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Request: Top books for beginners

  • #1

    I have played chess most of my life, but only recently decided to actually learn the game.  As part of my learning, I am looking for key books for beginners (in this case, who know how to move the pieces, some of the common openings, some of the common mistakes and how to captalize on them, etc.).  I would greatly appreciate your help in identifying important and/or useful books for BEGINNERS, specifically. 


    In responding, please list out as many books as you would like, in rank order (i.e., #1 is the most important book, #2 is the second most important book, etc.).  A brief description of why the book is important would be useful, but it is not necessary.  If there are enough responses, I will compile them and provide a summary, rank ordering books based on a combination of frequency mentioned and list placement.  


    Thanks in advance for your help!


  • #2

    Good idea for a topic.

    While it is not a book. I learnt most of the basics and some good end game principles/techniques from Chessmaster: Grandmaster edition (Game) learning modules. Its good value for what I got from it. I'm currently around about 1400 correspondance and 1280-1380 live chess (taken a knock playing 1400+'s only) on this site and still learning from it. Would reccommend it strongly to any beginner.

  • #3

    I really like Better Chess for Average Players by Tim Harding, which is a cheap Dover paperback; dated, but really good.  He understands what it is like to be a struggling adult "class" player better than most grandmasters.  Lev Alburt's Fundamentals of the Game I and II are good, as is Seirawan's intro book on Strategy.

    Don't buy any opening books except the MCO for beginners, called Chess Openings the Easy Way (ed. Nick de Firmian).  Most of the lines run to a dozen moves or so, which is way more than you need until you are a class A player.  If you're not familiar with the MCO, it just gives you lists of all the best and most standard openings, without much explanation.  But that's okay.  I have wasted a lot of money on opening books, and I'm still not a good enough player to justify the expense.  

    The most important thing to spend your time on is tactics.  Do the tactics trainer on this site, play a rated game at your local club once a week, and play online chess here.  That's most of what you need.  


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