As an 8-year-old boy, Cyrus Lakdawala realized to his horror that he was a dove when his chess teacher reprimanded him for playing an unnecessary defensive move instead of banging out a better and more aggressive one that was not so difficult to find. Since then, Lakdawala has devoted an important part of his efforts as a player to trying to resist his natural tendency to over-solidify positions and avoid complications.
Chess for Hawks is the fascinating and often hilarious story of Lakdawala’s struggle to release his inner hawk. It is also a highly instructional guide that will make you think about questions you may not have thought about before:
- Does deliberately breaking a rule come easy to you?
- How good are you at ignoring a threat?
- And at refusing a draw offer?
- Why do you miss opportunities to win a won game?
- Are you able to distinguish between patience and apathy?
- Do you hate to trade queens?
- Do you find it difficult to weaken your structure in exchange for initiative or attack?
- Do you like games with opposing wing castling?
- Do you know when to trade in initiative for material?
- Crossing the point of strategic no-return, does that ring a bell?
- Does your chess playing style fit the rest of your personality?
Cyrus Lakdawala does something no other chess writer has done before: he makes you reflect deeply about your style of play and its consequences.
After reading Chess for Hawks you will be a stronger player because you have mastered an essential but neglected skill: you will know how to obey the position’s requirements instead of your natural inclination.