Most chess puzzle books put you in an artificial situation: you are told a combination exists, what the theme is and what you are required to achieve. This one is different. In a real game, a player may sometimes need to find a combination. On the other hand he may have to reject a tactical idea and simply find a good positional move. His task is to find the right move, whatever it may be. The 300 puzzles in this book put you precisely in that situation. Spectacular ideas abound in these positions, but it is for you to decide whether to go in for them, or whether you would be falling into a trap. If you need them, there are hints to help you on your way. The book ends with a series of tests to measure your skills against those of other players.
For this new edition, John Nunn, a top-class grandmaster and a solving world champion, has added 50 new puzzles (with hints and detailed solutions) to test your skills to the full. For ease of following, extra diagrams have been added to the solutions throughout. Overall the book is 60 per cent bigger than the first edition.
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 and has won the British Problem Solving Championship ten times, most recently in 2020.
Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.
Gambit books by John Nunn: 1001 Deadly Checkmates, Endgame Challenge, Grandmaster Chess Move by Move, Grandmaster Secrets: Winning Quickly at Chess, John Nunn’s Best Games, John Nunn’s Chess Course, John Nunn’s Chess Puzzle Book NEW EDITION, Learn Chess,Learn Chess Tactics, Nunn’s Chess Endings volume 1, Nunn’s Chess Endings volume 2, Secrets of Grandmaster Chess, Secrets of Pawnless Endings, Secrets of Practical Chess NEW EDITION, Secrets of Rook Endings, Solving in Style, Understanding Chess Endgames, Understanding Chess Middlegames,Understanding Chess Move by Move, Vishy Anand: World Chess Champion (with Vishy Anand).
"I find chess puzzles to be truly intriguing and beautiful, and so a book such as Gambit's new enlarged edition of John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book is an absolute feast to fans like myself!" - GM Paul Motwani, The Scotsman
"an outstanding encyclopedia of chess middlegame puzzles" - Gerhard Josten, Rochade Europa
"Is there anyone more qualified to write a puzzle book? ... I think puzzle books serve as a great training tool before tournaments, to sharpen up tactics and help players to get into the groove of being able to calculate some lengthy variations. I don't have a great deal of puzzle books but this is clearly the best one on my bookshelf!" - GM-elect Stephen Gordon, 3Cs Chess
"Excellent training resource for stronger players." - Paul Dunn, Australasian Chess
"I found the book both fun and informative to work through, and no doubt it can be a great tool in helping the player (strong or weak) to sharpen up his/her analytical skills. The last words, I leave to the author himself, who says in his introduction, the following . . . 'Many of the worthwhile things in life involve some effort - improving your chess by going through this book is one example!'" - John Lee Shaw, Chess Check E-zine
"Dr Nunn has cleverly combined entertainment, self-assessment and instruction and it is certainly the only book of its kind that I have truly learnt something from." - John Anderson, BCCA
"A very good typical John Nunn book - enjoyable, enthralling, educational!" - Martin Rieger, www.freechess.info
"...meets all the criteria one is looking for in a good tactics book. It features 300 well chosen examples, accurate and complete solutions and clear diagrams to solve from. One nice extra touch ... is including small diagrams by each solution which are given at the back of the book. This avoids two problems that many tactical exercise books suffer from - the tendency to look too quickly for the solution if it is on the following page or the need to flip back and forth between the front and back of the book to compare the exercise and solution. One other nice feature is the hints that offer a transition stage between trying to solve the exercise and giving up." - IM John Donaldson, on Silman's website
"As a writer John Nunn always gives value for money and this is certainly the case here. ... if playing through the positions has taught me anything at all, it is that even the most innocuous looking positions can have hidden depths and complexity, and none can be treated lightly." - Alan Sutton, En Passant
"It contains more than just puzzles: there is a cogently-argued essay comparing the strength of the great masters of the past with modern players, with some surprising and challenging conclusions." - John Saunders, BCM
Reviews of the first edition:
"Nunn is one of the best tacticians on the planet...tremendous stuff, particularly for the ambitious club or stronger player...but not for the faint hearted" - GM Jonathan Speelman, The Independent
"If you want to improve your tactical skills...John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book is certainly a book to turn to" - New-in-Chess
"You might find it unusual to write a column about chess history and biographical games collections and then include a book of puzzles, especially one written 8 years ago! As a set of problems, John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book is a good one. Nunn takes his test positions from actual games, often between leading grandmasters. Be warned that it is also a very advanced book, in that the majority of exercises would be extremely difficult for the average player to solve. In fact, I think that the book is most helpful for strong players, say, 2000 and above, who want a real challenge. Even grandmasters might get a tough workout solving these positions, and they could well be part of a master's tournament preparation. For the record, I was impressed by the subtlety of some of these positions and showed a few of them on my Chess.FM Internet show. But that has nothing to do with the reason that I've selected this book to talk about. Rather, I'd like to describe a fascinating and potentially controversial section that Nunn incorporated into this book, one that seems to have escaped notice in most book reviews: his historical comparison of older, pre-World War I players to modern ones. Nunn calls this section 'The Test of Time'. I'm going to essentially take Nunn's own words to give an abridged version of his goal, technique, and results. Thus you will read one of the least original reviews of all time, but learn about a fascinating endeavour. I feel that his is a brilliant analysis of this longstanding question, and easily the best solution ever offered." - IM John Watson, The Week in Chess
"Will give you countless hours of challenge" - Tim Harding, Chess Mail
"It is reassuring for less gifted players just how often even Grandmasters fail to appreciate all the possibilities during a game" - J. J. Walsh, Irish Times
"Highly recommended for improving players" - Australian Chess Forum
"The gem of this book is the chapter... where Nunn launches into an essay about the standard of play at the Karlsbad tournament of 1911" - Monroe Morrison, Open File
"The format and style, as one would expect from the doyen of English chess writers, is far superior to that of its rivals" - Alan Sutton, En Passant
"John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book is another excellent, recent work by Gambit Publications. Unlike many quiz books that contain problems based upon tricks in positions, Nunn has primarily selected positions that require precisely calculated solutions. By virtually eliminating time as a factor and encouraging the use of a set and board, Nunn's problems take on a pragmatic value as aids to improving one's ability to calculate and analyse correctly. This is a very good book, recommended not only for its interesting problems but for its instructional value, as well. If more quiz books were as good as this one, well, there probably wouldn't be a need for any more quiz books." - Glenn Budzinski, Chess Cafe
"John Nunn sets the standard ... Nunn's book with its spectacular games can smooth the way to a top class chess understanding!" - Harald Fietz, Schach Magazin 64
"So the work shines due to the very exact analysis, which is important both for the 'normal'puzzles and for the self-tests." - Gerald Berghöfer, www.softsurf.com
"It's true there are many puzzlebooks and testbooks, but this one by John Nunn absolutely must take a leading position." - Dr. W. Schweizer, Rochade