Irving Chernev's outstanding chess books earn him a high rank among the world's top chess authors. In this well-annotated text, Mr. Chernev guides his readers to an understanding of the subtleties of combinative play. 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.