Tactics based on checkmate ideas against the enemy king decide a large proportion of chess games, so it is vital to be alert to these possibilities when they occur. Joe Gallagher provides 365 checkmate puzzles to help readers sharpen their skills. In each position, the task is to find a way to force a clear-cut win. The theme is always checkmate: either the enemy king perishes, or can only be saved at a decisive cost in material. Joe Gallagher is ideally qualified to write on this subject. Throughout his career, he has been especially feared for his attacking ability and tactical skills. The puzzles, most of which have never before been published, are grouped into categories, starting with easier positions and working up to more difficult ones. Full solutions are given, and all the positions have been carefully checked for alternative solutions and for soundness of the actual solution.
Joe Gallagher is an English grandmaster who has lived in Switzerland for many years, and is a regular member of the Swiss national team. He has established a reputation as a top-class chess writer, in particular for his work on aggressive openings such as the King's Gambit, Sicilian and King's Indian Defence. Gallagher is a co-author of the one-volume openings encyclopaedia Nunn's Chess Openings, and won the British Championship in 2001. For Gambit, he wrote 101 Attacking Ideas in Chess.
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"...for a long time this was my favourite reading on lengthy train journeys" - Antti Parkkinen, Suomen Shakki
"...a good puzzle book to pick up at bedtime. You don't necessarily need 365 bedtimes to read it, but it's chunky and presents a lively challenge. It also contains plenty of lively writing, including hints and a score chart for self-evaluation." - Craig Pritchett, The Herald
"First reaction is 'huh, another puzzle book.' Second reaction is 'hey, it's by Gallagher - let's take a closer look' - because by now it's reached a point where, such is the consistently high level of his work that 'Joe Gallagher' is no longer an author's name any more - it's become a brand." - Phil Adams, 3Cs website
"Like so many other untitled players, I enjoy pitting my wits against masters and grandmasters in books such as this. It gives me a good feeling to know that in such and such a position I could have mated my GM opponent. But how could I reach such a position? That, of course, explains the real difference between a GM and me!" - Alan Sutton, En Passant
"One of the things that makes this a good book is Gallagher's skill at selecting examples and placing them at the right level of difficulty. Another is offering detailed solutions which often cover plausible sidelines that might have attracted the reader." - IM John Donaldson, www.jeremysilman.com
"A very refreshing puzzle book." - John Elburg, Chess Mail