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I'll only say the absolute WORST thing you can do is plug lots of money into multiple books right now. Absolutely no chess knowledge comes by virtue of having a well-stocked bookshelf.
You need two books:
1) Any general book on strategy. I recommend one of the Silman ones, like Reassess Your Chess, but it's only one of many. Silman, Pachman, Euwe & Kramer, Grooten, Nimzowitch...any of these will do. Focus on learning THAT system, even if it's not 100% perfect. Go through it cover-to-cover, preferably a couple times, to make sure the general concepts sink in.
2) Any good annotated games collection. Nunn's Understanding Move by Move, Zurich '53, or one of the GM's greatest games type collections (great ones out there for Alekhine, Tal, others). Then study those games ACTIVELY, using the understanding you have from book #1. Read the GM's notes, compare to what you understand from chess strategy, see where you agree, disagree, come up with other viable plans, or flat-out blunder. Play along on your engine, and see why things work, and why they don't. Often, an amateur "good plan" is a blunder. Learn to spot these and eliminate them from your game as much as possible.
Go through 1 and 2 a few times each, deepening your understanding each time. Do this, and you will have gotten more use from a two-book chess library than most players with 100+ books on their shelves get from their whole library in a lifetime of pseudo-study. If you feel you must add more books, add more annotated collections, or books on tactics/puzzles. Avoid opening books like the plague.
I'm a little hesitant about answering since I don't play at your level. I've been out for quite a while (try 30 years). But I've always had an interest in the game and built up quite a library trying to advance in it. I've looked at a lot of books and was a little surprised at the Zurich 1953 book. I just didn't get that much out of it. I guess I'll dig it out and look at it again. The books that have been impressive to me have been the Silman books. Reassess Chess Workbook and The Amateur's Mind. They address the areas you talk about specifically. Since you've researched recommendations on Amazon, I'm sure you've seen his books listed, so I'm just adding a personal recommendation that either or both of these books are worthwhile.
Then what is the difference between "School for Excellence" series and the "School of Future Champions" series? Is one for like 2100+ and the other for like 1700-1800+? Or are they both for 2100+? Why make the same series twice essentially (money?)?
Dvoretsky's books tend to be collections of articles on different topics, similar to his Instructor column on Chesscafe. Tactical Play: School of Chess Excellence 2 is an updated version of Secrets of Chess Tactics, but his other books tend to include new material even when they are on the same topic. I think that any of Dvoretsky's books could be read with profit by anyone 1700 or above. Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual is probably his most accessible work, and was perhaps intended to compete with Silman's Manual.
Lots of people like Dvoretsky's books, including some very strong players. Personally think overrated as teaching material, because seem deliberately designed to be obscure and complicated. The excercises that would take the russian school boy of legend 15 minutes to work out, for me after 15 hours are not close to being solved. Did quite like the first one "Secrets of Chess Training" though.
I'm no GM, but I like 'The Art of attack in chess' by Vladimir Vukovic.
also 'The art of the middle game' by Paul Keres,
the former is bigger. and has things like the basic checkmating patterns.
I vote for How to Reassess Your Chess by Jeremy Silman
Positional Chess Handbook by Israel Gelfer
I would add that middle game books are few. The best advice is to find games with a lot of annotation between moves 15-30 or so, the 1953 book is good in that regard. I like Baburin's 'winning pawn structures.' It is hard to find and needs a second printing. Chernev's move by move is good but basic. I think the trick is to annotate your own tournament games and play through every branch down to the endgame, particularly in your favorite openings.
What is you favorite thing about Carlsen?
by harryz a few minutes ago
Is there anything like chess or more complicated
by Sangwin a few minutes ago
اخر بازی شاه وپیاده-2جواب
why do russian grandmasters hate carlsen
by superking500 3 minutes ago
Fact: All posts beginning with Fact: continue with a false statement.
by nameno1had 4 minutes ago
12/8/2013 - Boxed In
by SomeoneRandom22 5 minutes ago
Is this end position winning?
by ponz111 6 minutes ago
Do you think chess online is harder than State tournaments?
by harryz 7 minutes ago
What would you play here as white?
by TheGreatOogieBoogie 8 minutes ago
King + 2 Bishops question!
by JMB2010 10 minutes ago
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