Step-by-step from the simplest combinations to the most complex, the book explains the intricacies of pins and counter-pins, Knight forks, smothered mates, and other elements of combination play. There is a discussion in chapter five of combinations lurking in roads not taken — alternate lines of play show up in Chernev's notes to the game, while the sixth chapter, "Convincing the Kibitzers," shows the second-guessers what would have happened had the masters done the obvious. (Some disastrous combinations show up here.) A host of boomerangs follow — cases where the player didn't look far enough ahead and his combination, instead of bringing about the opponent's ruin, paved the way to his defeat. Chapters 8–21 take up combinations used by such great players as Tarrasch, Botvinnik, Nimzovich, Steinitz, Rubinstein, and Pillsbury; the sacrificial combinations of Anderssen and Spielmann; the dazzling brilliancies of Morphy, Keres, and Alekhine; the deadly attacks of Marshall; the almost unfathomable ideas of Lasker; and the matchless creations of Capablanca. Mr. Chernev's thoughtful annotations unravel the secrets of each of these plans. A diagram accompanies each combination; an index, by player, leads the reader to the combination he is looking for.
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