Pattern recognition is perhaps the single most important thing in Chess. This is true in all three phases of the game and it applies to both positional and tactical themes. The book you hold in your hands provides a sufficiently comprehensive overview of the latter. The main goal of this book is aimed at improving pattern recognition and tactical vision, while also treating the reader with nice combinations.
There are two parts to this book. The first 17 chapters elaborate on the most important motifs in practical chess. The remaining 8 chapters showcase the art of attack and defense. Certain motifs feel like they belong together and the order of the chapters in which they are discussed reflects that. All 25 chapters of this book begin with an introduction which is always designed to clearly illustrate the motif or theme at hand. Most but not all of the games here are classics. All the introductions
are followed by training puzzles in order to reinforce pattern recognition and learning for what has been discussed beforehand.
It has to be emphasized that motifs in chess are interwoven and it is the rarest occasion in practical games that only one motif is present. Often, even a single move features multiple motifs and the one we are studying depends on which aspect of the move we are looking at. It was not an easy feat to sort the puzzles appropriately. Therefore, the approach I took when assorting the puzzles was to decide which theme or motif best characterizes the tactic. The total number of training puzzles is 365, one for every day of the calendar year. All of them are from real games and most from Grandmaster practice. This should give the book more practical value. In some of the games the player found the solution, while in others the combination was missed.
With the training puzzles I put a lot of emphasis on being original. This means that during my research I mostly collected puzzles from recent games while also incorporating tactics from my own practice. There are a number of combinations from my friends’ games as well that I am immensely grateful they shared with me.