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Best books to improve as amateur player

LawTonz
pfren wrote:
MyNameIsNotBuddy wrote:
p

If it didn't make a list of 220 books and it's supposedly Fischer stuff, somethings off about the book

 

The book was not written by Fischer- the title is a marketing trick, and Bobby took the $$ and approved it without having written a single line of it (me guesses he wasn't good at backrank mates).

According to a quick google search the book was first published in 1966 which was way before his WCC match. If I remember correctly from a book about's Fischer's life money was always an issue in his life. He probably needed the money back then.

Personally, I can say there are better books out there for beginners. The only thing I enjoyed about the book were that in the translation to my language they added all the games from the WCC with annotations. That was an enjoyable read.

Personally, the instructional content was way too one-sided for me. There are better books out there about checkmating patterns.

pfren
LawTonz wrote:
pfren wrote:
MyNameIsNotBuddy wrote:
p

If it didn't make a list of 220 books and it's supposedly Fischer stuff, somethings off about the book

 

The book was not written by Fischer- the title is a marketing trick, and Bobby took the $$ and approved it without having written a single line of it (me guesses he wasn't good at backrank mates).

According to a quick google search the book was first published in 1966 which was way before his WCC match. If I remember correctly from a book about's Fischer's life money was always an issue in his life. He probably needed the money back then.

Personally, I can say there are better books out there for beginners. The only thing I enjoyed about the book were that in the translation to my language they added all the games from the WCC with annotations. That was an enjoyable read.

Personally, the instructional content was way too one-sided for me. There are better books out there about checkmating patterns.

 

The best chess book which starts from lesson one and goes up to almost master level is of course "Chess" by Maizelis, which was published in English as "The Soviet Chess Primer".

Funnily enough the book wasn't included at the latest FIDE Commission list of recommended books, as the only English edition was descriptive and long out of print, and the superb Quality Chess reprint/reauthoring (2014 or 2015, can't recall) was not suggested by some trainer back in 2018, when the list was issued.

RussBell

@pfren -

I didn't claim that "Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess" is the best book for every chess player.  I said it was an instructive first chess book for a beginner.  I stand by that statement.  There are many who agree with that assessment.   

5969 reviews of the book on Amazon.  The overwhelming majority of which are positive...

Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess

ChesswithNickolay

https://www.amazon.ca/Chess-Fundamentals-Jose-Raul-Capablanca/dp/1627554637

This book is very useful, it helped me reach 1500 from 1400, I only wish I got this sooner when I was 1200 or 1300 so I would be able to get to 1400 and 1500 much faster. Pretty good book, and as the author says, these are truly the fundamentals to chess and they will help you get to 1500 and maybe even 1600 and beyond rather fast. Take this advice from the 12 year old who reached 1800 in less than a year after learning chess.

NuclearLightning

https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/40-lessons-for-the-club-player-a-proven-course-in-all-aspects-of-chess_aleksander-kostyev/1660398/item/4178578/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw1ouKBhC5ARIsAHXNMI_bctjwL9bzG_vvjkvhG4FY5njtBIbnuz3J1KA-DCBF5tBXZ0gFwCAaAv-tEALw_wcB#idiq=4178578&edition=3693138

Gump_forest

I Would not reccomend reading books and spending money on them because of 2 reasons

1. there is alot of free content on youtube

2.if u r not experienced chess book reader then u will easily get bored and i doubt u will finish that book or even quit chess saying it is too hard

 

 

watch levy rozman ,chess talk, agadmator and many other youtubers for improving ur chess 

thats how i studied when i was 1000

MyNameIsNotBuddy
Gump_forest wrote:

I Would not reccomend reading books and spending money on them because of 2 reasons

1. there is alot of free content on youtube

2.if u r not experienced chess book reader then u will easily get bored and i doubt u will finish that book or even quit chess saying it is too hard

 

 

watch levy rozman ,chess talk, agadmator and many other youtubers for improving ur chess 

thats how i studied when i was 1000

I'm going to say this- and you can disagree- but I think books may be a more sure way to improvement.

CharlieMcGill

The main advantage of books is structural. Assuming a book is 'good' then the author would have thought long and hard about the progression of learning and building a framework for the learner to work within and then beyond. Technical learning needs structure (books) whereas creative learning doesn't. I would argue that in chess you need to start off with the technical before you can have any hope of being creative.

RussBell

Good Chess Books for Beginners and Beyond...

https://www.chess.com/blog/RussBell/good-chess-books-for-beginners-and-beyond

Nekomancerbc

I own around 50 chess books.  I own most of the books mentioned.  Not one has helped my chess improve.  Not one.  Books are fun to read, but don't expect them to help your chess.  Books might have been useful in the pre-computer age, but today there are plenty of better methods to improve.   Maybe if you enter the moves into a database and use them as drills.

 

The only time I have improved is with computer based programs.  When they are a structured program and checked by engines (many books aren't) they have helped my game.   Convekta makes some great programs for all aspects of the game.

I am an older player so improving is tough but my OTB rating is higher than my chess.com.

pfren
Nekomancerbc wrote:

I own around 50 chess books.  I own most of the books mentioned.  Not one has helped my chess improve.  Not one.  Books are fun to read, but don't expect them to help your chess.  Books might have been useful in the pre-computer age, but today there are plenty of better methods to improve.   Maybe if you enter the moves into a database and use them as drills.

 

The only time I have improved is with computer based programs.  When they are a structured program and checked by engines (many books aren't) they have helped my game.   Convekta makes some great programs for all aspects of the game.

I am an older player so improving is tough but my OTB rating is higher than my chess.com.

 

 

 

I guess that you needed no more than one book for beginners to tell you that there's nothing wrong about taking a free pawn with tempo (the e4 one, several times in the game) or paying attention to the opponent's threats when it's obvious that they are serious (move ten).

The only thing which is bad about the books, is that you do have to read them to show some improvement.

Cupine

@pfren

The FIDE Trainers Commisssion has made a list of 220 recommended books, all suggested by certified FIDE Instructors and Trainers, for players of all levels, 

Mind sharing it? Googling only gets me generic "10 best chess books" lists.

MyNameIsNotBuddy
Nekomancerbc wrote:

I own around 50 chess books.  I own most of the books mentioned.  Not one has helped my chess improve.  Not one.  Books are fun to read, but don't expect them to help your chess.  Books might have been useful in the pre-computer age, but today there are plenty of better methods to improve.   Maybe if you enter the moves into a database and use them as drills.

 

The only time I have improved is with computer based programs.  When they are a structured program and checked by engines (many books aren't) they have helped my game.   Convekta makes some great programs for all aspects of the game.

I am an older player so improving is tough but my OTB rating is higher than my chess.com.

You have to actually study a book to get stuff out of them. You can't skim them then say "it's useless it doesn't work" when you haven't read it enough to understand anything in it. 

Nekomancerbc
pfren wrote:

 

I guess that you needed no more than one book for beginners to tell you that there's nothing wrong about taking a free pawn with tempo (the e4 one, several times in the game) or paying attention to the opponent's threats when it's obvious that they are serious (move ten).

The only thing which is bad about the books, is that you do have to read them to show some improvement.

I definitely have problems at quicker time controls.  I generally avoid them because I get under time pressure pretty easily.  I prefer daily games, because I don't have to worry about blitzing moves out.  I prefer chess where I have time to think about the moves.  Although my daily ratings is still low, my % is much higher (often 90+)

You ASSume that I haven't read them.  I have,  most of them multiple times.  Set up a board and played through them and the variations as well.  

 

Nekomancerbc
MyNameIsNotBuddy wrote:
 

You have to actually study a book to get stuff out of them. You can't skim them then say "it's useless it doesn't work" when you haven't read it enough to understand anything in it. 

You indirectly point out the main problem with books as a learning method for chess.  While you incorrectly believe I just 'skim' a book (I set up the board and play through the moves), the problem is that to really learn something, you need to drill the moves multiple times. 

 

Note that this was pointed out in 2013 chesscafe.com book of the year "Pump up your rating" by Axel Smith.  He refers to people who keep reading books and don't improve as 'zombies'. Its something that he sees quite often in his own chess club.  Its not that they don't study the book, its that the moves need to be drilled over and over for a player to improve.  Sure, you can repeat the same position over and over with a book, but it is FAR too slow.  This is why I say that software is the best way.  The position is set up, and you can quickly drill them over and over.  Chessimo repeats the same position repeatedly until it is learned.  Chessable.com uses a similar method.  This type of learning was also pointed out in 'rapid chess improvement' when the author uses CT-Art.

 

Pre computer, sure books were a good method for learning, but this is obsolete in todays world if you want to keep up to the latest players who are studying Far more material in less time using software.

MyNameIsNotBuddy
Nekomancerbc wrote:
MyNameIsNotBuddy wrote:
 

You have to actually study a book to get stuff out of them. You can't skim them then say "it's useless it doesn't work" when you haven't read it enough to understand anything in it. 

You indirectly point out the main problem with books as a learning method for chess.  While you incorrectly believe I just 'skim' a book (I set up the board and play through the moves), the problem is that to really learn something, you need to drill the moves multiple times. 

 

Note that this was pointed out in 2013 chesscafe.com book of the year "Pump up your rating" by Axel Smith.  He refers to people who keep reading books and don't improve as 'zombies'. Its something that he sees quite often in his own chess club.  Its not that they don't study the book, its that the moves need to be drilled over and over for a player to improve.  Sure, you can repeat the same position over and over with a book, but it is FAR too slow.  This is why I say that software is the best way.  The position is set up, and you can quickly drill them over and over.  Chessimo repeats the same position repeatedly until it is learned.  Chessable.com uses a similar method.  This type of learning was also pointed out in 'rapid chess improvement' when the author uses CT-Art.

 

Pre computer, sure books were a good method for learning, but this is obsolete in todays world if you want to keep up to the latest players who are studying Far more material in less time using software.

Perhaps you learn in a different way than most. I read the concept, see examples, work on applying it in my games, and it usually works. 

Your thing about it being to slow is not true: by reading the first few chapters of a book I got without reviewing things, I boosted my rating up to 1500 (though as you can see I kind is squandered it and now I'm around 1450)

MyNameIsNotBuddy
MyNameIsNotBuddy wrote:
Nekomancerbc wrote:
MyNameIsNotBuddy wrote:
 

You have to actually study a book to get stuff out of them. You can't skim them then say "it's useless it doesn't work" when you haven't read it enough to understand anything in it. 

You indirectly point out the main problem with books as a learning method for chess.  While you incorrectly believe I just 'skim' a book (I set up the board and play through the moves), the problem is that to really learn something, you need to drill the moves multiple times. 

 

Note that this was pointed out in 2013 chesscafe.com book of the year "Pump up your rating" by Axel Smith.  He refers to people who keep reading books and don't improve as 'zombies'. Its something that he sees quite often in his own chess club.  Its not that they don't study the book, its that the moves need to be drilled over and over for a player to improve.  Sure, you can repeat the same position over and over with a book, but it is FAR too slow.  This is why I say that software is the best way.  The position is set up, and you can quickly drill them over and over.  Chessimo repeats the same position repeatedly until it is learned.  Chessable.com uses a similar method.  This type of learning was also pointed out in 'rapid chess improvement' when the author uses CT-Art.

 

Pre computer, sure books were a good method for learning, but this is obsolete in todays world if you want to keep up to the latest players who are studying Far more material in less time using software.

Perhaps you learn in a different way than most. I read the concept, see examples, work on applying it in my games, and it usually works. 

Your thing about it being to slow is not true: by reading the first few chapters of a book I got without reviewing things, I boosted my rating up to 1500 (though as you can see I kind is squandered it and now I'm around 1450)

Boosted my rating from 1200, I mean.

pfren
Cupine wrote:

@pfren

The FIDE Trainers Commisssion has made a list of 220 recommended books, all suggested by certified FIDE Instructors and Trainers, for players of all levels, 

Mind sharing it? Googling only gets me generic "10 best chess books" lists.

Why not? Here is the list. I cannot share the direct link as it requires login.