Five chess books that have helped me become a Grandmaster

Five chess books that have helped me become a Grandmaster

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I am often asked what chess books really helped me become a much better player. In this blog I am going to share my five most memorable books. Chess books that have helped me on my way to becoming a Grandmaster. 

Every chess player will build up a library over the course of their career, the strange thing is that the majority of players I know will have a number of books in their book case that they have never opened!  The books below, have been read cover to cover:

1) Blunders and Brilliancies


This is one of my favourite all time books. If you want a fun puzzle book to sharpen you up, then this is the book for you. I got much sharper with my tactics by spending twenty minutes a day solving the puzzles from this book in the bath! Basically, I am a bath GM! You can still get this book at a great price online. I found a link here -

2) The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal

My copy of this book is in complete tatters! All the pages are falling out, just because it has been read so many times! There is a reason why Tal is my favourite player of all time, and this book certainly has something to do with that. It seems like a new version of this book has now been made. Get yourself a copy here -

3) My Life in Chess - Gufeld

This is a fun book to read, and that is what we need from chess books - entertainment. Gufeld was certainly a character and that comes across in the book. Make sure you also look out for his 'Mona Lisa' game, a real wonder in the Kings Indian Defence. Get yourself a copy here -

4) The Classical Dutch - Robert Bellin

Surprise, surprise!! I had to include this book, which my dad brought a number of years ago. This was a real eye opener to a under rated opening. A little bit dated now, but this book certainly had a profound effect on my openings! You can still get yourself a copy of the hardcover at a very good price here -

5) Speed Chess Challenge - Kasparov vs Short

Yes Raymond Keene has written some good books. I believe that this is the only book in the world where it shows a diagram after each move! I got this book as a gift in one chess tournament, and it was a lot of fun to read. Very simple (lower level) but I didn't need a board to follow! So a book that you could read on a train - anywhere! A very good read for all aspiring beginners out there to get some basic principles. It is still available to buy - Here (link too long!)

So there you go, a little insight into some of the chess books that had a profound effect on my early life as a chess player.