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Comment: This item is in good condition. All pages and covers are readable. There are no stains or tears. Dust jacket is present if applicable. May contain small amounts of writing and/or highlighting. Spine and cover may show signs of wear. May not contain supplementary items. We ship within 1 business day. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
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Learn Chess Paperback – October 1, 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author


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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gambit Publications; 5/13/00 edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1901983307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1901983302
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It is a truism that most chess games are won through tactics, whether those tactics occur on the board or in the notes.

And yet what player hasn't had this experience: you have entered upon what you believe is the final stage of a long and skillfully played game of chess. Not only have you handled the opening well, gaining an advantage, but you have nursed this advantage to the point where victory is surely in reach. You sit back in your chair, you smile, and as you start to consider how you might celebrate this victory later on... suddenly your queen is forked.

End of game.

Which is to say that tactics are both the wonder and the terror of chess. Long after we have forgotten our tournament results, how many of us can remember that game where, through a brilliant deflection, we won a rook? Or the rook we dropped through a discovered attack on our king? For many of us, our fondest and worst chess memories are these tactical blows.

It is these blows that fill the pages of John Nunn's book, Learn Chess Tactics, a work that is more than a puzzle book along the lines of Reinfeld's, 1,001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate or Wilson and Alberston's 303 Tricky Chess Tactics. These have their place and are fine as far as they go. My advice for the novice is -- start with Nunn.

In Learn Chess Tactics, each tactical idea has a chapter, and each chapter starts with a clear and incisive analysis of the tactical idea - something most other books on the subject ignore. Along the way, each idea is illustrated by recent tournament games, and then the chapter ends with a score of exercises. These become progressively harder to solve, and the solutions to some struck me as truly revelatory - a permanent addition to my chess knowledge.
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Format: Paperback
"Learn Chess Tactics" is a great first tactics book for someone who has learned to play chess to get.

Each chess tactic is broken down by it's type. The name is given and what the tactic is is explained. There are then examples to work on making the book fun. This is one of three types of books on tactics. This being more of an introduction with some examples. Then there are workbooks that contain hundreds of tactics puzzles to try and solve and then there are books that cover chess traps that help with tactics in the opening. Getting a variety of tactics books will be one of the best ways to improve the part of your knowledge on chess that will make you a better player.
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Format: Paperback
An experienced scholastic chess coach enthusiastically recommended this book to me (there are so many beginner books out there that for a novice the choice is confusing). My friend explained that this book is easily the best guide for an adult looking to learn - well organized and written by a grandmaster who is known for the clarity of his writing and the care he takes over his books.

My friend was right! There are no gimmicks used in this book, just wonderful explanation of how to play the fascinating game of chess. The book begins by explaining the rules and aims of chess, how each piece moves and so on, and how the object is to checkmate the enemy king. This is followed by excellent sections on chess notation, how to win material, attacking play, and sections on the opening, middlegame and ending. There is so much explanation in this book (192 pages) that I regard is as one of the best value books I have purchased in a long time. Thank you, John Nunn, for writing this book!
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Format: Paperback
This is a very good beginner's book that covers a lot of ground in less than 200 pages. It is well-written and dense for it's size. It will take an average adult or teenager from not knowing anything about chess to being a competent beginner in a short period of time.

The rules of the game are covered first and this is followed by a very detailed section on chess notation. If you are or have ever been confused by this, Nunn makes sure you understand it inside out before moving on.

This book also has sections on winning material, attacks on the king, the various phases of the game and even chess psychology! It provides a great framework for a beginner to work off of and set goals during various stages of the game.

What I also like about this book is the numerous and extremely clear diagrams. Some chess books don't put enough in and you either need to have a board by your side or above average visualization skills. This is not likely for a beginner, so I think this feature adds a lot of value.

In addition, there are many exercise in the book that reinforce key concepts. This is very helpful and the exercises are good. They will help you to retain the material and there is enough material here that you will get your money's worth.
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Format: Paperback
I own both this book and Understanding Chess Move by Move by the same author. I am absolutely in love with both books! My rating is over 1200 on the USCF scale, and I have found that these books provide first-rate instruction without talking down to the reader.

What I like about Learn Chess Tactics is how it explains all the most important tactical concepts at a level that is perfect for the intermediate level player like myself. I will outline some of these concepts here:

1 Fork

2 Discovered Attack

3 Pin

4 Skewer

5 Deflection

6 Trapped Piece

7 Removing the Guard

8 Opening and Closing Lines

9 Bank-Rank mate

10 Pawn Promotion

11 In-between Moves

12 Defensive Tactics

13 Combinations

Because John Nunn is a grandmaster he really understands these themes, and I like the way he is able to select the most relevant way to illustrate them. I especially like the section on Opening and Closing Lines, as I had never seen this idea covered before in a book.

I highly recommend this book if you are an intermediate level player who wants to improve.
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