The Best Chess Books Ever Part 2

FM TheDragon2000

The amount of good chess books is massive. If I were to list only the 'good' chess books my list would be extremely long. Instead, I will be adding books which are classics. My previous list was, in my opinion, the 10 best books in each category: positional play, games collection, endgames, puzzles, tactics, beginner and openings. I will follow a similar format below:

Positional Play

  • Chess Training for Post-Beginners. As the title states, it is predominantly for intermediate players, but this does not mean that 2000s would not find at least some of it instructive. The author states that it should be useful up to 2200 level. It explains basic concepts well and in a user-friendly manner.
  • Pawn Power in Chess. Commonly referred to as the one of the best books on pawn structure.
  • Chess Structures - A Grandmaster Guide. A new book published by Quality Chess. I have not been able to buy it (yet) but I definitely think that I will. Judging from the excerpt though, it just the thing which I think chess literature was missing: a clear and simple guide about pawn structures in openings with plans and ideas for both sides followed by examples and puzzles.

Games Collections
This is a massive category due to the huge amount of games collections. It is difficult to pick, but here is my choice:

  • Karolyi's books on Karpov. There is one book on Karpov's endgame play and 2 on his strategic wins. 
  • Fischer's  60 Memorable Games. Many people hype this book and consider it a classic.
  • Instructive Modern Chess Masterpieces. Written by one of the best chess annotators, Stohl, with his shockingly deep analysis, on 50 of the best games ever.

There are plenty of good endgame books:

  • Silman's Endgame Course. This book's format is unique. The endgames are arranged not by type, but instead by rating category. It is certainly interesting, although it does have its downsides. Some endings which occur often are not even covered (off the top of my head, I think that knight endings are skipped and maybe bishop vs knight as well).
  • Karsten Mueller. Anything written by him on the Endgame is worth reading.
  • Annotated Games/Books on the following endgame players: Capablanca, Rubinstein, Ulf Andersson, Karpov, Kramnik and Carlsen.

There are not many puzzle books which can compete with Aagaard's series, although there are some very interesting alternatives:

  • Perfect your Chess. A very difficult set of puzzles used to train Super GM Volokitin.
  • It's Your Move. This book is not very difficult and is lots of fun.

All-important tactics. I do not think that many books are needed to learn the tactical themes and instead time should be spent drilling puzzles, but there are a couple of exceptions which are related to tactics:

  • Dvoretsky's Analytical Manual. This is a very advanced book on calculation.
  • Think like a Grandmaster. I'm not sure where exactly to put this, since it covers a rather large array of topics. Kotov's work is considered a classic by many. He delves into things like candidate moves which are vital to be able to calculate well.
  • 1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners. A nice introductory work on tactics. It fits into the category below.

I cannot think of many beginner books, except the following:

  • The Fundamentals. Capablanca's work was a second chess book for numerous people.
  • 1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners. A nice introductory work on tactics.

So, what do you think? Did I miss out any classics?

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