Best Chess Books For Improving My Game?
If you are a bit more strapped for cash to buy good chess software, all hope is not lost. There are plenty of other lower cost products that can assist you in going over your games. But, before recommending specific books to you it is important that you have an analysis goal. Below are some pre-determined, and common, goals chess players have with some recommended materials:
Popular Goal No.1 - Analyzing Openings
If you are a new player or new to analyzing, I highly recommend the Starting Out series. These books give you the base ideas for a large array of openings. I recommend picking out 1 for white and 1 for black. Once you invest time in learning those openings and analyzing your games where you use those openings, you will have a basis to build on for learning new openings.I also recommend the Move by Move series. This series goes a bit more in depth on openings than the Starting Out series. So, when you are ready to learn something more in depth, this is a good series to begin with. Other openings books exist; however, stick to these two series to start and grow from there. You can also buy them as needed to fit your budget.
Popular Goal No.2 – Learning Middle Game
Planning When learning about middle games, you’re specifically looking for resources that talk about “strategy” and “planning.” Essentially, when there are no tactics or knockout punches, you must rely on a thinking strategy or plan. Most openings come equipped with their own set of plans; so, your openings books can help get you started. However, if your opening doesn’t go off as planned (pun intended), then you will need to learn what to do.I recommend Jeremy Silman’s Reassess Your Chess and the Reassess Your Chess Workbook. These books give you a fundamental view of the different types of plans you can make in chess. Essentially, every opening ever played can be analyzed using Silman’s thinking method. The workbook helps augment what you learn but it is not required. Silman also offers The Complete Book of Chess Strategy which gives you lots of chess lingo and ideas to work from.Another list of strategy and middle game books I’d recommend are as follows. For beginners, Yasser Seirawan’s Winning Chess Strategies book is good and Jeff Coakley’s Winning Chess Strategy for kids is also good. For experienced and improving players, I recommend My System by Aron Nimzovich (sometimes spelled Nimzowitsch), Ivan Sokolov’s Winning Chess Middlegames, and Ludek Pachman’s Modern Chess Strategy.
Popular Goal No.3 – Endgame Improvement
I personally believe Jeremy Silman’s Complete Endgame Course is a one of the best endgame books ever written for newer players. I also find endgame books published by Edmar Mednis (out of print – try eBay) to be very helpful. For players rated 1500+ who have already read Silman’s Endgame Course, or have had an equivalent of Endgame training, I recommend Fundamental Chess Endings by Lamprecht and Muller (go to Amazon or eBay for that one). Another book that is good is Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual.