BACK TO BASIC TACTICS                        Dan Heisman (Author)

Dan Heisman has succeeded in writing a tactics primer for the beginner to intermediate chess student, which is original, thorough, and entertaining. Even advanced players, who need a refresher course, could learn a thing or two from this book, because Heisman briefly enters the world of tactics theory, with his explanation of counting (Chapter 1).
The most original section of the book is Chapter 1, which focuses on "counting." This is a concept taken for granted even by advanced beginners. But most players, no matter how strong, never fully cover all aspects of this art. Counting refers to "counting" how many offensive pieces attack a square, compared to how many pieces defend that square. This "count" may move up or down, depending on which pieces get captures, moved, threatened, etc. It's not good enough to simply think "two pieces attack my pawn and two pieces defend my pawn, therefor my pawn must be safe." Other factors, like the sequence of captures, may be important too. Heisman starts with simple examples like this, but quickly develops the chapter to cover more complex counting ideas.
Chapter 2 is the longest chapter, and covers the basic tactical motifs like pins, skewers, forks, etc. Each motif is included with a sample set of puzzles to be solved by the student. This part of the book is like a more traditional tactics puzzle book.
Other sections include "72 problems on 64 squares," "Is there a win?," and "Checkmates," (collections of more advanced puzzles). Then Heisman reprints his excellent Novice Nook column titled "Seeds of Tactical Destruction," which outlines how to spot tactical devices in games, under practical game conditions. This section is related to the area of "tactics theory" mentioned above.
The best parts of the book are the little light blue "advice boxes," which highlight practical advice for the improving player. These little boxes are peppered throughout the book like pull-quotes in magazine articles. From these boxes, much of Heisman's practical knowledge is imparted, and much of this advice has nothing even to do with tactics. Much of it has to do with thought process, time management, and other practical matters.

Starting Out The Sicilian Dragon
Chess E-book on CD

If you’ve enjoyed reading our chess books, just wait until you see what’s on this CD! Everyman Chess are delighted to be able to provide you with Starting Out: The Sicilian Dragon in a format ideal for computer viewing. This will enable you to link to all the chess games, commentary and text from the original book, and replay and interact with the moves easily on-screen.

Few would disagree that the Sicilian Dragon is one of the most exciting, high profile and controversial openings in chess history. Because of its aggressive nature, the Dragon is very popular at all levels of chess, while it received an ultimate seal of approval when Garry Kasparov used it as his main weapon to beat Vishy Anand in a World Championship match.

In Starting Out: The Sicilian Dragon, Andrew Martin goes back to the basics of this opening, studying the key principles of its many variations. Throughout this work there are an abundance of notes, tips and warnings to help the improving player, while important strategies, ideas and tactics for both sides are clearly illustrated.

  • Written by an opening expert

  • All main lines of the Sicilian Dragon are covered

  • Ideal for the improving player

  • ISBN 10: 1-85744-602-X & ISBN 13: 978-1-85744-602-9

Andrew Martin is an International Master with many tournament successes to his name. He is a renowned chess trainer and a skilled and outspoken chess writer.

This CD contains Starting Out: The Sicilian Dragon in ChessBase format.

System Requirements: Pentium; Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP; 32MB RAM; CD-drive. Viewed with Chessbase 6.0 and above; Chessbase Light (free download) and other Chessbase playing programs such as Fritz.