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MACA Book Review
John Nunn’s Chess Puzzle Book John Nunn’s Chess Puzzle Book
by: John Nunn

Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-906454-03-6
Format: Book 336pp.
Publisher: Gambit Publications

Reviewed by: Chess Horizons Editor Mark Donlan
Recommendation: Recommended

Overall this new enlarged edition is sixty percent bigger than the first edition, which was published in 1999. There are fifty new puzzles, bringing the total to 300, yet the bulk of the enlargement is due to the addition of diagrams in the solution section. The previous edition did not have any, while this edition has a small diagram at the beginning of each solution as well as illustrative diagrams in the text.

The majority of the puzzles are divided into the chapters Puzzles 1, Puzzles 2, and Puzzles 3. There is no linking theme to the positions and Nunn rates their difficulty as overall rather high. He recommends that the reader try to solve them over-the-board to simulate a real game. To break things up Nunn offers a chapter titled “Find the Wrong Move,” which provides situations where a “chillingly plausible” move has fatal consequences and a chapter called “The Test of Time,” which points out the remarkable poor quality of play from the 1911 Karlsbad tournament. Finally, there are eight “Rate Yourself” tests of six puzzles each. Moreover, Nunn includes a chapter of “Hints,” an extensive section of solutions, a score chart, and a conversion table that puts your score into an Elo rating.
This is a superlative collection that includes plenty of instruction, deep analysis, and amazing moves that require imagination and calculation. In many instances the winning move was even overlooked during the game! You can download a PDF file with a sample from the book from the Gambit website.

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