This book teaches basic tactical ideas such as the fork, pin, and discovered attack, and introduces general ideas such as elimination, immobilization and compulsion. A basic knowledge of simple tactics will enable a novice to start winning games, by giving checkmate or capturing material. As the player progresses, his tactical arsenal will broaden, and he will start to play sacrifices and combinations, and develop a deeper understanding of the game. Players who fail to study tactics systematically tend to suffer from tactical blind-spots that plague them throughout their playing career, and thus they fail to realize their full potential.
Dr John Nunn is one of the best-respected figures in world chess. He was among the world's leading grandmasters for nearly twenty years, winning four gold medals in chess Olympiads and finishing sixth overall in the World Cup in 1989. He is a much-acclaimed writer, whose works have won 'Book of the Year' awards in several countries. In 2004, 2007 and 2010 Nunn was crowned World Chess Solving Champion, ahead of many former champions.
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"Nunn offers a longer intro to each chapter than most books on tactics and he gives great examples. Then at the end of the chapter he offers exercises to see what you have learned" - Bob Long, Thinkers' Press
"One of the most important skills for a chess player to develop is tactical ability. There have been numerous books written on this subject but rarely with such a clear and well presented approach as Nunn offers here. The fourteen chapters explore different tactical themes, starting with an examples and then moving on to exercises for the reader to try. There is also a good choice of material, the positions given having been culled from recent tournament practice." - Nigel Davies
"It is an orderly, methodical and very useful manual. Aimed not only at beginners, the book can open the tactical horizon to many tournament players." - Lubomir Kavalek, Washington Post
"John Nunn writing a beginner's book may seem like a professor teaching kindergarten, but his clarity of exposition and deft choice of examples makes this a cut above other books of this genre." - John Saunders, BCM
"When I was a junior, I learnt from the classic tactics book Winning Chess by Chernev and Reinfeld. I have been waiting for a long time for a modern equivalent that I could recommend to my students. I strongly suspect that this is it." - Phil Adams, 3Cs website
"When the great All Black coach Fred Allen was asked why all the teams that he coached did well, his answer was, 'Teach and practice the basics as often as you can, and then the rest will fit together.' To this end, John Nunn has written his book that will not only appeal to beginners but also to players of most levels who would like to brush up on their tactical skills....By far the best book available on learning tactics to be found anywhere at the moment!" - Michael Stevenson, New Zealand Chess
"An excellent basic course on tactics. Recommended." - Paul Dunn, Australian Chess
"This is the kind of chess literature that the world needs if we are going to continue to grow chess among youngsters and adults who want to improve. Chess, while a very difficult game to master is not a hard game to learn. Half the battle is stripping away the mystique to reveal that getting better is a matter of learning some fundamental principles. This book does that and does it really well. I would highly recommend this book to novice and intermediates looking to improve their tactics without going bankrupt in the process." - Bill Whited, Chess Country
"The feeling for tactical opportunities, sacrifices and combinations can definitely be learnt, though natural ability is also helpful. Nunn approaches the subject systematically in this book, and after each chapter there are also exercises where we can test ourselves for improvement" - Bab Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad
"Tactical flair, one of the most important requirements for chess success, can be exercised and improved, above all through solving a multitude of puzzles. For this Nunn's book provides a valuable contribution." - Dr W. Schweizer, Rochade
"I have never found so many positions I hadn't seen before in any other tactics book." - Helmut Conrady, Rochade
"...especially good as most of the positions are unfamiliar." - Harald Fietz, Schach Magazin 64
"The book is very handy for trainers of chess as you will find a lot of current material." - Jerzy Konikowski, Fernschach International
"The quality of the material, the good layout, and the very enlightening comments make this book the ideal introduction to chess tactics for the inexperienced player." - Schachmarkt
Gambit books by John Nunn: 1001 Deadly Checkmates, Endgame Challenge, Grandmaster Chess Move by Move, Grandmaster Secrets: Winning Quickly at Chess, John Nunn’s Best Games, John Nunn’s Chess Course, John Nunn’s Chess Puzzle Book NEW EDITION, Learn Chess,Learn Chess Tactics, Nunn’s Chess Endings volume 1, Nunn’s Chess Endings volume 2, Secrets of Grandmaster Chess, Secrets of Pawnless Endings, Secrets of Practical Chess NEW EDITION, Secrets of Rook Endings, Solving in Style, Understanding Chess Endgames, Understanding Chess Middlegames,Understanding Chess Move by Move, Vishy Anand: World Chess Champion (with Vishy Anand).