The difficulty level of the material from the fourth step is higher than in step three. That is mainly the consequence of the increasing number of moves needed to solve the exercises. Most of the topics require solutions which are 2½ move deep: White plays, Black answers, White plays, Black answers and Whites scores. That is why a good command and application of the topics from the third step are absolutely necessary.
Tactics are dominated in a large degree by the preparatory move. The immediate attack does not work yet and a preparatory action is necessary. All existing preparations are dealt with: luring, eliminating the defence, chasing, aiming and clearing.
Gradually, the positional aspects are going to play more and more (a modest) part in the games of the fourth step students. The best way to introduce this kind of vague topics is to use the endgame. The lessons about material advantage and endgame strategy contain many strategic issues. Furthermore, the lesson about the weak pawns makes students aware to be (a bit more) careful while playing with their pawns. The same applies to the lesson about the opening.
Anyway, it remains best to deal with the positional factors while commenting the games of the students
'The fourth step' consists of a manual and workbooks.
Download excerpts of each book: Samples
Introductory articles about:
Furthermore, 17 lessons are being dealt with:
1: Opening advantage
5: Thinking ahead
6: The pin: luring
7: The passed pawn
8: Eliminating the defence
9: The magnet
10: Weak pawns
11: Material advantage
12: Chasing and targeting
13: Attack on the king
14: Seventh rank
15: Endgame strategy
17: Queen against pawn
Since 2017, the Step 4 workbook is only available in an international version.
The 11 reminders are taken out of the workbook. These short recapitulations of the lessons from the manual for the students can be downloaded: Reminders Step 4.
The topics of the exercises correspond to those in the manual. See Manual for chess trainers.
New tasks have been added to the 11 pages that have become available. This means that a large number of new tasks have been added for important themes.
Click i>Step 4 for an impression of a page from the workbook.
How good is your attacking skill? Attacking the king
Read more about the Extra books in info.
In the extra workbook there are 55 pages with exercises, which means as many as 55x12=648-21 (drawings) = 629 positions.
The reminder with hints how to proceed with the mixed tests can be downloaded Step 4 extra
At the beginning come the exercises with the familiar items from Step 4:
In addition some topics from a lower step, but more difficult.
The last 11 pages contain tests. On the reminder are the guidelines for solving the problems without naming the topics.
Test yourself! Test
Read more about the plus books: info.
In the higher steps more and more topics are worthwhile. We have made a choice and divided our attention between the opening, the middelgame and the endgame, tactical and strategic.
Since 2017, the Step 4 plus workbook is only available in an international version.
The 10 reminders are taken out of the workbookand can be downloaded: Reminders Step 4 plus. The consequence is that there is room for more than 100 new tasks (644 in total now).
The contents of the Workbook Step 4 plus
More or less new topics:
Elaborating the already introduced material:
Read more about the mix books in info.
In the mix workbook are 62 pages with exercises, which means as many as 62x12=648-17 (drawings e.o) = 727 puzzles.
The theme's are known from Step 4, Step 4 plus and the lower Steps. A workbook containing exercises with one ‘simple’ assignment: play the best move. Just like in a real game, you do not know whether you can win or whether you have to defend. First, look at what’s going on? Which targets can you exploit? What is the opponent threatening? Is it time to draw? In short, all kinds of stuff.
Two kinds of puzzles are different: on each page you will find a multiple choice question and a position with a line below the diagram. Only on the last 8 pages there is an indication of the theme: mate in two problems.