Wonderful collection of 50 Soviet attacking games from the years 1925-45 (in the 2nd edition, Chernev added 6 games from 1951-60).
Most of the games are spectacular (with many sacrifices), many of them are short. Lots of them are won by lesser-known masters or even 1st category players, a fact that proves the high standard of Soviet chess from those years.
The book itself has a remarkable property: it features a diagram each 2 to 4 moves!! This makes it possible to read it without a board. You can take it anywhere: to the beach, on a train ... etc. ... and enjoy the games. Get this book! Unfortunately, it's out of print and available only used, but not difficult to find at all.
Funnily, the copy I've got shows clearly that it has been read exactly until Game 6 - and no further! The rest of the book has obviously remained completely unread by the previous owner. But now it's my turn to do what he has missed - and to draw full enjoyment from doing so.
In a similar manner as Chernev's 'Most instructive games of chess ever played' is as well a textbook on strategy as it is a great game collection, you can use his 'Russians play chess' as an (unsystematic) instructional book on tactics! In my opinion, it's much more fun to learn strategy and tactics from entertaining games than from dry lessons.
The level of 'The Russians play chess' is a bit more advanced than that of 'The most instructive ... '. While I would recommend 'The most instructive ... ' from about 1200 onwards, 'The Russians ... ' is great from 1400-1500 onwards, perhaps.
At the moment (April 8, 2012), 2 games from Chernev's book are missing in the database:
Game 12. Kan - Yudovich (Match 1934)
[White "Kan, Ilya"]
[Black "Yudovich, Mikhail M"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 Qxd5 6.Nf3 c5 7.dxc5 Qxc5 8.Be3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qe7 10.g3 Nc6 11.Bg2 O-O 12.O-O e5 13.Rab1 Rd8 14.h3 Be6 15. Bg5 b6 16.Nd2 Rac8 17.Ne4 h6 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.g4 f5 20.gxf5 Bxf5 21.e3 Rd6 22.Kh2 Rg6 23.f4 Kh8 24.Qf2 exf4 25.Qxf4 Rxg2+ 26.Kxg2 Qxe4+ 0-1
Game 18. Zhukhovitsky - Poliak (Kiev 1936)
[Event "Kiev UKR"]
[Site "Kiev UKR"]
[White "Zhukhovitsky, Samuel"]
[Black "Poliak, Abram"]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Nbd7 8.O-O c5 9.Qe2 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Bg4 11.f3 Bh5 12.Rd1 Bc5 13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.Nxe6 Qc8 15. Nxg7+ Kf8 16.Nxh5 Nxh5 17.b4 Bxb4 18.Qb5 Qxc3 19.Bd2 Qxd2 20.Rxd2 Bxd2 21. Qxd7 Bxe3+ 22.Kf1 Ng7 23.Rb1 b6 24.Qd6+ Kf7 25.Qd5+ Kf6 26.Re1 Rae8 27. Rxe3 Rxe3 28.Qd4+ Re5 29.f4 Re8 30.g4 h5 31.h3 hxg4 32.hxg4 Re7 33.Kf2 Ne8 34.Kf3 Nc7 35.g5+ Kg6 36.fxe5 1-0
They have been submitted to chessgames.com, however (March 12, 2012), and with some luck, they will appear some fine day in the database, and I will be able to add them to my collection then.