The Most Expensive Chess Books I Own
Highest listed price? $973!

The Most Expensive Chess Books I Own

SamCopeland
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There are a lot of great chess books I can recommend to improve your chess (Here are 25 of my favorites...), but today I felt like answering a more pointless question: "What are the most expensive chess books out there?"

Speaking only of my own books, the most expensive "international chess" book in my collection is "1000 Checkmate Combinations" by Viktor (K)henkin. Originally published as the classic "Tal's Winning Chess Combinations" with Tal listed as co-author, the book is no longer in print (last printing in 2011) and a used "acceptable" copy will be at least $40+ while good conditions run into the hundreds with some runaway algorithmic pricing kicking the cost up as high as $973!

Fortunately, you can get the book cheap on Kindle for only $9.99! I do hear that the Kindle quality is poor (The print quality is stupendous.), but the material is excellent in any quality.

While no one should pay $900+ dollars for this book, you should read it. It's the best checkmate book ever written, and anyone who reads it will become immensely stronger at identifying checkmating patterns and will be sure to find pleasure in the beautiful examples.

While "1000 Checkmate Combinations" is a bit pricey in any condition, and there are some astronomically high listings, it is nowhere near as expensive as the "Chinese chess" syllabus by David Li that I own. A used copy of book three in this series is currently listed at $1,099, and unlike "1000 Checkmate Combinations," you don't have any alternate buying options. If you want to read this book, you'll have to pay up!

David Li's "Chinese Chess Syllabus" books come highly recommended to international chess players looking to learn the Chinese version of the great game. There's very little English-language material on Chinese chess, and David Li's approach specifically targets international chess players, helping them easily pick up this ancient and exciting chess game. While buying book three at over $1,000 is a bit crazy (I certainly didn't pay that much...), book one is much more affordable ($25) and is a great introduction!

What about you? What's the most expensive, rare, or just favored book in your collection?

Listing and Resources:

Here is my video discussing (K?)henkin's and Li's books.

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