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Published: September 2006 EU, US

Starting Out: Chess Tactics and Checkmates

Once you have figured out how all the chess pieces move, what is the next step up the chess ladder? This helpful and entertaining book provides you with the complete answer. In this easy-to-follow guide, renowned chess teacher Chris Ward explains all the crucial checkmating patterns, plus how to catch out your opponents with an assortment of tricks and traps, commonly known as chess tactics. There is something for everyone in this book: improving players can benefit from learning the basic checkmates and the key tactics such as attacking and defending pieces, forks, pins and skewers, while more experienced players can discover the delights of advanced checkmates and sneaky tricks, ones that can flummox even the world's best players!

Learning chess tactics is fun and one of the quickest ways of improving your chess, and it's even more enjoyable when your opponents begin falling for your tricks! Read this book and, with the help of a Grandmaster, you will be ready to unleash your weapons in your chess battles, whoever your opponent may be.

  • An ideal chess tactics and checkmates guide for the improving player
  • Written by a distinguished chess author
  • Full of notes, tips and warnings to help the reader

CD extract available in Chessbase format (zipped)

download ebook sample in pgn format for the Everyman Chess Viewer

download paper book sample (pdf)


While only 172 pages long, I was amazed at just how much useful info GM Ward has packed into this volume. Clearly this book was not thrown together over a few weekends, but rather Chris has spent some time thinking about how best to present the material. Obviously his years coaching juniors has helped him know just how to explain/breakdown chess positions to those relatively new to the game. Additionally, the diagrams often contain arrows which make it crystal clear how the particular tactic or checkmate under discussion works. Also, practically every page contains useful tips, notes, and warnings that should prove helpful to those looking to improve their game. Ward also includes examples from his own games, which I really like as you get to see the tactic/checkmating pattern through his eyes. When you add to this package Chris friendly/chatty writing style, you have a wonderful primer on the weapons of chess. As to who specifically this book is targeted to, I would say two groups: the first section is ideal for the chess neophyte and will give him or her an excellent introduction to the world of tactics and mates. The second half of the book provides great material for the novice club player (say those rated between 1100-1500 Elo) who wants to sharpen his or her money skills.

—Michael Jeffreys