactics into over a dozen themes (as do most chess books on the topic), but additionally combines 173 positions from real games with over 200 positions from chess studies. This teaching method helps the intermediate/advanced player to recognize the value of studies as tactical training tools” – Miguel Ararat, www.gainesvillechesstraining.com