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Out of Production

The Giant Chess Puzzle Book

288 pages, paperback, Gambit, 2010.

Incl. 7% Tax, excl. Shipping Cost

This product is not available any more, neither at the manufacturer/publisher nor at Schach Niggemann, and it is not possible for us to order this article otherwise.


Solving chess puzzles is one of the most enjoyable exercises available; no chess-player can resist trying to find the answers. Thus when my editor Graham Burgess put forward the idea of creating a huge book of puzzles, similar to John Emms's The Ultimate Chess Puzzle Book, I was immediately filled with enthusiasm.

I have to acknowledge that once this initial feeling of pleasure had passed, the task of finding 1001 original puzzles (original in the sense that they have never appeared in similar books or other collections of chess puzzles) appeared to me to be a very complicated task, and the four-figure number was rather daunting. But it didn't turn out that way: the process of research and selection took some time, but it was not as immense as I had feared, partly because I found the task so enjoy­able.

In order to exclude any very familiar puzzles, I decided that most of them would have to come from two main sources: either tournaments played in the last two years, or else games of my own, or with which I was familiar because I had observed them, or which had made an impression on me. Nevertheless, the book to some extent took on a life of its own, and sometimes seemed to be taking its own decisions. This is particularly relevant in Chapter 7, which features a wholly different source of top-quality examples that will be unfamiliar to most readers.

The games are mainly taken from Mega Database 2009 and the last few years' editions of The Week in Chess and Chess Today. The analysis was done with the aid of Fritz 11 and Rybka 3.

The Structure of this Book

Now for a brief description of the chapters:

The first chapter deals with the main tactical ideas, as in the above-mentioned book by Emms, together with some additions and my own personal take on how best to present and explain these basic ideas.

Chapter 2 contains 120 puzzles, the majority of them highly suitable for novices, or as warm-up exercises for club players; the first 60 are supplied with hints to help you find the solution, but for the remaining 60 you receive no help.

Chapter 3 is called 'On the Attack' and consists of 100 puzzles, from level 1 to 4 (on a scale where 1 is easiest and 5 most difficult), and the theme is attacking play. There are hints for the first 50.

Chapter 4 is the biggest one, comprising 200 puzzles of levels 1 to 4; for the first 100 I have in­cluded hints.

Chapter 5 provides the first of three batches of test positions (Chapters 8 and 10 are the other two). Points are awarded for correct answers, which you can translate into a very approximate eval­uation of your Elo rating. It consists of five tests with 16 puzzles in each, i.e. 80 in each of the three chapters, making 240 test positions in total.

Chapter 6 is called 'Defence and Counterattack'. This aspect of our play is unjustly neglected; every player knows that there is just as much pleasure, or more, to be gained from saving a half-point after a successful defence (especially if one has been made to suffer) as from conducting a successful attack. There are 90 such puzzles, with hints for 40 of them.

Chapter 7 is entitled 'Mundo Latino' and is one part of the book which, as I mentioned earlier, took on a life of its own. It comprises 90 puzzles, including 40 with hints; these puzzles are taken from games by Latin players, both European and American, although the majority are from tournaments in Argentina, where there was a great deal of chess activity from the early decades of the 20th century right up to the 1980s. This chapter unexpectedly overflowed into many of the others, since I found such an abundance of good and little-known material. There are clear reasons for the prevalence of such good examples; there were frequent visits and tournament appearances by the world's best players to Argentina, principally to Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata. These visits included World Champions such as Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Smyslov, Petrosian, Fischer, Spassky and Karpov, together with such outstanding figures as Keres, Bronstein, Korchnoi, Larsen, Reshevsky, Stein, Polugaevsky, Olafsson, and many others. Furthermore, in 1939 the chess Olym­piad was being held in Buenos Aires when the Second World War broke out, leading to many mas­ters staying on and making their lives in Argentina, thus raising the already good local standard of chess even higher. To quote just one example: it will probably surprise you to learn that, according to, the Argentinean player Julio Bolbochan was the 13th strongest player in the world at several times between 1951 and 1955.

Chapter 9 is called 'The World of Endgames' and is made up of 90 endgame puzzles, of levels 1 to 4; the first 40 of these feature hints.

Chapter 11 is the last and the most difficult, comprising 81 puzzles of level 5 and beyond, which even grandmasters will find challenging. The first 30 include hints.

Finally I must thank all my friends, and friends of friends, who suggested material, including Sergio Estremera, Reinaldo Vera, Manel Garcia, Luis Scalise, and many others.

Ponteareas, January 2010

Language English
Author Franco, Zenon
Publisher Gambit
Medium Book
Weight 520 g
Width 17.2 cm
Height 24.8 cm
Pages 288
ISBN-13 9781906454203
Year of Publication 2010
Binding paperback

004 Symbols and Notation

005 Introduction

007 The Most Important Tactical Themes

016 Elementary Puzzles

034 Answers for Chapter 2

041 On the Attack

056 Answers for Chapter 3

067 Intermediate and Complex Puzzles

097 Answers for Chapter 4

117 Tests 1-5

128 Answers for Chapter 5

139 Defence and Counterattack

153 Answers for Chapter 6

164 Mundo Latino

178 Answers for Chapter 7

187 Tests 6-10

198 Answers for Chapter 8

209 The World of Endgames

221 Answers for Chapter 9

233 Tests 11-15

244 Answers for Chapter 10

258 The Ultimate Challenge

270 Answers for Chapter 11

288 Score-Chart

Ich weiß nicht genau warum, aber ich musste beim Lesen des Titels sofort an die Mega-Sudoku-Bücher, die zweitweise jeden Presseladen überschwemmten, denken. 1001 Schachaufgaben für jeden Schwierigkeitsgrad verspricht der Untertitel, die nach erfolgreichem Lösen mit großer Wahrscheinlichkeit eine Spielstärkeverbesserung fördern. Der Einstieg wird durch die taktischen Grundelemente gebildet, die für den totalen Newcomer zu knapp gekommen sind und für den erfahreneren Spieler primär eine Wiederholung darstellen. Gleich 120 Aufgaben (die Hälfte davon mit Hinweisen zur Lösungsfindung) fragen das taktische Grundwissen ab. Über den Angriff auf König, Verteidigung und Gegenangriff oder Taktik im Endspiel wird sich zu den Tests gehangelt, die das Wissen in Punktform benoten. Es gibt drei Tests im Buch, die anhand einer Punktetabelle eine taktische ELO bestimmen. Etwas fremd im Kontext des Buchtitels wirkt das Kapitel 'Mundo Latino ', welches 90 Aufgaben beinhaltet, in denen Spieler aus Lateinamerika die Gewinner sind. Erfreulich, dass der Großteil der Aufgaben aus den Jahren 2007-2009 besteht und das Buch somit nicht der x-te Druck einer Taktikaufgabensammlung ist.

Wer Lust am Aufgabenlösen findet und schon über zahlreiche Bücher dieser Art verfügt, aber auf neues Material wartet, der wird hiermit bedient.

Mit freundlicher Genehmigung

Frank Große,


"The Giant Chess Puzzle Book" von Großmeister Zenon Franco ist ein Märchen aus Tausendundeine Nacht. Dort, wo die Tochter des Wesirs, Scheherazade, dem mordlüsternen König Schahriyâr jede Nacht Geschichten erzählt und immer an der gerade spannendsten Stelle abbricht, dort zeigt Franco dem geneigten Leser spannende Stellungen aus Schachpartien. Er verwendet zwar vielleicht nicht gerade eine so blumige Sprache wie die Heldin des Romans doch versteht er es von Anfang an, den Leser in das Reich der Schachaufgaben, der Rätsel und der taktischen Wunder am Schachbrett zu entführen. Unterteilt in mehreren Kapiteln schraubt Franco anfangs fast unmerklich aber letztendlich doch spürbar den Schwierigkeitsgrad der Aufgaben nach oben. Über die anscheinend obligatorisch gewordenen Tests mit ELO-Auswertung kann man geteilter Meinung sein, ich bin kein Freund von solchen Sachen aber wer es braucht, bitte. Nach erfolgreich bestandenem Test in der Mitte des Buches kann man seine ELO-Zahl ausrechnen. Das Buch liegt gut in der Hand und würde auch als überdimensionale Fliegenklatsche gute Dienste verrichten, das wäre aber natürlich die reinste Verschwendung! Wer sich also vom fulminanten Umfang und der großen Anzahl der Aufgaben nicht abschrecken lässt, erhält mit diesem Buch eine riesige Sammlung von relativ unverbrauchtem Trainingsmaterial.

Was hat mir ganz gut gefallen hat:

Viel Text, viel Erklärungen, ausführlich besprochene Lösungen, unverbrauchte Aufgaben und die Menge an Material.

Was mir hingegen überhaupt nicht gefallen hat:

Ähnlich wie die Geschichten aus Tausendundeine Nacht endet das Buch irgendwann dann doch. Ich hoffe auf eine Fortsetzung!

Mit freundlicher Genehmigung

Martin Rieger

The Giant Chess Puzzle Book