Dejan Bojkov, winner on tiebreak of the Sydney International Open, Australia, 2010.

Dejan Bojkov

The advice frequently given to chess-players eager to improve their results is straightforward: study tactics! But there is often little useful guidance as to how this is best done. By solving puzzle positions? Or endgame studies? By dissecting the games of great tacticians?

Few books present a structured approach to tactics, so this book fills a valuable niche in the ambitious player's library. The authors present each major tactical theme in turn, explaining how it works and providing inspiring examples. They then explain how you can spot the idea in your own games and use it to your advantage. You immediately get a chance to put your knowledge to the test, as there are challenging exercises throughout the whole book, with detailed solutions.

The second part of the book offers more advanced material, and takes us inside the professional's tactics laboratory. Here we see how tactical themes are combined, and employed to achieve strategic goals. We are also shown how grandmasters spot the targets for their breathtaking combinations, which we thus come to see not as sheer witchcraft, but as the product of disciplined thought and training.

Bulgarian grandmaster Dejan Bojkov is an extremely active player and writer on chess, whose reports appear on and in Chess Today, among many others. Vladimir Georgiev is also a grandmaster from Bulgaria, who now plays for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - he has won the national championship of both countries. He is the trainer of former Women's World Champion, grandmaster Antoaneta Stefanova.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"Plenty of books have been written about chess tactics but this one is really different." Martin Eden,

"A successful book for players beyond beginner level" - Uwe Bekemann, Deutscher Fernschachbund

"Practical and concise, whether you're a student looking to improve, or a rusty highly-rated player in need of a little basic exercise" - Sean Gonsalves,

"The authors give many practical examples to illustrate their points most of which will likely be unfamiliar to the reader as the majority are either from Bojkov's practice (the first part of the book) or drawn from recent practice - this is definitely not a case of the same old examples being recycled." - IM John Donaldson

"Not just a book on standard tactical themes... the authors also show combinations that can arise in any game situation" - Antti Parkkinen, Suomen Shakki

"The two Bulgarians spend the first part of the book explaining and delineating the elements of tactics (pin, deflection, decoy, discovered attack, etc) and then move on to some more advanced tactical themes and then top the book off with 40 or pages of exercises to reinforce what has been learnt. The book is well-presented and is good value for money." - John Saunders, British Chess Magazine

"Lots of new material" - Frank Große,

"A wonderful course that will lead the clubplayer, step-by-step, to where the Bulgarian authors want you to be. Besides being instructional, this is also a book readers can just enjoy... as mentioned earlier, seeing these tactical bombshells will gladden the heart" - Bab Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad

"This is a book of very entertaining puzzles! ... Overall, I was impressed with this book. It is a logical, well thought out course in tactics, and not just a puzzle book. The worked examples not only give you a greater appreciation of how the 'nuts and bolts' of basic tactical operations work in Grandmaster practice, but they are also enjoyable to work through. Once you start working through this book, then I think you will enjoy it so much you will be quite upset when you finish it, but your tactical skills will be greatly enriched." - Munroe Morrison, Open File

"Part one of the book is written by Dejan Bojkov, because 'when discussing what went through a player's mind when making a particular decision, and which variations he foresaw, one can speak with far greater authority when the player concerned is oneself' ...Part two is written by both authors and it features the three most common positions of a castled king and various attacking patterns against them, and again there are a lot of complete games to explain these important strategies." - John Elburg,

"...this is a very thorough coverage of tactical themes and anyone who works through the book methodically and systematically cannot fail to see the benefit in their own games. I never cease to be amazed at how complex even seemingly simple positions can be and working through books such as this certainly sharpens my tactical eye." - Alan Sutton, En Passant

"There are plenty of fresh examples in the book, with numerous games from 2008. Coaches will find a fine collection of material, with ready-made lessons." - Sean Marsh,