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MACA Book Review
Sharpen Your Chess Tactics in 7 Days Sharpen Your Chess Tactics in 7 Days
by: Gary Lane

Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-1-906454-08-1
Format: Book 224pp.
Publisher: Batsford Chess

Reviewed by: Chess Horizons Editor Mark Donlan
Recommendation: Recommended

This companion volume to Improve Your Chess in 7 Days is all about keeping chess fun. As Gary Lane tells it, “chess is fun but it is even more fun when you win.” The books three main goals are

to improve your chess knowledge.

to increase your knowledge of tactical tricks and traps.

to learn to identify tactics when they happen in your own game.

Lane “points out practical ways to sharpen your tactics by improving the positions of your pieces when building up an attack, avoiding time-pressure and spotting recurring combinational themes.” He notes that “a casual approach to competitive play can lead to complacency and defeat,” and offers “tips on effective piece deployment so that you might create the right conditions for a combination.”

The material is divided as follows:

Day 1: So You Want to Improve Your Tactics?

Day 2: Understanding Tactics

Day 3: Develop Your Creativity

Day 4: Tactics in the Opening

Day 5: Tactics in the Middlegame

Day 6: Tactics in the Endgame

Day 7: Blunders and Brilliancies

There is also a section with recommendations for further reading. Lane concludes by saying, “Sometimes you can sharpen your tactics with simple chess. So, in a quiet position where there are no apparent threats, don’t waste time searching for the greatest move of all time – just play something practical that improves the position of one of your pieces.” Keep in mind that one should not get so hung up on the title as to think that they will become a tactical monster after only one week, rather the title conveys the sense of fun that pervades the book.

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