Just read 'How to win at chess', what now?


Hi everybody!

I just finished Gotham's book 'how to win at chess' and I really (really) liked it. I feel like I learned so lot about chess (I'm a total beginner) and I'm eager to learn more.

So basically my question is: what books would you guys recommend? I found some books, but they are rather boring.. don't get me wrong, they might be good books but they are basically just full of positional notations.. what is like in Gotham's book is the 'narrative' way of teaching.

Best regards,


Are you looking for a book with no chess notation at all, or are you looking for a book with some notation but mostly narrative?
IpswichMatt schreef:
Are you looking for a book with no chess notation at all, or are you looking for a book with some notation but mostly narrative?

The second one. Maybe a book that combines both. Reading should be fun after all wink.png

Some suggestions here...

You might find yourube is also good. Have a look for NM Robert Ramirez, also John Bartholomew.

Check out the recommendations of coach Toth

Agree with that - ChessCoach Andras is one of the best

Good Chess Books for Beginners and Beyond...

For the beginner-novice player I highly recommend the introductory book "Pandolfini's Ultimate Guide To Chess".  For a follow-on, for post-beginners (rated up to about 1400-1500 Elo) I recommend  "The ABC's of Chess" and "Weapons of Chess". All three books are by Bruce Pandolfini. Also targeted to the post-beginner, I recommend "Learn to Play Chess Like a Boss" by Patrick Wolff. Each of the aforementioned books have a much higher than average ratio of narrative versus chess notation. Chess principles are explained well and discussed at length. They will put you on the right path to playing better chess. I cite and comment on these books in the article above.

A caveat regarding book recommendations...

A problem for many lower rated players is that they may act on book recommendations that are made without regard to the skill level of the intended reader. For example, when a lower rated player buys a recommended book on faith that it will be useful, only to discover that the book is too difficult for them, typically because they were not sufficiently prepared for the level at which the material in the book is presented. As an analogy, it is like a student who wants to learn mathematics attempting to read a book on calculus, when they have not yet mastered arithmetic, algebra, etc.

The point is that even though one person (e.g., a higher rated player) may find a particular book useful or appropriate for them at their level, another, less knowledgeable or experienced player may find that same book to be over their head. Just like school subjects, one has to prepare oneself for the level of material which (s)he is about to learn.

For additional commentary relating to this issue, see my note 'A note to readers of my Good Chess Books article regarding my point of view in creating it', in the Comments section following the main body of the article above.


Simple Chess: A great explanation of strategy, making it very easy to understand. You have it on YT as well: