#1. It’s cheap!
When I was younger I used to love reading MAD magazine.
On the cover of each issue it would say something like $1.99 (CHEAP!) MAD was great because they packed in as many jokes and cartoons as they possibly could – even in the margins there were funny little drawings. You got a ton of value for an inexpensive price.
In his book John has an interesting idea when it comes to price. He charges a super low price for his books (as low as 99 cents), while the books by traditional publishers are between 9.99 to 20 dollars.
His philosophy is
I put (the most famous authors in the world) in the position of having to prove their books were ten times better than mine
Tactics Time takes the same approach.
I am not a Grandmaster, or even a titled player. I am not a chess champion, chess genius, or child prodigy. I’m not famous, and have never written a book before this.
Right now many new chess books are selling for outrageous prices. The 2012 chesscafe.com “Book of the Year” Aron Nimzowitsch, 1886-1924 by Per Skjoldager and Jørn Erik Nielsen is priced at 49.95! Plus shipping and handling!
Tactics Time is priced at 4.99, and is over 2000 pages long, and can be downloaded to your reading device in a few seconds.
I have no doubt that “Nimzowitsch” is a great book, but is it 10 times better than Tactics Time?
I don’t know – but according to Locke’s theory, the proof is on them.
#2. It is specifically designed for Kindle.
When I was in college, my ex-wife Nadya asked me to help her with a college paper that she had to write.
She was an exchange student from Russia during my junior year, and five years later we got married, but that is a whole different story.
Nadya was taking a Communication Arts class, and the topic for the paper was “The Medium is the Message“.
I had never studied Comm Arts (I was a Computer Science major), but I thought this topic was very interesting.
What this means is that the manner in which you say something, IS part of the message.
For example if you send someone a letter with crazy “Ransom Note” style lettering, it is much different than if you send the same letter with 18th century style calligraphy.
Even though the content is the same for both.
Nadya got an A on the paper, we later got married, and didn’t live happily ever after, but the important thing for you is the lesson I learned from that paper!
With a chess book, or any communication, the medium is the message.
I see a lot of chess books that were written for paper books which get converted to Kindle, but the medium doesn’t match the message. For example, they might still have the answers in the “back of the book”.
Having the answers in the back of the book makes sense with a paper book, but makes no sense on a Kindle. With our book the answer is on the very next “page”.
With a paper book, you have all sorts of limitations based on cost – like number of pages, number of pictures, etc, etc. Books like Fred Reinfeld’s “1001 Combinations” had to cram in as many diagrams per page to keep the price low. With our book, there are no costs for paper, ink, glue, etc, so there is no need to cram in the diagrams.
We can also do things like include hyperlinks, make corrections and updates, etc, that cannot be done with a traditional book.
3. It is designed to help you improve at chess
I think there are so many problems and issues with the way that chess is taught these days.
Many people have bought into the idea that you can make a lot of progress with the study of chess tactics, but the truth is that so many of the chess problems out there SUCK.
OK “SUCK” is too harsh. They don’t suck, they just won’t help you improve at chess in the real world.
They are just all the same – Sac, Sac, mate.
For example, recently on reddit.com/r/chess, there have been a lot of posts with a “tactic of the day”. Almost all of them look like this (the one from yesterday), with Black to move.
If you want to solve this problem, you can go here: http://www.nothingbutchess.com/puzzle/?id=183.
I am not saying this is a “bad” puzzle, it is just typical. Sac the Queen, Sac something else, checkmate.
OK, that is cool, and fun, and your brain gets a little squirt of some chemical that gives you 1 second of pleasure.
I could solve this almost instantly, because I have seen so many problems like this.
The first thought that goes into my head is “SAC THE QUEEN!” That is a great thought for solving composed problems – bad idea for the real world.
In the “real world”, this is not how chess games are being won and lost.
People are not losing games because they missed a Queen sacrifice.
How do I know?
Because I have hand collected THOUSANDS of games between players rated below 2000, and done THOUSANDS of hours of computer analysis on them, and looked at the results.
Most chess games between amateurs are being won by much different means, and these means are the types of tactics problems you will see in the book.
I have heard from a ton of chess players from all over the world telling me that my chess tactics problems have helped them to improve their rating, and win more games, which to me is what chess is all about!
#4 No Risk
We humans do not like risk.
Even though we live in a world of skyscrapers, 4G cell phones, and planetary rovers, our internal “wiring” is still built for a time that is long past.
In the past if you took a risk, you might get eaten by a tiger, get wounded and die of infection, or be killed in your sleep by the “alpha male” of your tribe.
So even though we don’t face these dangers any more, the “reptile brain” inside of us still doesn’t want to take any risks that might cause us harm, embarrassment or pain.
So let me tell you: There is NO risk to getting the book.
First of all it is dirt cheap like I mentioned.
If you are a member of amazon prime, you can even get it for free.
You can read a very large sample right on the amazon webpage, or have it downloaded to your device. The book is so huge that the free sample is larger than most Kindle ebooks!
And if you don’t like it, you can get a full no hassle refund from amazon. It is just one click to return the book, and get your money back. You don’t have to worry about shipping it back anywhere, or asking anyone for a refund, which can be embarrassing. Just click, and it is returned with no hassle.
Amazon is the biggest book store in the world, and they know what they are doing, and place a huge emphasis on customer service. They want you to be happy, and so do I.
#5 You can read it anywhere
This is a huge benefit!
Most of us “wish we had more time” to read chess books, study chess books, etc. We all own chess books that we will get to “some day”, but in the back of our mind know that “some day” probably means “never”.
Since I started reading eBooks, I have read more books than ever.
I read them while working out, during “bio breaks”, during lunch, etc, etc.
The nice thing about this book is that you can open it, solve one problem, and put it away. It is designed to be read in tiny bite sized chunks. You can do one problem a day. You don’t have to worry about carrying it around, because you can probably read it on your phone.
I have had people tell me they read the book while on the subway, on the bus, while in lines, and every spare moment they have.
#6. It is fun
Chess is a game. It is supposed to be fun. So many chess books are dry and boring. They are painful to read.
I have had several people tell me that this is the first chess book that they have ever read cover to cover. I have also had people tell me that they read the whole thing, then started back at the beginning, and read it a second time.
Tactics Time is meant to be fun. I have had a lot of readers tell me that they laugh our loud reading some of the answers.
In one I say something like “Bf7+ overloads the King like a New Delhi bus at Rush Hour”.
I find a lot of the player names quite funny, especially the online handles. There is one “Crapablanca”, and a lot of funny ones, especially from redhotpawn.com, like Ibeatscurvey, Fat lady, and watchYourBackRank.
This book is meant to be fun, and is more of the “Pulp Fiction” of chess books, and not the “War and Peace” of chess books.
#7. Totally original content
Honestly I think this chess book is unlike any one that you have ever seen. There are no other chess books that are this huge, this inexpensive, and this original.
Most tactics books are stealing problems from other books. For example the problems in “Chess Tactics for Juniors” are all taken from Fred Reinfeld (without even giving the poor guy any credit).
For every position you can see who played it, what their ratings are, the full game score (via a link to a java script based website where you can click through the game), if it was a crushing move that was missed or a brilliancy which played in the game, where and when it was played, etc.
There are games from USCF, ICC, FICS, redhotpawn, chess.com, and several other servers and sources. There are games from Colorado, Massachusettes, Reno, South Dakota, and all over the country and world.
There are tactics from blitz games, slow games, and over the board games.
The book is currently the #1 best seller in the chess category, and the #1 rated chess book based on reviews.
Bottom Line: If you are still reading this, it is probably a book that you will enjoy.
Want more information? Go check it out now!