If there were only 1 chess book you could reccomend what would it be ?

  • #81

    OK, laugh long and loud if you like, but John Bain's "Chess Tactics for Students" is like the multiplication tables or musical scales of chess. All the great books about theory and position play and strategy and pawn structure and Lucena positions in the endgame are just so much dreck if you're missing simple tactical ideas.

    I liked this book so much that I actually cut every problem out and put them on individual notecards with the solution on the back. I then take a bunch of them around with me during a period of a few days and solve them over and over until the solutions just pop out.

    They're not fancy, not advanced, not brain-bustingly difficult. But they're essential positions. And if you can't solve them at a glance, you probably shouldn't be wasting your time with "My System" yet.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • #82

    Well i used to be tactical player only which left me to play with attacks on the king side. That worked until i came to this site. As players quickly adapt. They know how to defend the king side which meant my attack would sooner or later run out of gas.

    Grabbing up material was no problem and still not problem if i want to play that way but i know that sooner or later i would hit a ceiling. I had branch out side ways to improve. I was reminded of this about 2 weeks ago. Getting some strange looks to my improved vision of playing an old opening. Had to trash if for the time being. It serves its purpose as they have to honor the idea that i may play tactical.

  • #83

    From my experience only i tactical book is ever needed. Go buy the best Tactical book regardless the money. If you do not have enough...save up or borrow it. Once it is done move on to other areas in chess that you need to work on.

  • #84
    MSteen wrote:

    OK, laugh long and loud if you like, but John Bain's "Chess Tactics for Students" is like the multiplication tables or musical scales of chess. All the great books about theory and position play and strategy and pawn structure and Lucena positions in the endgame are just so much dreck if you're missing simple tactical ideas.

    I liked this book so much that I actually cut every problem out and put them on individual notecards with the solution on the back. I then take a bunch of them around with me during a period of a few days and solve them over and over until the solutions just pop out.

    They're not fancy, not advanced, not brain-bustingly difficult. But they're essential positions. And if you can't solve them at a glance, you probably shouldn't be wasting your time with "My System" yet.

    Just my 2 cents.


    I agree.  Tactics and basic endgame is more important than positional play books.  I liked Dan Heisman's "Back to Basics: Tactics".  I'm currently working on Silman's endgame book and that seems to be helping my chess. 

  • #85

    Simple chess by Stean.

  • #86
    bronsteinitz wrote:

    Simple chess by Stean.

    +100

    If you can't pick up basic positional ideas from this classic then nothing will help you. Its ok saying 'just study tactics' but what are you going to do in the vast majority of positions where isn't a tactical shot? Most players just blindly push their pawns to 'gain space' without realising they are destroying their own position. Simple Chess teaches you what to look for in relatively quiet postions in language that even beginners can understand, even though the examples are going to be useful for the rest of your chess playing life...

  • #87

    Yes Simple chess is good, it would probably be second just behind Logical Chess, by Chernev for me.

  • #88

    Fischer's 60 memorable games.

    The insight is profound, particularly in a match situation, with explanations and analysis behind the ideas. Contrary to his later paranoia, Bobby included some losses and it was top class chess on a knife edge.

  • #89

    I agree that My 60 Memorable Games is a classic of objective analysis and interesting games. But if you want a good, well annotated collection of Fischer's games, and the games of other great players as well all in one book, get On My Great Predecessors IV by Kasparov. It is perhaps slightly less pithy, but in every other respect it's a better book.

    In fact, I'd recommend any one of the five volumes of KOMGP as an excellent single book to own. Each of them contains fantastic games, deep analysis, and interesting (if not always factually accurate) stories.  

  • #90
    SmyslovFan wrote:

    I agree that My 60 Memorable Games is a classic of objective analysis and interesting games. But if you want a good, well annotated collection of Fischer's games, and the games of other great players as well all in one book, get On My Great Predecessors IV by Kasparov. It is perhaps slightly less pithy, but in every other respect it's a better book.

    In fact, I'd recommend any one of the five volumes of KOMGP as an excellent single book to own. Each of them contains fantastic games, deep analysis, and interesting (if not always factually accurate) stories.  

    My 60 Memorable Games is one of the few chess books left that could think to add to a library that is already too big for its britches.  But its an interesting point you make here, my question is which of the two M60MG or Vol IV of MGP would be of most value to the sub 1600 player?

  • #91
    Try "Chess Made Easy" by Purdy & Koshnitsky, pub. Penguin Books. It is a small and cheap primer that contains excellent advice.
  • #92

    My 60 Memorable Games is one of the few chess books left that could think to add to a library that is already too big for its britches.  But its an interesting point you make here, my question is which of the two M60MG or Vol IV of MGP would be of most value to the sub 1600 player?

    I watched the Q and A with Dan Heisman today who talked about going through master games - which was the question I posted, although someone else posted a similar one. He didn't recommend My 60 Memorable Games for such a rated player, only higher because the analysis/commentary for the book is better for higher rated players. He actually recommended Chernev Logical Chess!!! (And also his new book, plug, plug, which I forget the name of.) He recommended going though master games relatively quickly, as many as possible, maybe 20-40 min max - as I later saw from his website.

  • #93

    Any book by Reinfeld because I Iearnt the moves from one of his beginner books in 1983.

  • #94
    Benedictine wrote:

    My 60 Memorable Games is one of the few chess books left that could think to add to a library that is already too big for its britches.  But its an interesting point you make here, my question is which of the two M60MG or Vol IV of MGP would be of most value to the sub 1600 player?

    I watched the Q and A with Dan Heisman today who talked about going through master games - which was the question I posted, although someone else posted a similar one. He didn't recommend My 60 Memorable Games for such a rated player, only higher because the analysis/commentary for the book is better for higher rated players. He actually recommended Chernev Logical Chess!!! (And also his new book, plug, plug, which I forget the name of.) He recommended going though master games relatively quickly, as many as possible, maybe 20-40 min max - as I later saw from his website.

    Thanks Benedictine, Logical Chess is the first book can recall reading cover to cover (many years ago) and could probably use a second helping as I've had several year plus breaks from the game since "taking it up."

    Reason I asked the question is more to find out which of the two options would be more use to some one in the rating range I mentioned (or maybe a different option all together).  Am a Capablanca fan (one of his collections is by Reinfeld ;) and have read more then once that Fischer's play is similar so beyond me or not will get a book with his games for art's sake. Laughing

  • #95

    The Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games

  • #96

    Chess for Dummies if you are a beginner

  • #97

    This might be a better "only" book for a beginner then Chess for Dummies imo (still find going over some of the test puzzles useful).

  • #98

    Capablanca's chess fundamentals

  • #99
    konhidras wrote:

    Capablanca's chess fundamentals

    Picked up the latest edition several weeks ago, which according to reviews has been severely butchered by De Firmian.  Not knowing any better I still enjoyed it. 

  • #100

    I don't necessarily have one book but I would recommend one author... Bruce Pandolfini.  He has written numerous books on chess basics that I found quite helpful and it was not too high brow to understand.  He was also the chess tutor in the Movie, In search of Bobby Fisher

or Join

Online Now