Are Yasser Seirawan s' Books worth reading?


I like his books, they have helped me improve my chess.

I like his writing style, he writes in a friendly, but not "chummy" or "parenthetical" style that was popularized by the Dummies and Idiot's books, I think. I guess it's because of my science background; I like information presented in a straighforward, dry way, mostly.

Have to love Yaz! Here he is in 1987:


I enjoyed Five Crowns, but by far his best work was Inside Chess. For years, that was my favorite chess magazine. I especially loved the endgame articles by Alexander Baburin.


Just came across this thread today, almost 4 years later than last post. OP has closed his account; however, I enjoy both his books and videos. I still follow the principles he advocates in Winning Chess Openings (even though his views have changed since the book was originally published).

Great books and videos. Here's a link to a more recent post regarding books for beginners:



Deleted since the reply I was replying to has been deleted

I never liked Yasser’s books and no do recommond them either.

Yes, they are good especially his "Winning Chess Strategy" along with Silman.

Books generally are surveys or summaries of various chess subjects ... reading such summaries won’t make you any better. The best you hope for is to provide a framework for future learning from training. Training is different from reading and requires repetitive problem-solving tasks with immediate feedback, correction, and repeat problem-solving. That, fundamentally, would be my main objection to any number of books, including Seirawan’s, but his series is entertaining and easy to read if you don’t put pressure on yourself to try to “solve” every position he presents. His tactics book, for instance, has less than 200 problems I believe. Doing 200 problems will not make you that much better (if at all) even if you are new to the game.


I was one time rated at 627 in Blitz in and now have reached upto 1400 in Rapid & 1200 in Blitz. Most of the learning has been through tactic books/videos & tactics on and a few books here and there. Most of which I have never completed.

I have started today with the series and I am very happy that I decided to start with the first book. which is "Play Winning Chess". Many reviews on Amazon and have called it to be a basic book and should be skipped/read faster. I would respectfully disagree with them. 

This books builds your concepts step by step. I felt like the author has analysed my games and is speaking to me on the challenges I have faced in my games and what should I be careful of when I face such situations.

He teaches four major concepts in the book which are Force, Time, Space and Pawn structures. What I like best about his teaching is that it is in English. He doesn't give variation after variation where a person forgets what actually was supposed to be learnt. He does draw your attention to alternate moves at some points where they are required which are again only 3-4 moves long max (and very few).

What I didn't know or had thought ever about was the concept of Space. His lesson on why controlling square matters and how do you gain space when you are cramped and how it improves your position was a big learning for me.

The way he has simplified Queen + King vs King and Rook + King vs Rook endgame is brilliant. I tried it on the drills on with computer at level 8 and not once was computer able to stalemate me (many time humans under 1200 rating have done that to me).

I would suggest this book to anyone who is rated under 1200. I intend to finish all seven books of the series and would post my comments as I continue to finish them.


Thanks for bumping this. Maybe, he is what I need.


Yasser Seirawan's books are excellent.  They are targeted to the beginner-intermediate player.  I have recommended many of his books in my blog article...

Good Chess Books for Beginners and Beyond...


mercatorproject wrote:

Thanks for bumping this. Maybe, he is what I need.


You're welcome! Please do post your learning experiences as well !

RussBell wrote:

Yasser Seirawan's books are excellent.  They are targeted to the beginner-intermediate player.

Good Chess Books for Beginners and Beyond...


Appreciate your blog and in-depth suggestions you have given on the books about all the aspects of the game!!



Thank you for the kind comment.  You might want to check out my other blog articles for other chess book and resource suggestions...