Because chess is one of the oldest and most popular games in the world, the game has been written about extensively. And for a good reason – it’s a lot of fun!
But there are literally thousands of chess books out there. So how do you know which ones are the best? Are you looking for chess books for beginners? Books on chess strategy? Never fear! Amphy is here to help.
In this post, we’re looking at the 21 best chess books ever written. We’ll cover everything from beginner-level to master, so regardless of your skill, you’re sure to find a book on this list that piques your interest.
1. Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess by Bobby Fischer
In his book, Bobby Fischer walks readers through the basics of chess strategy. He starts with the most straightforward concepts, like how the different pieces move, and then gradually builds to more complex topics, like opening principles and endgame technique.
2. Logical Chess: Move By Move by Irving Chernev
This book improves the reader’s chess technique by providing clear explanations of tactical motifs and strategic principles. Each chapter covers a specific chess principle, with numerous real-life examples to illustrate the point.
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book improves the reader's chess technique by providing clear explanations of tactical motifs and strategic principles
3. My System by Aron Nimzowitsch
In his book, Aron Nimzowitsch put forth a new approach to chess that differed from the traditional “winner takes all” mentality. Instead, he argued that chess was not simply about capturing the opponent’s king but rather about achieving a superior position on the board.
4. The Amateur’s Mind by Jeremy Silman
In The Amateur’s Mind, author Jeremy Silman offers an insightful and step-by-step guide for improving one’s chess game. Silman begins by examining the common mistakes that amateur players make, such as failing to adequately plan their moves.
5. Beginning Chess by Bruce Pandolfini
This book is the perfect book for chess beginners of all ages. Author Bruce Pandolfini takes the reader through all the basics of the game, from how the pieces move to strategies for winning.
6. Chess Made Simple by Milton Hanauer
Milton Hanauer’s Chess Made Simple is an excellent resource for chess beginners. The book starts with the basics of the game, including how the pieces move and the different rules. It then elaborates more advanced concepts, such as strategy and tactics.
7. The Middlegame in Chess by Reuben Fine
This book is a comprehensive guide to chess strategy written by one of the strongest chess players in the world. Fine covers everything from opening principles to middlegame techniques and provides a detailed analysis of numerous classic games.
8. New Ideas in Chess by Larry Evans
Larry Evans’ book provides an overview of some of the latest trends and developments in chess. He looks at some of the latest openings and variations developed by top players and his personal strategies for defeating them.
9. Winning Pawn Structures by Alexander Baburin
This book provides a clear and thorough overview of the critical concepts behind pawn structure, then offers helpful advice on using these concepts to your advantage in gameplay. By clearly laying out the options available to each player at different stages of the game, Baburin provides readers with a framework for making informed decisions.
10. Attacking Chess by Joshua Waitzkin
Drawing on his experience as an international master, Waitzkin offers insights into the mindset of a competitive player. He explains how to develop strategic thinking skills and identify opportunities for attack.
11. Pandolfini’s Ultimate Guide to Chess by Bruce Pandolfini
In Bruce Pandolfini’s Ultimate Guide to Chess, the renowned chess coach provides readers with everything they need to know to improve their game. Pandolfini covers all the basics and offers expert advice on more advanced topics, such as analyzing chess positions and playing against more vigorous opponents.
12. Discovering Chess Openings by John Emms
Here John Emms provides an overview of the most popular chess openings and offers advice on choosing the right one for your playing style. Within each category, he presents a variety of popular openings and explains the key ideas behind each one.
13. Winning Chess Strategy for Kids by Jeff Coakley
In his book Winning Chess Strategy for Kids, Jeff Coakley provides a concise yet comprehensive introduction to chess. He covers the game’s basic rules and key strategies for success. But, perhaps most importantly, he makes the game accessible and fun for new and young readers.
14. Chess for Fun & Chess for Blood by Edward Lasker
In his book, Edward Lasker covers the basics of chess while offering strategies for both beginners and experienced players. He begins by explaining the different pieces and their movements and then provides tips on developing a winning strategy.
15. Weapons of Chess by Bruce Pandolfini
Pandolfini discusses common opening gambits and traps and provides strategic advice for taking control of the game from the outset. He also discusses more advanced topics such as transposition and pawn structure, making this an excellent resource for chess players of all levels.
16. A Guide to Chess Improvement by Dan Heisman
Dan Heisman’s book is fantastic for chess enthusiasts of all skill levels. Heisman covers a wide range of topics, from the basics of chess strategy to more advanced concepts like planning and visualization.
17. Pandolfini’s Endgame Course by Bruce Pandolfini
This book begins by explaining the basic principles of endgame play, such as pawn structure and king safety. He then proceeds to discuss specific endgame scenarios, such as rook endings and queen endings. In addition, he offers a wealth of advice on such issues as strategic planning and time management.
18. Judging and Planning in Chess by Dr. Max Euwe
Dr. Max Euwe’s book Judging and Planning in Chess is a concise guide to chess strategy. In it, Euwe breaks down the game of chess into its essential elements: the board, the pieces, and the player’s judgment.
19. Endgame Workshop by Bruce Pandolfini
One of the most important things that Pandolfini stresses in the book is the importance of studying endgames. By improving your endgame play, you can better use your pieces and improve your overall game.
20. The Art of Checkmate by Georges Renaud
Renaud, a chess grandmaster, provides readers with step-by-step instructions on achieving checkmate and defending against it. He also offers advice on strategic thinking and tactics, helping readers to improve their game.
21. How to Reassess Your Chess by Jeremy Silman
How to Reassess Your Chess is a book that offers its readers a revolutionary approach to chess improvement. Jeremy Silman provides a step-by-step plan that helps chess players identify and correct their processes.
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