Best Chess Tactics Books for Quick Wins (2023)

Tactics are one of the most tricky subjects in chess. They can win you games, and they can lose you games too, if you get them wrong. Most beginners and intermediate players have a hard time with studying chess tactics, because they’re so complicated. To help you out we put together a list of the best chess tactics books that will bring your game to the next level.

baboons playing from the best book for chess tactics, imagined by midjourney

What does a good chess tactics book cover?

The best chess tactics books cover a wide range of tactical concepts, from basic tactics such as pins, skewers, and forks, to more advanced themes like decoy, deflection, and interference. They often include illustrative examples, practical exercises, and detailed explanations of each concept, making it easier for readers to understand and apply the tactics in their own games. However, not all tactics books are created equal; the level of complexity, depth of analysis, and clarity of explanations can vary greatly from one book to another.

How to choose a chess tactics book

When selecting a chess tactics book, it is crucial to consider the player’s skill level, as well as the quality of the content and the presentation of the material. A good book should be clear, concise, and engaging, with diagrams and examples that effectively illustrate the tactical concepts being discussed. With these factors in mind, we have carefully researched and evaluated several chess tactics books to identify the best options for players of all levels to master the art of chess tactics.

Best Chess Tactics Books

Discover our curated selection of the top chess tactics books to enhance your skills and improve your game.

The Best Move: Morphy

The Best Move: Morphy (Chess Legends Book 2)

For chess enthusiasts seeking to learn from Paul Morphy’s genius, this book is an engaging and insightful resource.


  • Plenty of diagrams with light notes
  • Covers tactical and positional positions
  • Creative and full of energy


  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Requires prior chess knowledge
  • Limited to Morphy’s games

The Best Move: Morphy (Chess Legends Book 2) is an amazing book that delves deep into the mind of the legendary chess player, Paul Morphy. While reading this book, I felt like I was sitting next to Morphy as he masterfully maneuvered his pieces on the board.

The diagrams and notes provided in the book are easy to follow, allowing the reader to see Morphy’s thought process and the tactics he used. Additionally, the book radiates creativity and energy, embodying Morphy’s spirit and ultimately making it an enjoyable read.

One important thing to note is that this book is not suitable for beginners. It requires a certain level of chess understanding to truly benefit from the wealth of knowledge offered. Nonetheless, for those passionate about learning from Morphy, The Best Move will be a rewarding and insightful journey.

CHESS: The Ultimate Chess Tactics and Strategies!

CHESS: The Ultimate Chess Tactics and Strategies!

An essential resource for chess enthusiasts, this book offers a comprehensive guide to improve tactics and strategies, despite some concerns about the quality.


  • Accessible for beginners and intermediate players
  • Clear illustrations and explanations
  • Helps improve strategizing skills


  • Reported issues with book quality
  • Possible fake reviews
  • Teaching method may not suit everyone

Having just read “CHESS: The Ultimate Chess Tactics and Strategies!”, I can attest to its valuable content. It truly guides chess players through different openings, defenses, and endgame scenarios, allowing them to level up their skills.

The book covers both basic and advanced strategies, making it suitable for players at various skill levels. It also features vivid illustrations and texts that aid in understanding chess better. However, it’s important to note that some readers may find the teaching method in the book less helpful, as it mainly provides accounts of famous games instead of step-by-step instructions.

It’s worth mentioning that the physical quality of the book has some issues, with reports of bent pages and writing errors. Moreover, there are concerns about the presence of fake reviews on Amazon. Despite these drawbacks, “CHESS: The Ultimate Chess Tactics and Strategies!” remains an informative resource for those looking to improve their chess gameplay.

Chess for Beginners: A Must-Have Illustrated Guide

Chess for Beginners book

This book can be a valuable learning tool for beginners wanting comprehensive, illustrated guidance on the best openings and techniques to win chess games.


  • Easy to understand for beginners
  • Effective strategies and tactics
  • Clear illustrations to support learning


  • Image quality could be improved
  • May not be suitable for advanced players
  • Doesn’t delve deeply into complex tactics

In the book Chess for Beginners: A Must-Have Illustrated Guide, the author offers a comprehensive approach to learning chess with a focus on winning openings, strategies, and tactics. This beginner-friendly book is written in clear language and offers helpful illustrations for better understanding of the concepts presented.

Having used this book to improve my chess game, I appreciate its easy-to-follow structure and practical advice. However, the image quality could be better, as some photographs are too dark and difficult to decipher. This does not impact the overall effectiveness of the book for a beginner, but it would be great if future editions included more legible images.

As a novice player, I found this book to be an essential toolkit for learning chess. It delivers what it promises in terms of providing a solid foundation to build on. This book may not be ideal for advanced players seeking deeper tactical approaches, but it’s perfect for those just beginning their journey in the game of chess.

100 “Pawn Endgame” Chess Puzzles for Expert Players

100 Pawn Endgame Chess Puzzles Book

Instantly improve your endgame skills by mastering these 100 chess puzzles tailored for expert players rated 1800-2100.


  • Challenging and engaging puzzles
  • Designed for expert-level players
  • Real-life endgame scenarios


  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Focuses only on pawn endgames
  • 60-page length might seem too short

100 “Pawn Endgame” Chess Puzzles for Expert Players is an outstanding resource for those looking to enhance their endgame abilities, especially by focusing on pawn endgames. Published in October 2021, this 60-page book forms an integral part of the Chess Puzzles, Strategy and Tactics – Pawn Endgames series. It is targeted at expert players with a rating range of 1800-2100.

The book features 100 real-life chess tactics puzzles curated to make you a stronger player. These puzzles are not only challenging and engaging but also provide an excellent opportunity to learn and apply different strategies in diverse situations. Moreover, the puzzles are derived from actual games, making them an excellent learning tool for practical application.

However, it is essential to note that this book is not for beginners, as the difficulty level is designed for experienced players. Additionally, it has a specific focus on pawn endgames, which may not appeal to everyone. Overall, this book is an excellent addition to your chess library if you’re an expert player looking to improve your endgame skills and practice real-life chess puzzles.

Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition

Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition

Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition stands out as an excellent resource for chess enthusiasts who want to improve their opening skills and strategies. Although this book isn’t specifically about chess tactics, it covers a lot of tactics in its dicussion of openings.


  • Comprehensive coverage of openings
  • Helpful for all skill levels
  • Written in clear, engaging language


  • Not specifically about tactics

Modern Chess Openings, 15th Edition, is a remarkably informative book that offers a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of chess opening strategies. With its clear explanations and thorough coverage of important lines, readers can confidently gain a deeper understanding of the game, no matter their current skill level.

Buying Guide

Choosing the best chess tactics book can significantly improve your game and understanding of chess strategy. To select the most suitable book for your needs, consider the following features:

Experience Level

When selecting a chess tactics book, make sure it matches your current skill level. Books for beginners typically offer an introduction to the basics, while advanced books provide in-depth analysis and complicated tactics.

Author’s Credentials

Consider the author’s background and expertise in the field of chess. Look for authors who are experienced chess players, coaches, or well-respected in the chess community. This ensures that the content is accurate, reliable, and informed by firsthand experience.

Content and Focus

Determine the specific areas of chess tactics you want to improve upon, and choose a book that targets those aspects. Some books may focus on general tactics, while others might concentrate on opening, middlegame, or endgame strategies.

Quality of Explanations

A good chess tactics book should have clear, concise explanations accompanied by diagrams and examples. This will make it easier to understand and apply the concepts in your own games.

Problem Sets and Exercises

Choose a book with a variety of problems and exercises that challenge you to apply the tactics you’ve learned. This will help reinforce your understanding and improve your skills in real game situations.

Reviews and Recommendations

Read reviews from other chess players or consult recommendations from reputable sources, such as chess clubs or online forums. This will give you a better idea of the book’s quality and whether it is suitable for your needs.

Format and Accessibility

Consider whether you prefer a physical book, an e-book, or an interactive software format. Additionally, check if the book is available in your native language or has a translation that suits your needs.

Price and Value

Lastly, compare the price of the book to the value it offers. Investing in a high-quality chess tactics book may be more expensive initially, but it can save you time and money in the long run by providing comprehensive and effective training material.

FeatureWhy It Matters
Experience LevelEnsures that the book’s content matches your skill level, so you can progress effectively.
Author’s CredentialsIndicates the reliability and accuracy of the book’s content based on the author’s expertise.
Content and FocusHelps you target specific areas of improvement in your chess tactics.
Quality of ExplanationsClear and concise explanations make it easier to understand and apply concepts in your games.
Problem Sets and ExercisesReinforces understanding and helps improve skills in real game situations.
Reviews and RecommendationsProvides insight into the book’s quality and suitability for your needs from other players or sources.
Format and AccessibilityEnsures the book is available in a format you prefer and in a language you understand.
Price and ValueBalances the cost of the book with the value it provides for effective chess training.

Also read: Best Chess Books: Top Picks for Every Skill Level


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