Tactics in Chess Books

What do some chess books have to say about tactics? A great deal! The following brief book reviews relate to tactics in the royal game. We’ll stick to simply quoting from these five books.

Beat That Kid in Chess (by Jonathan Whitcomb)

Keep your king safe, especially early and in the middle of a game. After most of the pieces have been captured (and no queens are left), it may be important to use it as a fighting force, but not when it can get into danger. Be especially careful with the king in the opening and middle game. Castle early to get your king closer to a safe corner.

absolute pin on the white queen does not prevent mate

From page 18 of the book Beat That Kid in Chess


Win at Chess (by Ron Curray)

After the opening, the challenging, complex, and often critical middlegame begins. It is characterized by the three elements: strategy, positional play, and tactics. Strategy is the formulation of plans to exert maximum offensive and defensive force. Positional play is the positioning of pieces and pawns to control important squares for optimum activity and flexibility. Tactics, the most powerful factor in chess, are direct threats to win material or [obtain] checkmate.

1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations (by Fred Reinfeld)

Brilliant sacrifices and combinations, either calculated in advance or played on the spur of the moment, give us thrills that cannot be equaled by any other aspect of the game. And, by a very fortunate coincidence, these brilliant strokes are just what we need in order to become first-rate players.

How to Beat Your Dad at Chess (by Murray Chandler)

If you were to visit a chess tournament and watch a grandmaster in action, you would be able to observe a surprising range of emotions. Sometimes, in apparently simple positions, the grandmaster might lapse into lengthy periods of concentration, where ten minutes or more might be spent on a move. At other times the moves will come very quickly, even in complicated positions. You might even be shocked if the grandmaster suddenly wins the game with a lengthy and brilliant mating sacrifice—after thinking for just a few seconds. . . . The reason for this is pattern recognition.

Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors (edited by Lou Hays)

The Discovered Attack

The discovery is one of the most powerful types of move possible in a game of chess. The term “discovery” simply means that a piece is moved from a rank, file, or diagonal while uncovering an attack by friendly forces behind it on the line, thereby giving both pieces a chance to simultaneously threaten the opponent.


What a Variety of Chess Books!

  • Are you a beginner, post-beginner, lower-ranked club player, or tournament player?
  • Do you need a book on openings, middle games, or end games?
  • Are you looking for help with tactics or strategy? (They’re not the same thing)

New chess book for beginners

If you already know the rules of chess but losing has cut down some of the fun, “Beat That Kid in Chess” puts back the fun. . . . What other book for beginners uses the Nearly-Identical-Positions method of chess instruction (NIP)? This is the natural way, the easier way, the new way, to lead you to notice important details in each position on the board.

The Beginners’ Chess Books

First we’ll look at what may be the best chess book for beginners who already know the rules of the game: Beat That Kid in Chess. After that brief review, we’ll look at two books for teaching the rules.

Chess Book for Teenagers and Adults (Beginners)

It’s for the beginner who knows the rules but not much else. Children, teenagers, and adults can benefit from these lessons . . .

Best chess book for the beginner

One estimate for the number of chess books published (in history) is about 100,000. Probably less than 10% of those were written for the raw beginner, the player who knows the rules but not how to win an actual game.

Chess book for the raw beginner

Two publications on the royal game:

  • Beat That Kid in Chess (by Whitcomb)
  • Chess Tactics for Kids (by Chandler)


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