Chess might seem a complex and mysterious game, but the ultimate goal is simple: checkmate.

Checkmate can occur in all stages of the game, from snap mates in the opening, through middlegame attacks to simplified endgames.

Learning how to use our pieces together to corner the enemy king is a fundamental skill that all chess-players must constantly practise, sharpen and develop.

This book lays out, in systematic and thorough fashion, a wide range of mating patterns and techniques, in particular showing how each piece-pair can combine to deliver mate. A working knowledge of these ideas enables players to move on to mating combinations, where pieces lay down their lives so that the remaining forces can deliver mate. Gude explains an amazing variety of tactical devices, and illustrates them in unforgettable style with some of the most brilliant mating attacks from practice, new and old. There are chapters on how to attack kings in the centre, as well as standard (and other!) attacks against the castled position.

This is a true textbook of checkmate; readers will never be short of mating ideas, and will instinctively know when there is a possibility to launch an attack, or when they must parry the opponent’s threats. Fundamental Checkmates also features more than 300 exercises with full solutions.

Antonio Gude is an extremely experienced chess writer and teacher from Spain. Several of his books on tactics and for beginners are long-standing best-sellers in Spanish language. Gude has also translated a great many books, including some of the classics of chess literature.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

“Checkmate diamonds shimmer on every page” – Sean Marsh, CHESS MAGAZINE

“Mating patterns and combinations are well covered in Antonio Gude’s new book. The Spanish writer admires beauty in chess and explains how attacks and combinations work together with mating patterns. He is well-read, knows important games from the past and present, and uses famous endgame compositions to create a useful mating manual for wide readership” – Lubosh Kavalek, HUFFINGTON POST

“As a trainer, I try to evaluate the potential of every chess book I read as a training tool. The key question is how the content of this book fits into my chess program? Fundamental Checkmates, provides the ambitious student with the chess knowledge require to move up the 1200 USCF mark. The content of this book also help the student to tackle more advance tactical publications and improve on his/her own. Fundamental Checkmates is a valuable contribution to the chess literature. Players and trainers will find plenty of high quality material to improve their chess skills and teaching files respectively. Recommended!” – Miguel Ararat,

“The well known chess writer and teacher Antonio Gude, explains in a very readable way the secrets of mating patterns, mechanisms and combinations. This all is packed in over 300 inviting exercises and full solutions, divided in various sections – Basic mates, Combinative patterns, Mating combinations with two pieces, The king in the centre, Castled king etc. Hundreds of fascinating positions... very instructive” – John Elburg,

“The number of great examples is overwhelming. On the one part there are classic game fragments you may already know, but also a lot is new, giving something for everyone. I myself am currently using this book as study material for my constant training... the book is actually suitable for any chess player. High recommended” – IM Dirk Schuh, ROCHADE EUROPA

Fundamental Checkmates offers over 300 positions to solve (with full solutions), but it is primarily a textbook on how to give checkmate. This massive, oversize book is a systematic attempt to characterize and explain all the different tactics arranged by theme.
Books offering tactical positions to solve are universally agreed upon as first rate training, but before starting out it makes sense to first have a solid grounding in the fundamentals. This book will do that and more. Recommended for all players 1600 to 2200” – IM John Donaldson