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MACA Book Review
Chess Secrets: Great Attackers Chess Secrets: Great Attackers
by: Colin Crouch

Price: $24.95
ISBN: 9781857445794
Format: Book 269pp.
Publisher: Everyman Chess

Reviewed by: Chess Horizons Editor Mark Donlan
Recommendation: Recommended

This book is slightly similar in format to Crouch’s book How to Defend in Chess, except that here Crouch profiles great attackers instead of great defenders. He looks at three players who enjoyed career peaks in the 70s and 80s: Garry Kasparov, 1975-78; Leonid Stein, 1972-73; Mikhail Tal, 1978-79; and again Garry Kasparov, 1978-82.

Crouch emphasizes “that it is best, if possible, to play positionally” and that it is only in a minority of games that sacrificial play is effective. He notes that “good and creative positional chess” a can give one the opportunity to take advantage of an opponent’s mistake and that the golden rule is “a player cannot lose a game unless there is a mistake.”

He points out that although nearly every game in the book is a win, the notes reveal that with precise play the outcome should have been a draw or an advantage for the defender. Thus, “it is genuinely positionally acceptable to aim for a win and to create pressure. If in your attack you do not make a mistake, you will not lose.”

However, he also notes that if “a player attacks with extreme accuracy, then the defender has no chances of a win,” or that any inaccuracy by the defender will result in a loss. Therefore, the games in this collection tend to be “highly complicated, probably much more so than in strategic or positional duels” and that “thorough analysis is required.” His goal is that the reader is entertained and informed along the way, and rest assured it is both.


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