When I took over as editor of Chess Life in June 2020, one of the first things I wanted to do was introduce a tactics column to the magazine.
Everyone knows that solving tactics is a critical component of chess improvement. Today there are any number of websites where a player can try their hand at almost innumerable positions, something that was unimaginable when I started playing chess some 30 years ago.
Still, I believe there is value in solving hand-selected, expertly curated tactical positions. A human author and trainer will find positions that contain useful, thematic ideas, as well as those that require particularly vexing calculation.
So, when I decided that I wanted to bring a monthly tactics column to Chess Life , I began to think about who I might ask to take on such a duty. It might not seem like much work to find a handful of positions each month, but as someone who once wrote a monthly column himself, let me assure you that having to turn in text every four weeks can be a real grind.
As it turned out, there was only one person I wanted for this job. And fortunately for me, he was amenable.
FM Carsten Hansen has shown himself - both online in his Twitter and Facebook posts, and in his print books - to be immensely skilled at both selecting positions for solving and explaining the underlying ideas in his solutions. Every month he provides Chess Life readers with nine terrific tactical tests, each with pithy hints or nudges in case one gets stuck.
This book contains the best of Carsten’s work for Chess Life , or, perhaps better put, his best work so far . I hope you enjoy solving these puzzles and that your time spent doing so translates into concrete results over the board.
And if you like these, why not become a US Chess member and get fresh positions to solve from Carsten in each new Chess Life issue?
(I had to try.)
Editor, Chess Life, and Chess Life Online