Worst Chess Books!


Re   Practical Chess Endings by Keres.

This was one of the first chess books I purchased many years ago. I had no chess club, anyone with chess experience or a useful Internet. Struggled with it a while but eventually it gathered dust on my shelf.

Years later found Pandolfini's book in a used book store and got a copy of Muller & Lamprecht. These were eye-openers. On the first page of the Pawn chapter is a clear diagram of the Rule of the Square. A few pages later in M&L is a discussion of Key Squares.  Pandolfini called them "critical squares" but I believe most authors call them Key Squares.

Nowhere in Kere's book are Key Squares mentioned, and even as fundamental a concept as the Rule of the Square is missing.  If there, they're certainly hard to find.  On page 10 of my edition are a few feeble paragraphs about "related squares". This is not just an issue of terminology ; the ideas are not developed.

Paul Keres was a great player & one of the finest men to become Grandmaster, but I cannot recommend this book for beginners. Everything in it may be correct, but it is not a clear explanation for someone starting out.


Funky_Hovercraft wrote:

Worst chess book I personally read is Samurai Chess by Raymond Keene, trying to apply some Eastern warrior spirit mentality to chess and just ending up being silly,


The most overrated chess book by far IMO is The Game Of Chess by Tarrasch. It has some useful tips in it but to get lauded as the greatest book on the game ever written is completely laughable.

Like the West applied Western Christianity to chess in chess pieces (King Cross, Bishop Mitre) ? 🤣😂🤣


I’m not wild about Keres’ “Practical Chess Endings”, but it’s not a bad book. I’ve known several strong players who credited it with helping them to improve their endgame technique.

Seirawan books are the worst ever written.

"... Winning Chess Tactics and Winning Chess Strategies ... Chess is a big game, and Seirawan covers a lot of ideas, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Readers will not come away from reading these books and realize an immediate 400-point jump in their rating. However, this accessible and entertaining series of books is an easy way for beginning players to broaden the foundation of their chess knowledge."


Worst book is 1001 chess tactics.

Majority are banal <1000 puzzles the rest are either stupid ( one side is already clearly winning or else there’s multiple solutions) - or just plain wrong.

That one looks good.


It was the Tim Brennan one I was on about.



TakeThisPawn wrote (reacting, I think, to a post that I deleted):

That one looks good. ...

I think he is saying that 1001 Chess Exercises for Club Players by Frank Erwich looks good.


@kindaspongey chesscafe links no longer work. It appears they've hidden all their articles behind a pay wall now. Which is a shame because Dan heisman ones were great.


The above link worked for me just now. Could it be that it takes a computer to access the thing?


Possibly, I'm on mobile. 


Anthea and  Tim are both friends of mine. I’m so proud of them for the work they put into their books!