books

westparkbd8
in order to improve I really need to study chess books. I'm currently studying 'Alexander alekhines best games' and 'how to beat your dad at chess'. however I'm still not improving, am I reading the wrong books? can you recommend some better ones? any help would do.
notmtwain
westparkbd8 wrote:
in order to improve I really need to study chess books. I'm currently studying 'Alexander alekhines best games' and 'how to beat your dad at chess'. however I'm still not improving, am I reading the wrong books? can you recommend some better ones? any help would do.

Alekhine's games may be difficult for you to appreciate but "How to beat your dad at chess" should have a lot of very useful tips.  Perhaps it also is difficult for you to read without setting up a chessboard and following along. You should try that. It's the kind of book that should be very useful to a 700 rated player.

SRMarquardt

winning Chess Strategy for Kids is a great book to learn from. It covers your fundamentals of chess.

RussBell

Good Chess Books for Beginners and Beyond...

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

westparkbd8

many thanks for your replies.

Yafuso

I started off with Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess I could tell I Improved by going through it for sure. Im currently working on Jeremy Silman’s The Amateur’s Mind which I should finish by next week that has also helped me up game. I will be going through Chernev’s Logical Chess Move by Move when it comes in the mail. 

TobPlo

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john_chandler

It's perfectly possible to read a well-recommended, really good chess book and not gain any obvious benefit. The book might be too difficult, too easy, covers something you understand already, or you haven't really studied it properly.
First thing is to decide on what sort of things you feel you're weak at. For example, last year I felt like my middlegames sucked, so I started to concentrate on middlegame books as well as games collection. I get a board out (physical or on the computer) and set up the board to follow along. It's easy to get fatigued and lose concentration, so I try to work on something for about 40 minutes or so, take a break, and then do something different - might be chess-related, might be something else. If a bit of the book is too easy/difficult or uninteresting, I'll find another chapter or position to look at.

Steven-ODonoghue

How to beat your dad at chess is actually a horribly misnamed book. In actual fact it is just a collection of (mostly advanced) checkmate patterns. It's a good book, but don't let the title mislead you, it's not a good book for beginners.

MarkGrubb

Hi @westpark. There are many great reasons to study from books, especially if you enjoy learning about chess. But to see an improvement in your rating you need to master the basics first. Great books can teach you lots about chess and improve your knowledge but will not help you win games if you still hang material. For many beginners a material advantage beats a knowledge advantage. Stick with the books but to see improvements make playing long games and puzzles your priority as this will help develop your board vision and calculation skills. Once you can play consistently without blundering, then your study will start to shine through. This was my experience. My rating has climbed steadily since I got blundering under control, so can benefit from positional and strategic ideas picked up studying.

MarkGrubb

You didnt say how you study. A good book for beginners is Logical Chess by Chernev. It is a collection of GM games selected and annotated to teach basic principles. I play through each game 3 or 4 times. The first few times are for familiarisation, then to properly understand and think about the game and note down some key learning points, then I'll play through all the variations. On the key learning points, these are things I'll then look for and try in my own games. At the moment I'm particularly interested in how GMs provoke or use a positional weakness as a target for a middlegame plan, so when I study I sometimes focus on a specific idea which I find more helpful than general reading. Hope that helps.

bourbonguy1

I’m working through Bobby Fisher Teaches Chess and it is definitely helping me as far as how to look at positions on the board. 

Wildekaart

Assuming you have some knowledge of the game of chess, I'd recommend finding a book on middlegame tactics (where most games are decided), then opening theory (so you don't mess up your openings anymore), then endgame theory (some say it's important but at most levels, the majority of games are decided before the endgame, i.e. when one side is up notable material)

I have Fundamental Chess Openings by Paul van der Sterren. It's got everything you need to know about openings and what their concepts are. Would recommend.

getschmixed
Any recommendations for middle game tactics books are highly welcome 🙏
Penguin
Steven-ODonoghue wrote:

How to beat your dad at chess is actually a horribly misnamed book. In actual fact it is just a collection of (mostly advanced) checkmate patterns. It's a good book, but don't let the title mislead you, it's not a good book for beginners.

+1 good book. Bobby Fischer teaches chess is another similar good book that’s easier

cappy0066

My beginner books were/are, first, Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess: a fun, methodical, accessible primer that focusses on the endgame. This went at a good speed for me and I gained a lot of confidence in working through it. After finishing I could beat any of my siblings!!! (I'm also our mother's favorite. happy.png) I read somewhere that Bobby didn't have anything to do with this gem beyond signing the contract for the publishers to use his name. Next,  The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess.  This second book is written by two time US Champ and International Grandmaster, Patrick Wolff.  It gives a clear, thorough, well thought out intro to all aspects of the game. It's a larger format 400ish page book with many exercises if you want to slog through that. I enjoyed it greatly and learned so much from it. People like to put this series down because of the insulting name, and perhaps justifiably so, but I find it has a lot of decent introductory books.

MarkGrubb

Chess Tactics for Students by Bain is a good beginners tactics book. It is a workbook with roughly 400 tactical puzzles arranged into chapters based on tactical theme. If you are interested in a book for beginners that introduces middlegame positional ideas have a look at Weapons of Chess.