10 Best Books About Chess Update 05/2022

Make sure you have your reading glasses on hand for this one!

The number of books about chess is huge. People who love chess might not be able to handle that, though. Every player has his or her favorite book, but how do you know which ones belong on your shelf?

Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess by Bobby Fischer, Stuart Margulies and Don Mosenfelder

When chess players learned how to play from one of the best players of all time, it worked. Bobby Fischer’s book is still one of the best-selling chess books of all time. It doesn’t matter if you already know how to play chess. You should still own this book. Then give it to family and friends who have always wanted to learn how to play the game. When you go to a coffee shop or play chess at your local club, put a copy in your bag. You can give it to a stranger when you meet them. Because the paperback version costs about the price of a fast food meal.

The book talks about everything from how the pieces move to basic checkmates and how to attack your opponent. It also talks about how to win. Getting a game of chess these days isn’t that hard.

How to Reassess Your Chess by Jeremy Silman

People who play chess often don’t understand the concepts of positional chess and making plans in the middle game. This book talks about how to think about middlegame plans and how to look for imbalances in positions when you play chess. IM It’s a good thing that Jeremy Silman (@Silman), a world-class author, has a sense of humor and knows how amateur chess players fail.

There are a lot of articles written by Silman on Chess.com that you can read to get a sense of his writing style. This book is known for being easy to read and for being able to help a wide range of people play (1200 to 2000 strength). It’s also very useful for people who haven’t played for a while. This book has something for everyone.

My System by Aron Nimzowitsch

If you want to learn about chess, you should read Aron Nimzowitsch’s book first. It has always been in the top five best-selling chess books of all time. Grandmasters and trainers have been recommending it since 1925, when it first came out. A lot of important ideas about positional chess are introduced in this book. It was one of the first books to be called a “handbook” for this type of chess (e.g. prophylaxis, pawn chains, blockading passed pawns, utilizing the center, etc.).

Some people think that my System is written like a textbook because it’s meant for people who are strong enough to use it (1500-2200 strength) (some people prefer this method for learning). Despite not being as easy to read as other classics, this book is a must-have for any player who wants to improve.

Zurich International Chess Tournament, 1953 by David Bronstein

David Bronstein’s book is a strong contender for the best chess book of all time. It looks at the Candidates’ Tournament that led up to the 1954 world championship match between Mikhail Botvinnik and Boris Spassky. It’s more than just a snapshot of top-level chess at the time. It’s also a well-written and well-annotated piece of work. It’s because of this that it’s been around for so long.

Writing and annotations by Bronstein are aimed at people who aren’t very good at the game. This book is for people who are between 1200-2000+ strength. This must-have book about chess history is both great and easy to read. Find Alexander Alekhine’s two books, New York 1924 and New York 1927, if you want more books about super-tournaments from the past, like how they played out.

My 60 Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer

This book is one of the first things on the list. Many people put Bobby Fischer on their list of the three best chess players of all time, along with Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen, as well. Having a book with Fischer’s notes on his best games is enough for any fan to own. If you haven’t read the book yet, it lives up to the hype. Fischer is very clear and detailed when he talks about his amazing games. One of the most popular chess books on the market is kind of a guide for other game-collection books (see #8 and #9 on this list!).

Think Like a Grandmaster by Alexander Kotov

If you read the title, Think Like a Grandmaster, you’ll learn about how to think like a chess player. Kotov talks about a lot of important and practical things about chess, like how to think about the game and how to make decisions. When he gives us tools for both tactical and positional growth, he gives us analysis trees, candidate moves, and calculation exercises that can help us grow both (creating and implementing plans, pawn islands, weaknesses, tension, etc.). It’s for people who have a lot of strength (1600-2200+), but it’s still a strong classic.

John Nunn’s Understanding Chess Moves and Irving Chernev’s Logical Chess: Move by Move are both good books to look at if you want to learn more about the same things but in a more simple way.

Silman’s Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner To Master by Jeremy Silman

IM When Jeremy Silman did work on the endgame, he made it to number two on this list of the best. This is the simple idea behind Silman’s well-known endgame book: Only study the games that you need to know for your skill level. When you study complicated endgames that don’t happen in your own games, it can be easy to get sucked in. It’s probably not the best use of your time if you’re a 1300-strength player to look at very complicated rook-and-pawn endgames that are very hard to play.

This is fine if you like ending games, but if you want to improve your game, you should learn some simple and practical endgame moves that will come up in your own games. In Silman’s work, you’ll find the rules, examples, and principles you need to learn what you need to know. This easy-to-read endgame work is for anyone who isn’t already a good player. If you’re already good at chess, Mark Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual and Mikhail Shereshevsky’sEndgame Strategy are good next steps. For fans of former world champion Jose Raul Capablanca, Irving Chernev’s Capablanca’s Best Endings is a good book to check out.

Life and Games of Mikhail Tal by Mikhail Tal

Need to be more aggressive and smart in your game? That’s not the only reason someone should read this book. His personality shines through in this book as you learn about his life and get a taste of Mikhail Tal’s fun and passion. In just his writing style, this book is a favorite. “Here’s one of Tal’s most famous quotes. It’s almost scary.” Taking your opponent into a dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path out is only wide enough for one person.

If you want to learn more about Tal’s personality, attack skills, and the most brutal games you’ll ever see, don’t forget to read this book. If you want to read more books about people who attack, check out Fire on the Board by Alexei Shirov. If you are seeking to improve your attacking abilities, another classic to consider is Vladimir Vukovic’sThe Art of Attack in Chess.

Karpov’s Strategic Wins (two volumes) by Tibor Karolyi

Classic chess books can’t be on a top-10 list if there aren’t any games from a positional player in them. It doesn’t matter if you already read about Fischer’s and Tal’s game collection books. If you want to learn about positional play through game examples and clear analysis, then look no further! In his two-volume work on former world champion Anatoly Karpov, Karolyi goes into great detail, but he also makes it very easy to understand. In this case, the clear writing style goes well with Karpov’s “simple” but dangerous boa constrictor style!

Harry Golombek’s Capablanca’s Hundred Best Games and Karpov’s own work My Best Games are both good places to start if you want to learn more about positional players.

My Great Predecessors (series) by Garry Kasparov

The five-volume set from Garry Kasparov includes games that have been looked at and information about chess history, starting with the first world champion and going all the way back to the present day (Wilhelm Steinitz). Having a chess giant like Kasparov discuss every world champion (and their challengers) while simultaneously giving his perspective on classic games is worth the price of admission.

No matter how much you like or dislike the book written by Kasparov, it doesn’t fail at either end of the spectrum. He delves into details of chess history in ways that make you want to sit back and simply read. Then, when you get to his in-depth analysis of the best games, you have top-notch instruction material to look at. The My Great Predecessorsseries is an easy choice for virtually any top-10 chess books list.

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