Chess openings book for beginner-intermediate player


I am looking for a good chess openings book to start out with. I have been playing my whole life but only for fun. The only book I have ever read is boobby fisher teaches chess. I have a 1350 online rating. I have been looking at Fundamental chess openings and the complete e4, but I would like some advice either way. Also while you are here what are some good midgame/endgame books as well?


I'm in no way affiliated with this site but I have the diamond membership which gives you access to the Chess Mentor. There are several Chess Mentor courses which give you a nice introduction to an assortment of openings. After that there are dedicated courses to the most popular ones such as Rudy Lopez, Najdorf, Dragon etc. I learned a lot from those courses and keep going back. All the best to Iceland from icy Helsinki!




How to play against 1.e4 (french.. cough! french!)Wink


Do you know the basic principles of openings? If not, start there - have a look at the Study Guides from this site.  I wouldn't spend a lot of time on specific openings, you're likely to be out of book VERY quickly and so the time is best spent on other topics, specifically tactics.


The four volume set is okay for starters:


John Watson: Mastering Chess Openings

4 volumes.

At this moment you may skip third (English) and fourth (Reti & co).


Even before you start on books about specific openings, it might be worth learning / reviewing your knowledge and understanding of the principles behind the openings. One of the best (imo) books of this type is John Emms' Discovering Chess Openings: Building Opening Skills from Basic Principles, published by Everyman Chess.


Yasser Seirawan has an excellent book, Winning Chess Openings, written for people who want to learn openings at a basic level, without being distracted by a lot of extra details.

Richard Reti's book, Masters of the Chessboard, is about the development of openings through chess history, demonstrated by games from the very best players. He clearly explains the reasoning behind several different openings. This one is not a reference book, so you wouldn't be able to use it to look up, for example, the latest theory in the Winawer variation of the French defense. My copy of the book is written in descriptive notation. I don't know if it is available in algebraic.

If you only have money for one book, buy the Seirawan one.


I think this book is perfect for almost anyboby:


Beginner opening books... Let me see...Oh, here you are:


That position looks like a big smile! Smile


Memorizing strings of opening moves will not really benefit a beginner.

Here are few things to look at:

Blunders and how to avoid them (Angus Dunnington)

Gambit Play (also by Dunnington)

and a book like Zurich 1953 or 500 Master Games of Chess to see how GMs play.


At your level (our level), opennings would be one of the last things you would study. Stick to Tactics, then consider Endgame, Middlegame/Stretegy and last Opennings. Undecided