There are a lot of chess tactics books are in the market and often we get confused about which are the best books. In this article, we will see the 11 best chess books on tactics ever written.
Solving chess tactics is essential for everyone who wants to improve chess. If you are rated below 1600 then I will recommend spending your 60% time on solving different chess positions.
Solving from chess books will give you some system. It is always better if you finish a chess book and then start another. Following is the list of books that I have personally used and purchased.
Best Chess Books on Tactics
I recommended this book in many articles. The main reason is it is perfectly written and perfect for beginner players to help to improve their strength by 100-150 points. Whether you are looking at chess as a hobby or profession or just for timepass, this book fulfills all needs. Few puzzles are difficult but most of the puzzles are targeted at beginner players. Highly recommended for everyone.
The author says that 99% of chess is based on tactics. There are two types of books. One is explaining concepts and the other is a workbook. FM Frank Erwich has done both. Frank spotted the weak points of intermediate chess players and explained how to rectify them in this book. He also teaches you how to reach the next level of identifying weak spots in the position of your opponent, recognizing patterns of combinations, visualizing tricks, and calculating effectively. If you are stuck at the intermediate level then definitely check this book.
Laszlo Polgar is the father of former women’s World Chess Champion and strongest women chess player Judit Polgar. He is also the father of Zsuzsa and Zsófia Polgar who both are also very strong women chess players. This book includes 306 problems for checkmate in one move, 3,412 mates in two moves, 744 mates in three moves, 600 miniature games, 144 simple endgames, and 128 tournament game combinations. I would recommend this book for coaches, and academies to teach players. This book is a perfect mixture of various possible chess positions which can arrive in a real game.
1001 Deadly checkmate is published by Gambit Publication which is a part of the Play Magnus group. In this book author John Nunn carefully selected 1001 checkmate puzzles. There is also a point system in this book so that you can major in your skills. This book is targeted at absolute beginners to beginner chess players. After solving this book, your checkmate fundamentals will get cleared. The last chapter is difficult and includes tricky positions.
Anthology of Chess Combinations III
I have finished this book when my rating was 1850. In this book publishers selected around 2700 positions that are intermediate to IM level. The first 500 puzzles are targeted to 1200-1800 levels. The next 1000 puzzles are targeted to 1800-2100 level and from 2000 onwards all puzzles are targeted to 2000+ level players. The main theme of this book is to find 1st move. I got benefited from solving this book. I will also recommend everyone above 1200 rating start this book as soon as possible.
I recently purchased this book when I was reading the resource page of Noel Studer’s chess blog. The exercises in this book are a ‘collection of jewels’ that Krasenkow has picked up during his career as a chess player, commentator, and trainer. Many puzzles are selected from his games. This book is recommended for players above 1800.
Winning chess series is one of the best series to start your chess journey. Every book provides a lot of value and was also written by well-known chess player Yasser Seirawn. This book is not filled with puzzles but explains a lot of concepts such as how to think, how to improve tactics, how to play sharply, etc. I recommend every beginner and intermediate chess player to purchase this book or book series. The following are 7 books in this series.
- Play Winning Chess
- Winning Chess Tactics
- Winning Chess Strategies
- Winning Chess Brilliancies
- Winning Chess Openings
- Winning Chess Endings
- Winning Chess Combinations
Romain Eduard, who is a very strong chess Grandmaster wrote this series in 3 parts. The first book is about Middlegame, the second about the endgame, and the third about legendary games. These 3 book contains more than 1000 chess positions covering all aspects of chess. Eduard invested a lot of time in selecting these puzzles. I would recommend this series for players who reached atleast intermediate level or 1400 rating. Romain Eduard is also a co-founder of thinkers publication which is one of the largest chess publications in the world.
Check this series:-
- Chess calculation training – Part 1 – Middlegame
- Chess calculation training – Part 2 – Endgames
- Chess calculation training – Part 3 – Legendary Games
This book is the second edition of the book understanding chess book written by the same author. All puzzles are carefully selected and include various tactical motifs. This book is published by Quality Chess which is one of the most famous chess book publications in the world. This book is recommended for above 1200 chess players.
The calculation is the most famous chess book in the world to study chess tactics. The reason I put it into last place is that it is recommended for only master-level players. Most of the audience who is reading this article is a beginner or intermediate players. In this book, Jacob selected 400+ chess puzzles. This book is solved and recommended by almost every top Grandmasters.
Jacob states that the Grandmaster Preparation series is recommended for players above 2300. Although players above 2000 can also try to solve these puzzles. When I started this book, I was around 2250 and still was not able to solve puzzles correctly. In the last chapter, difficult positions are one of the most difficult puzzles I have ever seen.
If you are below 2000 player, then I would recommend you to go for other books and not for this one.
Again this book is also a part of the Grandmaster Preparation series. Attack and Defense book is a little harder than the calculation book. This book is completely based on calculation and tactics. I can imagine how much time Jacob invested to write this amazing chess book. Attack and Defense is also a great book to solve for players above 2000.
More books to sharpen your chess tactics:-
- Boost your chess series
- Build up your chess series
- Revolution in chess series
- Perfect your chess by Andrei Volokitin
Other resources to study chess tactics
If you don’t have enough time to spend on chess books, then you can simply buy Gold Membership and solve chess tactics from chess.com itself. Also, you can claim 7 days of free chess.com Diamond Membership here. Check out the following articles on chess.com memberships.
- Is chess.com Platinum membership worth it?
- Chess.com Platinum vs Diamond Membership: Which is better?
- Is chess.com gold membership worth it?
- Chess.com Membership: Gold vs Platinum Membership
- Is chess.com Diamond Membership worth it?
I recently launched my membership with a lot of chess puzzles. In this membership, you will receive more than 7000 chess puzzles for less than $29.99. This membership is also suitable for chess coaches, chess academics, writers, and website owners. Click here to purchase.
This is a free way to solve chess tactics. Lichess is an open-source website that is free forever. Lichess puzzles are not as good as chess.com puzzles. I would recommend you to go for chess.com gold membership instead of solving puzzles on lichess.
What book should I read to improve at chess?
I would recommend you 3 books to improve your chess. These books are really helpful if you work properly.
- My system by Aron Nimzowitsch
- Python Strategy by Tigran Petrosian
- My 60 memorable games by Bobby Fischer
Do tactics make you better at chess?
Yes absolutely. I will recommend you focus more than 50% on chess tactics. It means if you spend 4 hours on chess practice then solve chess tactics for more than 2 hours.