Toggle Nav
Call +49 2501 9288 320

We are pleased to assist you!

Visiting our store in Münster possible again without appointment

Wearing a medical mask covering the mouth and nose is the only obligation. It goes without saying that we have taken the necessary measures to protect from the danger of infection. We are looking forward to your visit.

Shopping Cart Shopping Cart
Article Number

365 Ways to Checkmate

208 pages, paperback, Gambit, 2004

Incl. 7% Tax, excl. Shipping Cost

Tactics based on checkmate ideas against the enemy king decide a large proportion of chess games, so it is vital to be alert to these possibilities when they occur. Joe Gallagher provides 365 checkmate puzzles to help readers sharpen their skills. The theme is always checkmate: either the enemy king perishes, or can only be saved at a decisive cost in material. Joe Gallagher is ideally qualified to write on this subject. Throughout his career, he has been especially feared for his attacking ability and tactical skills. The puzzles, most of which have never before been published, are grouped into categories, starting with easier positions and working up to more difficult ones. Full solutions are given, and all the positions have been carefully checked for alternative solutions and for soundness of the actual solution.

Over the years I have had great pleasure flicking through puzzle books, and having written numerous other books, mainly on the opening, I felt it was high time I ventured into this field myself. A general puzzle book was a distinct possibility but after discussions with the powers-that-be at Gambit we settled on a theme close to the heart of every chess-player - checkmate! No chess-player can be immune to this topic - either we sit down with the desire to checkmate the opponent or we sit down with the less noble aim of averting checkmate. This latter approach is, unfortunately, more common amongst the professionals. In any event, no matter what your style of play, it certainly pays to be aware of as many mating set-ups as possible. And that is what this book aims to provide you with.


At first I intended to split the material according to various tactical themes, for example one chapter on back-rank mates and another on king-hunts, but finally settled on a different approach. The material has been divided according to the difficulty of the puzzles.

I prefer this method for a number of reasons. Firstly, it makes the puzzles slightly more challenging. You already know that you are looking for a checkmate, and if you always knew precisely what sort of mate you were looking for, that would, in my opinion, be taking things a step too far. Secondly, it could get a little monotonous having to solve 30 back-rank mates in a row, no matter how spectacular they may be. And thirdly, you won't have to spend hours attempting puzzles that are simply beyond your capabilities.

There are five levels of difficulties and each one has their own chapter consisting of 64 puzzles. They range from quite easy in Chapter 1 to very difficult in Chapter 5. Of course this is just my subjective view so don't be surprised if, for example, you find some puzzles in Chapter 3 easier to solve than some in Chapter 2. If you are an experienced club player then I would expect you to be able to solve most of the puzzles in Chapters 1 and 2 fairly quickly and without the use of board and pieces. By the time you get to Chapter 3, however, things start to become more tricky, and if you can do all of Chapter 5 from the diagrams then you are a better player than me!

If you are an inexperienced player then you will just have to see how things go, taking it one level at a time. Each puzzle also has a hint, which should help you if you are really stuck. If that still does no good, then you can always put the book down for a year or two and come back to it when you have improved. Or better still, just enjoy the solutions to the more difficult puzzles and try to learn from


The sixth chapter consists of 45 test positions, making a grand total of 365 puzzles. Perhaps this should have been 366 in a leap year but... there you go. To make them more challenging, these test positions do not contain any introductory comments and neither are there any hints. I have also kept back the names of the players until the solutions as some of you will, no doubt, be familiar with some of the puzzles. This will, at least, make them a little harder to recognize. There are three tests (Levels 1&2, 3&4 and 5) and points are awarded for each one. Afterwards there is a score chart where I assess your strength to within 10 Elo points. Only joking! I am afraid this is not too scientific but I have tested a few players of varying strengths to help me arrive at my predictions for each category.

At the end of the book there is a Glossary/Index. This gives a short description of all the mating ideas and themes I could think of, and points out the puzzles that illustrate them. I hope that this will go some way towards satisfying the more systematic among you.

Selection Criteria

It would, of course, have been possible to produce a book with 365 forced mates but this would have put a terrible restriction on the puzzles that could be used. For example, what often happens in practice is that one side has a strong attack or a beautiful idea but the defender is able to avert mate by giving up a chunk of material. And very often he just resigns instead of conceding this chunk of material. I didn't want to lose such examples and so my basic qualification criterion is as follows:

Each puzzle is based upon a mating attack that should produce at least a decisive advantage for the attacker.

Still, many of the puzzles do lead to forced mate and while there are also a few exceptions to the above rule, they are clearly pointed out.

As you progress in the book you will find that the solutions become more and more intricate, with more and more branches. Consequently, there is less likely to be a forced mate in Level 5 than in Levels 1 and 2, where there is often just one short, but sweet, solution.

Another slight dilemma is that many instructive and attractive finishes occur in positions where the attacker could win any way he pleases. If one player stands so badly that he is about to get mated, then it is not exactly surprising that there are other more mundane ways to win the position as well. When I have decided to use such examples, I have usually given a specific request, e.g. you have to find the mate in four moves and not any old win. On occasion I have turned it into a double puzzle where you have to find more than one way to win. But, still, in the majority of examples there is just one way to obtain a decisive advantage.

I have also tried to reach a happy medium between instruction and beauty. I think it would be fair to say that in Levels 1 and 2 I lean more towards the more routine mates and try to illustrate as many themes as possible, while in Levels 4 and 5 I am looking for the more beautiful and the more shocking.

There are not 365 completely different checkmates (at least not that I know of) and there are some recurring themes which often occur in more elaborate fashion as the puzzles get harder.

I have found most of the puzzles using ChessBase and have tried to include many recent examples that have not been published hundreds of times before. There are some old classics but these are mainly included as they were my personal favourites as a young player.

OK, I think it's time for you to put your thinking-cap on. Happy solving!

More Information
Weight 270 g
Manufacturer Gambit
Width 14,5 cm
Height 21 cm
Medium Book
Year of Publication 2004
Author Joe Gallagher
Language English
ISBN-10 1901983951
ISBN-13 9781901983951
Pages 208
Binding paperback

004 Symbols

005 Introduction

008 Level 1 Puzzles

030 Level 2 Puzzles

052 Level 3 Puzzles

074 Level 4 Puzzles

096 Level 5 Puzzles

118 Tests

128 Hints

141 Solutions to Puzzles

192 Solutions to Tests

203 Glossary/Themes Index

Und wieder einmal geht es um ein angelsächsisches Testbuch der Schachtaktik, konzipiert und zusammengestellt vom schweizerisch-englischen Großmeister Joe Gallagher. Der Mann war nicht nur Gewinner der britischen Meisterschaft 2001, sondern ist überdies auch auf dem Schachbüchermarkt bereits mit einigen Publikationen präsent; so z.B. mit "101 Attacking Ideas in Chess", die gleichfalls bei Gambit Publications ediert worden sind.

Im ersten Teil seines neuen Buches stellt der Autor insgesamt 320 relativ wenig bekannte "puzzles" vor, die nach Schwierigkeitsgrad geordnet von Level 1 bis Level 5 reichen. Jede Diagrammstellung wird von einem kurzen Einstiegstext in Form einer Situationsbeschreibung begleitet. Bei Bedarf kann der Leser beim Lösungsvorgang ein gesondertes Kapitel konsultieren, das zu seiner Unterstützung so genannte "Hints" bereitstellt: es handelt sich um Hinweise für den Fall, dass sich die Aufgabe als zu schwierig erweisen sollte.

Dermaßen eingestimmt wird es für den Leser dann schließlich ernst: er darf sich - nun ohne jede Hilfestellung - an die restlichen 45 Diagramme begeben, allesamt wiederum nach dem Gesichtspunkt der Progression geordnet, um nach Erledigung dieser Tests sein Resultat zu errechnen. Laut Autor kann er hier bis zu 150 Punkte erreichen, welch letztere dem Normalsterblichen allerdings verwehrt bleiben dürften. In der Tat reicht die Bandbreite der Ergebnisse in Zehnerschritten von "Sie scherzen wohl" (0-9 Punkte) bis hin zur GM-Stärke, die mit dem Maximum (140-150 Punkte) angesetzt wird.

Nach Auflösung der Puzzles sowie der Tests liefert der Autor abschließend noch einen rückblickenden Themenindex, der sämtliche unterwegs aufgetretenen taktischen Motive in geordneter Form zusammenfasst.

Unter dem Strich haben wir es zu tun mit einem ansprechenden, hochmotivierenden Testbuch für Turnierspieler aller Kategorien, freilich zu einem typisch englischen Preis: bei einem Verlag aus deutschen Landen dürfte ein Werk vergleichbarer Qualität um rund ein Viertel kostengünstiger zu haben sein.

Damit Sie einen ungefähren Eindruck bekommen, was Sie bei der Lektüre der 365 Wege zum Schachmatt erwartet, folgt nunmehr eine Aufgabe mittleren Schwierigkeitsgrads, sprich auf der Basis von Level 3:

Torre - Timman, Hamburg 1982

Weiß: Kg1 Dc7 Tb1 Lf1 Sd1 Ba5 b2 e2 f2 g3 h2

Schwarz: Kg8 De1 Te8 Lg4 Se5 Bb7 c6 f6 g7 h7

Schwarz am Zuge

Der Autor schreibt zur Diagrammstellung folgendes: "Die schwarze Dame ist ins Herz der weißen Position eingedrungen, aber Weiß hofft sie im nächsten Zug mit Sc3 (was sowohl auf ...Lh3 als auch auf ...Lxe2 folgen würde) zu vertreiben. Schwarz aber gab ihm diese Chance nicht mehr. Wie endete die Partie?"

Haben Sie den Gewinnweg gefunden? Wenn ja, sind Sie laut Verfasser - zumindest - ein leidlich guter Vereinsspieler. Für alle anderen folgt abschließend des Rätsels Lösung: 1...Sf3+! 2. exf3 Dxf1+! 3.Kxf1 Lh3+ 4. Kg1 Te1 matt oder 2. Kg2 Dxf1+! 3. Kxf1 Lh3 matt.

E. Carl, Rochade Europa 01/2005


Eine sehr schöne Aufgabensamm­lung hat Joe Gallagher beim engli­schen Verlag Gambit Publications he­rausgebracht. Darin präsentiert er ins­gesamt 365 Übungen zum Thema Mattangriffe, die entweder tatsächlich zum Matt führen oder andere beträchtliche Vorteile einbringen.

Der Aufbau des Buches sieht folgendermaßen aus: Den Hauptteil bilden insgesamt fünf Kapitel mit zunehmendem Schwierigkeitsgrad, in denen er dem Leser jeweils 64 Aufga­ben stellt. Erwartungsgemäß sind die Aufgaben der ersten Stufe mitunter recht naheliegend, obwohl weniger erfahrene Spieler bereits hier ins straucheln kommen könnten.

Wenn die einleitenden Hinweise von Gallagher nicht ausreichen soll­ten kann man übrigens noch in einem separaten Abschnitt einige Tipps des Großmeisters zu den einzelnen Auf­gaben anschauen, bevor man wirklich in den Lösungsteil schaut.

In der fünften Stufe erwarten den Leser dann richtig trickreiche Übungen, die viel Spaß am Knobeln versprechen. Abschließend hat Gal­lagher dann noch drei Tests mit je­weils 15 Aufgaben zusammenge­stellt.

Die Aufgaben des Buches haben bei meinen Stichproben einen sehr aktuellen Eindruck gemacht, auch die Auswahl der verschiedenen Angriffs­situationen und Motive ist sehr ge­lungen. Last but Not least bleiben das überraschend hohe Niveau der Auf­gaben und die sehr schöne Gestaltung des Buches zu betonen.

Schachmarkt 01/2005


Der Autor präsentiert in seinem Buch 365 Aufgaben zum Thema Mattan­griff. Die Übungen sind nach zuneh­menden Schwierigkeitsgrad einge­ordnet. Ein ideales Testbuch für alle Schachspieler, die ihre taktische Fä­higkeiten prüfen wollen. Das Buch ist auch sehr nützlich für Schachtrainer. Der Verfasser ist ein englischer Groß­meister, der seit etwa zwei Jahr­zehnten in der Schweiz lebt.

Fernschach International 01/2005

Chess puzzle books seem to have fallen out of the sky more often than the rain in the past few months, but I suppose that they must be popular with the chess playing public, otherwise the publishers would not produce so many. I suspect that one reason for their popularity is that they gratify the need, so prevalent these days, for instant gratification. Never mind the full game, and the hours of slow manoeuvring and prolonged thought that have gone into reaching the crucial position, let's cut to the chase and get it over with.

The puzzles here are graded into five levels of difficulty, with 64 puzzles in each chapter. The beauty of this is that the reader can concentrate initially on puzzles commensurate with his own ability, and can then stretch himself by moving on to harder puzzles. There is also a test section, three tests of fifteen positions each, bringing the total to 365. There is a hints section, to be used when you get stuck, and full solutions to both puzzles and tests. Finally, there is a glossary of terms/themes that appear in the book.

Like so many other untitled players, I enjoy pitting my wits against masters and grandmasters in books such as this. It gives me a good feeling to know that in such and such a position I could have mated my GM opponent. But how could I reach such a position? That, of course, explains the real difference between a GM and me!

Alan Sutton, "En Passant"

More from Gambit
  1. More from Gambit