Capturing Races 2 - Tactical Problems
Review by the Author
- Title: Capturing Races 2 - Tactical Problems
- Author: Robert Jasiek
- Publisher: Robert Jasiek
- Edition: 2020
- Language: English
- Price: EUR 28 (book) or EUR 14 (PDF file)*
- Contents: capturing races
- ISBN: none
- Printing: good
- Layout: good
- Editing: good
- Pages: 280
- Size: 148mm x 210mm
- Diagrams per Page on Average: 6.5
- Method of Teaching: principles, decisions,
examples, increasing difficulty
- Read when EGF: 9 kyu - 4 dan
- Subjective Rank Improvement: +
- Subjective Topic Coverage: o
- Subjective Aims' Achievement: ++
IntroductionCapturing Races 2 - Tactical Problems introduces
theory, has 180 problems of capturing races and their answers. The
book concludes with indexes referring to methods, concepts of
keywords of terms. For a decade, I have
collected the most interesting capturing races from actual games,
modified them suitably to create the problems and provided
On 10 pages, the theory chapter explains
tactical reading, the basic types of kos and capturing races (summarising Volume 1), and the
most frequent techniques. We apply the theory when solving the
problems. The five chapters with problems and their
detailed answers fill the other pages.
ProblemsSince the book avoids basic problems to be
solved by only counting liberties, all problems require tactical
reading. Surprisingly, two thirds of them only require tactical reading
while only one third also requires some of the other methods of counting liberties,
techniques or endgame points.
the first problems, we
transform the initial position to a basic capturing race. The most
difficult problems are divided into subproblems. The
chapters roughly sort the problems by increasing difficulty. In
tactical reading, variations are mandatory, alternative or
optional. We measure the difficulty of a problem by its minimum of
variations whose reading is mandatory. From the first to fifth problem
chapter, the problems' average of mandatory variations increases from
a few to circa 20. A dozen problems require reading of more than 50 and
three problems more than 100 variations.
there are 119 main problems and 61 subproblems. The fifth problem
chapter has 12 advanced main problems and 40 subproblems, of which
quite a few are also demanding.
Unlike many problem books with only a few random answer diagrams, Capturing Races 2 - Tactical Problems
always shows as many diagrams (up to 47 per problem) and includes as
many additional text variations (up to hundreds) as necessary to
analyse almost all relevant variations. The also described
decision-making is important in ordinary or difficult decisions
involving aspects of ko or the endgame.
cannot circumvent tactical reading because the shapes are as rich as in
the classics, and unusual moves and move orders occur. As an additional
difficulty, correct first or later moves might be local or imagined
plays elsewhere on the board to acknowledge already settled statuses or
play ko threats. We learn how to fight for more excess liberties.
theory chapter introduces the ko types including direct ko, approach
kos characterised by
their numbers of excess approach plays, flower kos, stage kos and
perpetual kos. Starting with the second problem chapter,
kos occur in results or variations. We apply principles to make
the correct decisions involving ko types, numbers of excess local
the aspect of who captures a ko first and so on.
LearningWhile reading the book, each reader
will hit, and be forced to overcome, his current boundary. The book
returns as much to the reader as he invests effort in solving the
problems. With little input, he improves only a bit. With the most
sincere practice, readers from 9 kyu to 4 dan can use the book to raise
their skill of tactical reading for solving capturing races to 5
dan level. This is possible because the analyses of the problems
are complete so that the reader can identify all his mistakes
in overlooking mandatory variations or decision-making. Expect to read
the book for at least two months.
Double digit kyus would
find the book too difficult because a knowledge basic moves (such as
throw-ins or snapbacks) is expected but trivial variations or obvious
final moves are omitted. Problems beyond amateur level have been skipped.
reader can practise visual imagination of the variations in the
diagrams and texts. For the most complex problems, however, he might
prefer to relay the variations on a board.
following aspects of layout, text markup or information assist the
reader. The problems have large
diagrams. Captions provide quick statements of results or
mistakes. Besides ordinary uses of font aspects, diagram numbers in
captions or at the beginning of paragraphs denote mandatory variations
by bold italics font, alternative mandatory variations
by bold font and optional variations by ordinary font. Thereby,
the book avoids repeating basic statements, such as "It is mandatory to
read this variation.", thousands of times.
letter from A to H preceding every problem
number indicates the difficulty. Discreet markup identifies
subproblems. In a resulting basic semeai, its simple liberties are
marked and a number states the remaining approach liberties of an eye.
General principles carry bold font and text boxes contain quick major
guidelines of how to solve difficult problems.
annotation is the price for including thousands of text variations. For
example, "Black A - B and C - D" abbreviates the two variations "Black
A - White B and Black C - White D". The texts of the answers to the
intermediate or advanced problems often begin with overviews on what
variations to include and what decisions to make in tactical reading, and sometimes a reference to occurring techniques.
Conclusions summarise the decision-making in detail.
ConclusionUnless we reject the
effort of practising problems beyond our current level of
rest or complain about too many difficult variations, we recognise that Capturing Races 2 - Tactical Problems carefully enforces
tactical reading and thoroughly discusses the solutions to the
problems. The book is not meant to keep readers lazy by only offering
them easy problems. Instead, it provides challenges to overcome a
reader's current level of skill at reading semeais.