There are not so many chess trainers for the higher steps and for sure not for step 6. That is why the manual for Step 6 differs from the previous ones. The target group has changed. This book is not a manual for trainers, but a self-study manual for anyone interested, in other words for the independent learner.
What should you be expecting? The level of difficulty of the material is once more a notch higher than in the preceding Step. Strategy is a subject which will be dealt with in depth. It is a subject which is difficult for everybody, as we always find, and above all the exercises in the workbook. You will also come up against endgame exercises in many chapters. The study of such exercises is particularly important for improving playing strength. Tactics are dealt with in only one chapter. The chapter on tactics is relatively simple for those who have worked through all three workbooks for each of the other Steps. The chapters on strategic themes are relatively more demanding and require more of an effort. But a real chess player will not be put off by them.
This book appeared in 1999 in Dutch. For the English translation the 3rd revised and expanded edition from 2010 has been used. It is advisable to go through this manual in combination with the workbook for Step 6.
Download excerpts of each book: Samples
The sixth step consists of 14 lessons:
1: The king in the middle
2: The passed pawn
6: The opening
8: Pawn endings
9: Bishop or knight?
10: Attacking the king
11: Advantage in the ending
14: Rook endings
The workbook is adjusted to the changed purpose. The reminders disappeared except for one. In the first part of the book there are exercises corresponding to the 14 chapters in the self study book.
The second part contains mixed positions. In total: 1320 positions (minus some drawings).
Try one! Test
Read more about the Extra books in info.
In the extra workbook there are 111 pages with exercises, which means as many as 111x12=1332-36 (drawings)= 1296 puzzles.There have been three changes in comparison with the other extra workbooks. This one is the first extra workbook with a co-author, Erwin l'Ami (Dutch GM). The book has 112 pages (like the basic workbook of Step 6) and the book is 4 languages. That will not really bother because there is almost no text and multilingualism is limited more or less to the headings of the exercises.
The themes of the exercises are those from Step 6. It is important for chess players of all levels to repeat the material. It is tempting to learn new things again and again but if these are repeated then the practical effect in the long term is negligible. For this reason alone the extra workbooks are an indispensable supplement.
The level of difficulty is higher than in the basic workbook of Step 6. That certainly applies to the tactical exercises. Meanwhile, there are so many players who have gone through all workbooks of all the steps that tougher exercises are just welcome. Are the puzzles too difficult? Returning to Step 4 or 5 is no shame (and no one else has to know!).
The last 26 pages contain tests.
A test with an intermediate level of difficulty. Test: A