One of the goals of this project is to take every problem that commonly arises in tactical play and illustrate its handling with a half dozen or so progressive illustrations. To find the positions needed for the purpose—roughly 1,200 in all—I drew on just about every source I could find. I list them below, and thank their authors (and beg the pardon of any I may have neglected to mention). I have learned from all of them. There are a few notes at the end about some particular titles.

Alburt, Chess Training Pocket Book (1997)

Ault, The Chess Tutor (1975)

Bain, Chess Tactics for Students (1993)

Blokh, The Art of Combination (1994)

Blokh, Combinational Motifs (1998)

Blokh, 600 Combinations (2001)

Burgess, The Mammoth Book of Chess (1997)

Chandler, How to Beat Your Dad at Chess (1998)

Chernev, Combinations: The Heart of Chess (1960)

Chernev, Logical Chess: Move by Move (1957)

Chernev and Reinfeld, Winning Chess (1948)

Emms, The Ultimate Chess Puzzle Book (2000)

Fischer et al., Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess (1966)

Furst, Theme Artistry (1987)

Gillam, Winning At Chess (1994)

Gillam, Your Move (1994)

Harding, Better Chess for Average Players (1996)

Hays, Combination Challenge (1991)

Hays, Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors (1994)

Horowitz, How to Win in the Chess Openings (1951)

Horowitz and Reinfeld, First Book of Chess (1952)

Ivaschenko, The Manual of Chess Combinations (1997)

Koltanowski and Finkelstein, Checkmate! (1998)

Koltanowski and Finkelstein, Checkmate Strategies (1999)

Lein and Archangelsky, Sharpen Your Tactics! (1996)

Littlewood, Chess Tactics (1984)

Livshitz, Test Your Chess IQ (1981)

Neishtadt, Test Your Tactical Ability (1981)

Neishtadt, Your Move! (1990)

Palatnik and Alburt, Chess Tactics for the Tournament Player (1995)

Polgar, Chess (1994)

Pongo, Tactical Targets in Chess (2000)

Purdy, The Search for Chess Perfection (1997)

Reinfeld, 1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate (1955)

Reinfeld, 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices and Combinations (1955)

Renaud and Kahn, The Art of the Checkmate (1953)

Robertie, Winning Chess Tactics (1996)

Seirawan and Silman, Winning Chess Tactics (1995)

Tal, Tal-Botvinnik 1960 (1970)

Vukovic, Art of Attack in Chess (1998 ed.)

Walker, Chess Combinations (1999)

Weeramantry, Best Lessons of a Chess Coach (1993)

Wilson and Albertson, 303 Tricky Chess Tactics (1999)

Znosko-Borovsky, The Art of Chess Combination (1959)

Some positions also have appeared in Shelby Lyman’s chess column in the Boston Globe or in Riga’s Chess magazine.

A few notes on these:

1. The books by Reinfeld and Hays probably are the best collections of positions to solve if you are looking for practice (a number of positions from those books are discussed here); Livshitz and Gillam also are excellent for that purpose, as is the book by Lein and Archangelsky.

2. Among books that offer instruction in words, I suggest Chernev and Reinfeld's Winning Chess, Ault's The Chess Tutor, and Seirawan and Silman's Winning Chess Tactics. (The first two may be hard to find, but are worth the trouble.) Many of the others are excellent, too, and I don't mean to slight any of them by mentioning these three. Of course those books fill a somewhat similar niche to this site; for those who are reading this, they are my competition. But I encourage you to check them out and make comparisons. Different people learn better from different writers.

3. The titles by Renaud and Kahn and by Chandler are terrific sources on mating patterns; so are the Koltanowski and Finkelstein books, which are overlooked. Again, many positions in the "mating patterns" section of this site are drawn from those sources.

4. For the reader looking to move on to the study of strategy, I especially recommend Chernev's Logical Chess and Nunn's Understanding Chess, both of which walk you through chess games and explain the strategic (as well as tactical) thinking behind the moves. My other favorite titles on strategy are Jeremy Silman's The Amateur's Mind, How to Reassess Your Chess, and (perhaps most useful of all) The Reassess Your Chess Workbook, which is full of excellent examples and discussion. Seirawan and Silman's Winning Chess Strategies is another fine overview you may find helpful. Everyone's Second Chess Book by Dan Heisman also has a wealth of tips on strategy as well as other topics; Heisman offers a number of good online resources as well.

5. And for the reader simply looking for good, lively writing about chess, I suggest checking out any of the writings of C.J.S. Purdy, starting with the one referenced above. He is magnificent.