Graham Burgess
Download free additional sample puzzles

Solving tactical puzzles is one of the most effective ways to improve your chess. This convenient book provides 300 exercises, with instructive points highlighted in the solutions.

There is something here for everyone. The puzzles in the first two chapters are based on a clear-cut tactic or checkmate, such as those explained in Gambit's best-sellers How to Beat Your Dad at Chess and Chess Tactics for Kids. The endgame challenges highlight tactics and principles in action. In practice it is vital to defend resiliently and seek counterattacking chances - there is an innovative chapter on these rarely-covered themes as well as puzzles where the reader must decide how to punch home an attack.

Later chapters help readers develop a vital skill: the ability to make tough chessboard decisions. Attack, sacrifice, grab material, defend or simplify - it's for you to decide! Principles and guidelines are emphasized, together with common sources of error. The final section of puzzles will prove a stern challenge even for the best players, with the reader exposed to the full complexity of modern chess - with a few helpful hints along the way.

Gambit Publications has been publishing top-quality innovative chess books since 1998, winning numerous awards in several countries. FIDE Master Graham Burgess is Gambit's Editorial Director, and one of the founders of the company. He has written more than twenty books and holds the world record for marathon blitz chess playing. He lives in Minnesota.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"A great opportunity to refresh your grey matter with topical examples from current tournament practice" - Martin Rieger, Rochade Europa

 "The Gambit Book of Instructive Chess Puzzles is different! The work does not seek unexpected and striking solutions - rather, it requires the reader to make decisions, much as in a real game" - Uwe Bekemann, Fernschachpost

"300 carefully selected puzzles for all standards" - British Chess Magazine

"There are several things a successful book on tactical puzzles should have. They include examples that are not well-known, material arranged not by theme but by degree of difficulty and perhaps most importantly solutions that are detailed enough to explain to the student why they went wrong. Burgess passes all these tests with flying colors. He is particularly strong in his comprehensive answers that are often several paragraphs long. This thoroughness insures that anyone that puts time into solving them will benefit whether they find the right answer or not." - IM John Donaldson

"300 positions have been carefully selected with the express purpose of providing chess lessons that will raise the reader's standard of play. The book is divided into sections that deal with such important issues as tactics, checkmate, the ending, counterattack, sacrifice and defense. There is something here for everyone!" - Patrick Foley, Business Day and The Sunday Times (South Africa)

"Also well worth buying is Graham Burgess's book - 300 chess puzzles of a rising level of difficulty, with solutions at the back. It's an ideal book to take when traveling - no more need to grumble about delays! The book provides more than just entertainment of course, as it also offers instruction, especially in the tactical area, and also for the endgame" - Bab Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad

"It was great fun to work through the book. Towards the end it took some time due to the elevated level of difficulty, but it was worth the effort - no pain no gain. Recommended!" - Lukas Wedrychowski, DAILYCHESSTV

"Instruction is the aim and this book confidently hits the target." - Sean Marsh,

"A nice opportunity to refresh your brain with puzzles from current tournament practice." - Martin Rieger,

"The first thing to note about this book is that it is smaller than A5, ergo it is easy to carry around. This means it's easy to whip out during those laborious moments waiting for trains and buses or just hanging' around somewhere. ... I do like this book because it's not a load of positions with 'obvious' first moves like a queen or rook sacrifice. It's much more subtle than that. Indeed often the puzzle will be about rejecting such a move because it is often artificial. ... The positions incidentally are taken from games played in 2010/11 so you can enjoy analysing lots of new material. Burgess clearly states that he was looking for positions where the right path is hard to guess without seeing the main idea, and where there is only one solution. ...If you take your time going through this and work hard to retain the ideas behind what Graham Burgess is trying to get you to do I believe it will improve your game as well as provide hours of fun at the board." - Carl Portman, Carl's Planet (

Gambit books by Graham Burgess: Chess Highlights of the 20th Century, Gambit Guide to the Torre Attack, The Slav, The Taimanov Sicilian, Chess Openings for Kids, The Gambit Book of Instructive Chess Puzzles, A Cunning Chess Opening Repertoire for White.