If you had to choose a single luxury chess item to take to a desert island, then how about this – a superb selection of 100 puzzles to solve. In this first volume of a new series, Wesley So, Super-Grandmaster and 2017 US Champion, offers us 100 key tactics and decisions from his own recent games.

The book begins with some warm-up examples to keep you match fit. As the book progresses Wesley has arranged for your task to get harder – and harder! He writes: “I searched for instructive ‘moments’ which were naturally supposed to be for other players ‘out there’. However, as these things often turn out, the subject-matter became educational material for my own studies in the way of self-examination. ... Puzzles are meant for fun and relaxation and there is always the random possibility you might learn a few things. (I know I did!)”

Wesley So is one of the world’s top players. In 2016 he won two gold medals at the Olympiad and was overall winner of the Grand Chess Tour. He followed up with a 2017 US Championship victory, and in late 2019 became the Chess960 World Champion with a commanding 13½-2½ victory over Magnus Carlsen. Originally from the Philippines, he now lives in Minnesota.

The puzzles in this new Gambit series are carefully vetted, so they instruct while providing hours of solving pleasure. It is known among top players that working on high-quality chess puzzles is an excellent way to stay tactically agile. Each ‘Desert Island’ book will feature 100 positions, hand-chosen by a different master or grandmaster.