What positional chess book should i read next? PLEASE HELP


Hello Everyone. I am a 1300 on chess.com but after reading Amateurs Mind and Reassess your chess 4th edition, and SIlmans complete endgame course. All three books by Jeremy Silman. I have beaten two 1400's and a 1500 on chess.com. Please what book should i read next now that i have a very basic understanding of posiiton. Also, what book do i read after those? Please help me


Did you fully absorb the books or did you just read them? I have a feeling most people don't quite get all they can from books.

As a ~1780 correspondence player here I'm getting quite a bit from working though Silman's RYC (which was the first positional book I bought, not long ago).

But as I've read nothing else I can't really recommend anything new (other than mainly focusing on tactics, but I'm sure you've heard that before).

Well ! , now you can try one of these books : 1-chess strategy for club playes ( Groten)........2- mastering chess strategy ( Helsten). ( both new books )...... 3- excelling at positional chess ( Jacob Agard)........ 4- secrets of positional chess...... 5-strategical play ( Mark Dvoretsky) 6-.....art of positional play....) @ Please note that chess is not pure strategical game ! So you must lean toward Tactic training now !.....let's suppose you are now about 1500 in strategical aspect of game ( though this can't be drawn from just 2 on line games) , so logically you must train to reach till at least 1400 in tactical aspect . If your tactical ability be lower , then it's impossible you can carry out your long term strategical plans since as you know Strategy is the knowledge of long term planning . .....this point aside , you must provide some balance between your tactical and strategical strength.......Secondly : though Positional knowledge is some part of Strategical knowledge after all ,but in fact it differs in some manners ( and this point desires a whole article itself ) .So please not mix them throughly. (chess teacher).

Silman's books are good for begginer's but now you need  some good books.Pachman's 3 books "Complete Chess Strategy" are excellent.On these books there is everything a chess player should know.Read them again and again.

I know Pachman's books well , but they are somewhat outdated ! If you have really read Simans's 3 books completely then you know 70% of material in Pachman series. Other 30% is almost totally outdated ! ( chess teacher)

If OP decides to listen to you , he is screwed but  it's his choice.I suggest to him to learn who Pachman was and then compare with Sillman.

p.s. Pachman's books are middle-game books, can't be outdated.

Michael-G ! .....Can you tell me why a middle game book can't be outdated ?! May be you think that Just opening books will be outdated after a time ??! Please read the book " True lies in chess " and you'll find many many misdirection in the old classics!

So, this isn't really the answer you are asking for but you can take it or leave it - it's free!

If I were you I would seriously re-consider wanting to learn more about positional ideas and purchase more positional books.  I think with the Silman books you have really a lot of material to be mastered - you should be doing the excercises he recommends playing a sort of "solitaire" chess and writing down everything you see about the position and using his principals until they are truly mastered - that should take some time.

How does your set of tactics books compare?  Unless you are spending a good portion of your time looking at simple tactics and combinations I suggest you reconsider how much of your study time you want to spend on positional ideas.

I suggest you do this - go back and review your last 5 losses and see where you went wrong.  I'm fairly certain that it was because you dropped loose pieces, fell prey to a simple tactic, etc.  I seriously doubt it was because you were dominated by some sublte positional nuance.

If you aren't familiar with Dan Heisman I suggest you look him up via google and read some of his ideas.  Just for what it is worth, I have played chess off and on for about 15 years now and I am really not much better than you are - my rating is very similar.  However, for much of that time I thought the way to get better was acquiring more and more knowledge from books and read a lot of material on strategy, position, etc. and it does nothing if you are still losing material.  In short - spend some time looking at why you lose to see how you should improve!

I guess if you have read this far, I'll give you something to think about for positional chess books!  Take a look at Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy by Watson and see if it is in line with what you are looking for.

Best of luck on your path to improvement!

Irmall01 , I agree with you completely on tactical thing. But your book recommendation is awful ! ...Watson's book is not an instructive purpose book , in fact it's just a catalog of critiques about Hypermodern chess era .( Chess teacher).

This is a very good read: 

Mastering Positional Chess by Daniel Naroditsky

Don't be put off by the fact that this was written by a 15 year old. It's very compelling and well written!


oh my........Yell

Oh , Mastering positional chess by Naroditsky. Someone I missed to mention. When the book was nominated for the best books in Chesscafe in 2010 , I quickly picked it up. Overall it's not a bad book but 2 things vastly annoyed me :1- very bad font of New in Chess print copy . 2-Still I don't believe the book is written by a 15 years old lonely.and if you do a search on chess forums you will find that many chess fans think that he borrows main part of his ideas from Dvoretsky's book.

Oh micheal the well of ignorance is deeper and drier than whatever container of water you possess Tongue out People who dont want to read the classics, oh well...


The worst is that someone that needs to find the right book to read , won't , because a guy , self-called chess teacher, considers Groten and Helsten(who?) better than Ludek Pachman ,and  probably from Kotov and Keres too(I guess they are outdated too).


If anyone knows where  Pachman's 3 volume series  Complete Chess Strategy can be obtained please let me know.  I am not interested in the abridged 1 volume version which I own.  To OP Pachman's chapter on  rook play alone is worth the price  of the whole book.


I agree with Aidin299 and his thoughts on books and tactical work is a bigger priority. I want to clarify a few of the books though. My feeling is that most players try to learn too many strategical ideas and forget that the goal of strategical ideas is to help lead to the creation of tactical ideas.  Both of the first two books recommeneded by Aidin are excellent (along with Silman's book, his newer edition is great and he finally got it that amateurs cannt really grasp the refined ideas in his early editions. 

1-chess strategy for club playes ( Groten)........2- mastering chess strategy ( Helsten).

I would also add that players should work on typical strategical ideas that occur in their openings. Players under 1500 should focus 100% on the central struggle unless there is a very clear concrete reason to do something else. Avoid blocked central stuctures like the plague. Play a large variety of openings.

I also would say that the pachman books are excellent but the writing style is a bit hard to work with. The newer strategical books are easier to digest and understand but if you ever get a chance to read the pachman books cover to cover you will have a massive base. I really liked gooten's book because it gives a thinking process and the newer helsten book is nice too.

The Dvoretsky and Aagaard books are more difficult and should be used at the earliest of 1800. 

blake78613 wrote:

If anyone knows where  Pachman's 3 volume series  Complete Chess Strategy can be obtained please let me know.  I am not interested in the abridged 1 volume version which I own.  To OP Pachman's chapter on  rook play alone is worth the price  of the whole book.


The first two volumes you can find on Ebay or Amazon fairly easily. The 3rd volume in hardback is very difficult to obtain and expensive if you do see it around. There seems to be some paperback ones on Amazon though.

Micheal and laM kataPhr... ??.....1- I didn't say :" don't read classics " , did I ?! Please read the comments deeply .I bet if you read a chess book as you read these comments , then you won't get anything about chess from them ! .....2- No comparison between Pachman and Renewed authors , just the debate is on how much THEIR book is now suitable for a novice to improve with least possible effort. Right ? .... 3-I myself as a chess coach and owner of a big chess library believe that Nimzovitch's my system is still the Best chess book ever written. .....4- Read Tony H's comment and then you will learn how a real chess fan can think and see the books !

(chess teacher) ?