All You Need To Know About Chess Books


Table of Contents :

Everything in life requires knowledge. Whether you want to be a software developer, a movie producer, a singer, or just about enter any profession, you need to have an in-depth understanding of the subject matter.

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The situation is no different in the world of professional chess playing or playing chess at all for that matter. You need to start with the best chess books for beginners to learn the concepts and popular strategies in gameplay. Once you are familiarized with a few good games, you need to follow up with the best chess books for intermediate players for more refined strategies and complex gambits. If you are pursuing chess games professionally, even as a side hustle or to earn from a hobby, you need to read the best chess books for advanced players.

Knowledge is power, especially in a strategic game like chess that requires critical thinking. Thus, we have compiled a list of the best chess books that you ought to have in your collection. There are beginner chess books, chess opening books, endgame chess books, and even the best chess tactics books. You can start with the best books to learn chess and move on to chess books for intermediate players, and so on.

The 20 best chess books to read with brief

We have the 20 best chess books that you need to have in your library, regardless of whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced chess player. These books contain some of the best chess tactics, gambits, alternative plays, variations, responses for black and white, and a lot more.

At any point in playing chess, you need to keep refreshing the contents of the best chess books for enhanced gameplay. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the must-have books in your chess collection:

1. Grandmaster vs Amateur

The best chess books available has the best strategies that you can employ during gameplay. But can you imagine the level of expertise that you can exercise when you have the opening books in chess, the books on chess strategy, and endgame chess books all rolled into one with critical analysis from 7 grandmasters??

Grandmaster vs Amateur is the best chess books for beginners, intermediates, and advanced players alike. 7 Grandmasters have analyzed the gameplay of several amateur chess players and the techniques used by advanced, professional chess players. They have explained popular moves, possible gameplays from particular openings, and several strategies that could follow as variations from those moves.

2. Grandmaster Preparation: Strategic Play

One of the best chess books for advanced players and intermediates is Jacob Aagaard’s Strategic play. The author takes an in-depth analysis of the complexities in chess thinking.

These chess books for intermediate players, in particular, offer several exercises that help develop your strategic mind, pattern identification, positional tactics, and calculations. In no time, you will start thinking like a Grandmaster with the best chess tactics books.

3. Grandmaster Preparation: Attack & Defence

Another useful addition of the best chess books to prepare for Grandmaster title is the Attack and defense. It is very useful for chess players at all levels but beginners can benefit from these chess books for intermediate players and advanced players a lot more.

Jacob Aagard explores the concepts of attack strategies against defense strategies and how you need to maintain a balance in order to win the chess games.

4. Excelling at Chess

If Jacob Aagaard himself declares these as the best chess books he has ever written, you can understand the intensity of learning.

In these books, Aagaard studies complex gameplays in descriptive terms so anyone from beginner to advanced players could understand and implement these tactics to refine their skills and improve their gameplay.

5. Secrets of Practical chess

An accomplished chess move analyst and chess player John Nunn have written one of the best beginner chess books which are useful to higher levels of chess players too. The book inscribes in itself the bad habits of chess players and how to overcome them.

This is to say that the concepts in these best chess books for beginners enumerates the bad moves that amateur players play as a habit, or chess players trying to hold on to all their pieces instead of considering useful sacrifices.

These bad habits of hoarding material, playing safe, and so on can only help you so far. The best chess books of John Nunn help identify these habits and correct them.

6. Understanding chess Middlegames

Another gem from the minds of John Nunn is a critical analysis of middle games in chess. This is the segment in gameplay where you can employ several strategies and lead towards your win in the endgame.

In these books on chess strategy, Nunn has discussed several fascinating gambits and possible long-term tactics that you can transpose to. If you want the best chess books for intermediate players or even for beginners, this one should make the list.

7. Nunn’s Chess Endings 1 and 2

Some of the best endgame strategies are explained in yet another installment by John Nunn in these endgame chess books.

In these endgame chess books, you can learn the skills needed to succeed in the endgame, regardless of your ELO score. The conceptual understanding coupled with useful strategies makes this some of the best chess books out there.

8.Secrets of pawn endings

Sometimes chess endings are unpredictably against you, especially when you are left with one or more pawns and your king. No reason to fret though.

In the Secrets of Pawn Endings, Karsten Muller discusses this phenomenon from different perspectives and game angles, thus making it one of the best endgame chess books available.

9. Modern chess: Move by Move

In these best chess books, celebrated chess author Colin Crouch has taken the time to analyze the modern gameplay in 30 famous games between brilliant chess players.

The book has a detailed account of the different chess moves that were played, possible variations, and an analysis of how the specific moves affected the gameplay. It does make for one of the best chess tactics books.

10. Fighting Chess: Move by Move

A tactful option among the best chess books is to find one that not only teaches but tests you. Colin Crouch’s other contribution in Fighting chess demonstrates how easy it is to learn the moves, tactics, and the underlying reasoning behind it.

It is a great addition to your collection if you want to become a good chess player. Not only is it one of the best chess books for beginners but the mental exercises are good for any chess player to refine their gameplay.

11. Dvorestky’s Analytical Manual

If you are an aspiring chess master and like to play the game passionately, you need the best chess books to get you there, and that is where Dvoretsky’s Analytical Manual comes into the picture.

You can learn the innate skills needed to become a grandmaster in chess with the tactical knowledge and strategies that Dvoretsky shares in the best chess books for advanced players.

12. Dvorestky’s Endgame Manual

Dvoretsky has written the manual on chess endgames in the best endgame chess books you can find. These endgame books on chess define important strategies and help you develop strong tactics.

Even though they are the best endgame chess books, they won’t magically help you win if the opponent is more advanced but you can learn useful tactics and aggressive moves that you can implement to win.

13. Tragicomedy in the Endgame: Instructive mistakes of the masters

If you seek an endgame chess book to refine your strategies during the most critical moves, then these are the best chess books for you. In it, Dvoretsky defines the common types of endgames that you encounter and how to use tactical strategies with the minimum material count.

You can learn the importance of critical chess pieces and the significance of exchanging in these endgame chess books.

14. Studies for practical players

Dvoretsky has written several of the best chess books but this venture with Oleg Pervakov is one of the best guides for any chess player. In it, they come together to discuss strategies and chess move compositions.

It is a testament to the brilliance of the two International chess masters and truly beneficial for beginners and intermediates in particular.

15. Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy

How often do you come across chess players who play the traditional gambits in the center with structural strategies in gameplay these days?

Modern chess strategies are complex variations of popular strategies but they involve more risks. The gameplay seems hazardous most of the time but there are underlying reasons for every move that will astound you.

In the best books on chess strategy by John Watson, he discusses how the chess themes and moves have undergone refinement to befit sacrifices, concept planning, etc. They also offer excellent alterations for opening books in chess so you can learn a lot of useful tactics in them.

16. Mastering the chess opening series

John Watson has also introduced the incredible opening books in chess that recount all the best possible strategies that you can use. These chess opening books mostly deal with modern chess tactics and English games but they contain valuable information for beginners to advanced players alike. They are some of the best books on chess openings that you must read.

17. A strategic chess opening repertoire for white

Another gem of the best chess opening books from the brilliant mind of John Watson is The Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White.

These chess opening books contain some of the best chess moves. They are not only popular moves such as the Ruy Lopez, the queen’s gambit, etc. but also variations and advanced opening strategies.

Using these opening books in chess could be very beneficial for beginner players, in particular.

18. Chess strategy in action

Another excellent collection of John Watson’s best chess books is the one where he displays the gameplay of complex strategies in detail. He uses popular game notations of accomplished Grandmasters such as Kramnik, Kasparov, and others to stage games and identify possible outcomes and variations.

It is one of the must-have beginner chess books which are designed for intermediate and advanced players too.

19. Garry Kasparov on Garry Kasparov

While the current best chess player is Magnus Carlsen, do you know who tutored him in chess? Garry Kasparov.

Any chess player worth their salt would love to know what goes on inside the mind of the greatest chess player who ever lived and these books on chess strategy do not disappoint.

In the best chess books you will ever find, Garry Kasparov has discussed some of the best moves he played against some of the famous and skilled chess players. Regardless of whether you are a beginner, or advanced player, or even a grandmaster, these are the best chess tactics books you can find.

20. Carlsen’s Attack on the Throne

Magnus Carlsen, the Norwegian chess player has made the news on several occasions as the best chess player. His strategies and gambits under pressure are worth not only learning but religiously following.

This book is a testament to Magnus Carlsen’s genius and recorded the best games he has played, which is saying something. You can learn a lot of useful tactics by simply studying his methods. That’s what makes them the best chess books out there.


Which are the best chess books?

Garry Kasparov by Garry Kasparov and Carlsen’s Attack on the Throne are the best chess books you can find with incredible strategies that beginners to advanced players all find useful.

Can I use the chess books for intermediate players as a beginner?

Yes, but start with beginners chess books to learn the basic concepts first so the notations and tactics in the best chess books for intermediate players are easier to understand.

Which are the best books to learn chess?

Fighting Chess by Colin Crouch, Secrets of modern chess strategy by John Watson are two of the best books to learn chess for beginners.

Which chess books should I get for grandmaster training?

Garry Kasparov by Garry Kasparov, Carlsen’s Attack on the Throne, and Grandmaster Preparation: Attack & Defence by Jacob Aagaard are some of the best chess books that you can learn from to prepare for the title of Grandmaster.

Which is the best endgame chess book?

Nunn’s Chess endings contain some of the best tactics that you can use thus making it one of the best endgame chess books. The Tragicomedy of Endgame by Mark Dvoretsky is a close second.

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