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Worst Chess Books!


  • 7 weeks ago · Quote · #61

    SilentKnighte5

    SmyslovFan wrote:

    Mastering the Endgame (2 volumes) by Shereshevsky

    I have both of these, but haven't had a chance to read them yet.  Interesting format for studying endings.  Shame I had to pay top $$ for them since they're out of print.

  • 7 weeks ago · Quote · #62

    blueemu

    Once you grasp his terminology, it`s a fine book. I find much of his terminology to be quite useful.

    High-level players tend to think in "chunks" instead of in "I-go-here, he-goes-there" style... and concepts like Duo, Ram, Lever, Chain (and extensions of those concepts such as Head Duo and Liberation Lever) make it easier to "chunk" a position.

    YMMV.

  • 7 weeks ago · Quote · #63

    SilentKnighte5

    I like the Kmoch book as well.  I think most of his terminology was unnecessary, but if I understand and apply that's all that matters.

  • 7 weeks ago · Quote · #64

    andersgen

    OK, one book that I think is rather bad: "Bobby Fischer teaches chess". This book is too elementary even for those who don't know how the pieces move. In the foreword Fischer said something like this: "I hope you will be a better chess player after having read this book. At least, I was!" Hmmm... wasn't this book released the same year Fischer become the world champion? Me too could have been a world champion back then!

  • 7 weeks ago · Quote · #65

    blueemu

    On the other hand, "My 60 Memorable Games" was an absolute classic.

  • 7 weeks ago · Quote · #66

    chessmicky

    SmyslovFan wrote:

    Pawn Power is pretty awful in my opinion. Kmoch commits a common mistake by burdening chess with unnecessary terminology that nobody uses.

    Leukopenia? Give me a break.

    And yet, there's some great stuff in there! It seems unfair, but a pedant like Kmoch can produce a great book despite his own best efforts

  • 7 weeks ago · Quote · #67

    SilentKnighte5

    On a related note, Igor Smirnov's site has to be one of the worst out there.  Looks like a giant infomercial where you're guaranteed to play like a GM by placing tiny classified ads.

  • 7 weeks ago · Quote · #68

    I_Am_Second

    SilentKnighte5 wrote:

    On a related note, Igor Smirnov's site has to be one of the worst out there.  Looks like a giant infomercial where you're guaranteed to play like a GM by placing tiny classified ads.


    While the site may not look like much, the courses do work.  Nothing earth shattering in them, its the way he teaches. 

  • 7 weeks ago · Quote · #69

    fburton

    andersgen wrote:

    OK, one book that I think is rather bad: "Bobby Fischer teaches chess". This book is too elementary even for those who don't know how the pieces move. In the foreword Fischer said something like this: "I hope you will be a better chess player after having read this book. At least, I was!" Hmmm... wasn't this book released the same year Fischer become the world champion? Me too could have been a world champion back then!

    The book is brilliant and covers a wide range of checkmate patterns from back rank mate to... er... back rank mate. Undecided

  • 7 weeks ago · Quote · #70

    cornbeefhashvili

    Are we talking about the worst chess book published or are we talking about the least beneficial chess book for any or specific player?

  • 7 weeks ago · Quote · #71

    SilentKnighte5

    cornbeefhashvili wrote:

    Are we talking about the worst chess book published or are we talking about the least beneficial chess book for any or specific player?

    Yes.

  • 5 weeks ago · Quote · #72

    tomgdrums

    my two contenders for worst book ever are:

     

    1) Why You Lose at Chess by Tim Harding

    Harding's book is one of the least educational books I have ever read on any subject.  The explanations were vapid and incomplete.  And those were the good ones!

     

    2)  Openings for Amateurs by Pete Tamburro

    My displeasure with this book may have more to do with the back cover blurb from the publisher.

    They make a big deal about the Opening Primer section of the book and that was pretty bad.  Some examples had decent explanations but most of them did not.

     

    The "repertoire" in the back is a little better but still not very good at explaining the openings.

     

    Honorable mention for worst booke ever is the vastly overrated snooze fest:  A First Book of Morphy.

    Somehow made Morphy's games boring and uneducational all at once!

  • 5 weeks ago · Quote · #73

    blueemu

    tomgdrums wrote:
    Honorable mention for worst book ever is the vastly overrated snooze fest:  A First Book of Morphy.

    Somehow made Morphy's games boring and uneducational all at once!

    Now THAT sounds like a real achievement.

    ... in a purely negative sense, of course.

  • 30 hours ago · Quote · #74

    ARenko

    I suppose a book that is good for one player may not be right for another. Still, I am a little surprised to see Keres' "Practical Chess Endings" on someone's worst book list.  Personally, I would put it in my top 10 chess books of all time.  It's a very good book for a mid- to stronger-level club player looking to improve his/her theoretical endgame knowledge and understanding to the master level.  Unless someone is planning to be a chess professional, I don't think they would need anything else.

  • 29 hours ago · Quote · #75

    EscherehcsE

    andersgen wrote:

    OK, one book that I think is rather bad: "Bobby Fischer teaches chess". This book is too elementary even for those who don't know how the pieces move. In the foreword Fischer said something like this: "I hope you will be a better chess player after having read this book. At least, I was!" Hmmm... wasn't this book released the same year Fischer become the world champion? Me too could have been a world champion back then!

    If the book had been titled, "Bobby Fischer Teaches Back-Rank Mates", it would be a better book. Laughing

  • 29 hours ago · Quote · #77

    LongIslandMark

    Sorry if this is a repeat, but my joke is: "worst chess books? those I bought but never got around to reading."

  • 29 hours ago · Quote · #78

    SilentKnighte5

  • 28 hours ago · Quote · #79

    EscherehcsE

    I'm guessing the reviewer regretted that he couldn't give it zero stars.

  • 28 hours ago · Quote · #80

    btickler

    andersgen wrote:

    OK, one book that I think is rather bad: "Bobby Fischer teaches chess". This book is too elementary even for those who don't know how the pieces move. In the foreword Fischer said something like this: "I hope you will be a better chess player after having read this book. At least, I was!" Hmmm... wasn't this book released the same year Fischer become the world champion? Me too could have been a world champion back then!

    I read this book when I was 7.  There's no doubt in my mind that this book actually improved my game far more than any other book.  Maybe that's because there's a ton of room for improvement at that age, but maybe not.  

    This visual style is engaging for youngsters in a way that other chess books definitely are not (my father had a Reinfeld book as well, and I hated that book at 7).  More importantly, it teaches beginning players how to mate, and it does so backwards, like learning simple endgames and moving to more complex ones.  Find the mate in one.  Find the mate in two.  Three, four, five...by the end you can easily see thematic mates of half a dozen moves or more.

    It changed me from a 7-year-old that could beat 10-year olds with knight forks and discovered checks to a player that could beat 15-year-olds playing the KID ;).  It teaches you to go for mate, how to recognize the elements of a winning sacrificial combo, etc.  It teaches you to construct/build mates.

    I distinctly remember playing for 3rd place at a tournament that year, and having to figure out OTB how to force a win with K+2R vs. K+R (it had never come up before), and that I would never have figured out how to convert the win without the principles I learned from Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess.

    There's no way this can be considered the "worst" chess book.  For the correct target audience, it's arguably the best book out there.


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