Chess Tactics for Heroes is part of a series of books providing coaching materials for anyone teaching students from, say, 500 to 1500 strength. They can also be used as course books by independent learners.
As you might guess, this book is about winning pieces. There are, in very simple terms, two ways you can win enemy pieces, assuming your opponent is good enough not to leave them hanging.
One way is to create two threats, which you can do with one piece, typically by using a fork, or with two pieces, typically by using a discovered attack.
Another way is to create a threat which your opponent can’t meet – in other words trapping a piece.
I originally placed the ‘trapping a piece’ chapter first, as it seemed easier to spot one threat rather than two and more logical to start in this way. But I soon realised that the questions were, by and large, harder than the ‘two threats’ questions. I suppose you have to look ahead to check that there are no safe squares (which, in some cases, will be trivial, but in other cases, for instance when trapping a queen, will be harder) rather than just looking at the board to observe that two enemy pieces are under attack.
Anyway, I decided to move it back a bit to reflect what I now consider to be the relative difficulty of the puzzles, all of which are taken directly from games played at Richmond Junior Chess Club between 1976 and 2006.
If you’re interested you can find it. You can also download the other Chess Heroes books so far available .
In other news, I’ve recently upgraded my club website to allow chess plugins, so I’ll be posting instructional articles there in future. I’ll link to them here, though, so that you don’t miss out. I’ve been setting weekly puzzles there for several years which might be of interest.
I’d particularly recommend you have a go at solving this week’s puzzle, a game position which could almost have been an endgame study. You’ll find it. If, by any chance, you happen to live in my part of the world, you’ll be very welcome, of course, to drop in at Richmond & Twickenham Chess Club at any point.