Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors

Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors


Winning Chess Tactics for JuniorsEditor: Lou Hays
126 Pages. Hays Publishing, 1994
(Reprinted 2011)
Get it for under $10 on Amazon!

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While continuing to go through some of my boxes of chess books, I came across another I’d like to discuss today.

A Tactics Book?

In 2022, many chess lovers use their smartphones to play and study, but I’ve never been comfortable with this, and I’m surely not alone.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve embraced technology in chess. I almost never use a chessboard, and do nearly everything chess-related on my computer including playing, solving puzzles … and blogging! But chess-by-phone is a bridge too far for me.


Cheap, Portable Tactics Practice!

If you’re like me and want to practice tactics in book form while on-the-go, portability is a big concern.

I’m holding an older edition of Reinfeld’s 1000 Winning Chess Combinations and Sacrifices overlayed with Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors. WCTJ is only very slightly larger around the edges (less than ¼-inch all the way around!), but much thinner. Both books feature the ideal six-diagrams-per-page.

It’s a great read on the bus or train, or while waiting in an office.

What’s very appealing about this one, and why I’m reviewing it here: it can be purchased very cheaply … as low as $6 on Amazon, including shipping!



1. Discovery
2. Queen Sacrifice
3. Pin
4. Knight Fork
5. Double Attack
6. Attraction
7. Clearance
8. Overloading
9. Diversion
10. Back Rank
11. Mixed Themes


Juniors Only?

The title is a misnomer. We know scholastic tournaments are all the rage, and this was already the case in when WCTJ was first published in 1994. Think how many sales this title generated at “kiddie tournaments”…

The premise is partially that WCTJ was based on the much larger and more difficult Combination Challenge! from 1991 by the same publisher. I remember this book being well-regarded in its time, but with it’s large size and (still!) high price, I don’t see a reason to recommend it over Chess School 1a and friends.

Adult improvers should not feel embarrassed about studying a book with “Juniors” in the title.  Winning Chess Tactics for Juniors is a good tactics set for anyone rated below 1600.