Best middlegame book?


Which would you say is the best middlegame book? Shouldn't it be either HTRYC or The Middlegame by Euwe and Kramer?


Please chime in.


Lots of possibilities:

Simple Attacking Plans by Fred Wilson (2012)
Logical Chess: Move by Move by Irving Chernev (1957)
The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played by Irving Chernev (1965)
Chess Endgames for Kids by Karsten Müller (2015)
Seirawan stuff:
50 Essential Chess Lessons by Steve Giddins
Simple Chess by Michael Stean
Amateur's Mind by Jeremy Silman
Chess Secrets: The Giants of Chess Strategy by Neil McDonald
Chess Strategy for Club Players by Herman Grooten

Understanding Chess Middlegames by GM John Nunn

Attacking Chess for Club Players by Herman Grooten
Chess for Hawks
The Chess Attacker’s Handbook

Chess Training for Post-beginners by Yaroslav Srokovski
Chess Strategy: Move by Move by Adam Hunt
How to Reassess Your Chess (4th ed.) by Jeremy Silman
The Art of the Middlegame
Winning Pawn Structures by GM Alexander Baburin (1998)
Understanding Pawn Play in Chess by GM Drazen Marovic (2000)
Dynamic Pawn Play in Chess by GM Drazen Marovic (2001)
Winning Chess Middlegames, An Essential Guide to Pawn Structures by GM Ivan Sokolov (2009)
Pawn Structure Chess by GM Andrew Soltis (2013)
Chess Structures - A Grandmaster Guide by GM Mauricio Flores Rios (2015)
"There is also masses of stuff in the book that made me go 'Oooh!' and 'Aaah!' so I think it will have the same effect on you! In particular, I loved Rios' exposition of White's plan of exerting queenside pressure against Hedgehog systems. I'd seen one of the games he quotes in his chapter but I'd never remotely made any link to a structured way of fighting the Hedgehog structure, so this chapter was a real eye-opener for me ...
In conclusion, warmly recommended. Lots to learn!" - GM Matthew Sadler
The Power of Pawns by GM Jörg Hickl (2016)
"The didactic concept of the book is admirable. Each chapter defines the structures, explains the typical characteristics and shows the plans for both White and Black. The reader participates by assessing positions and invariably receives useful tips for practical play." - FM Harry Schaack
Zurich 1953 by Bronstein
Python Strategy by Tigran Petrosian
Petrosian’s Legacy by Tigran Petrosian (1990)
Petrosian: Move by Move by Thomas Engqvist
"Engqvist gives us a rare treat and a genuine, sympathetic understanding of one of chess' greats who nowadays tends to gets lost in the shuffle!" - Michael Ciamarra (2014)
Grandmaster Chess Strategy by Jürgen Kaufeld & Guido Kern


I would think that the Peter Romanovsky Middlegame Books on Middlegame Planning and Middlegame Combinations that are now combined into one book called Soviet Middlegame Technique are worthy of being considered for this list.


Check this great list:


I like kindaspongey recommendations, his first three are good to start.



marknatm wrote:

... Soviet Middlegame Technique ...


The best middle game book depends on the player’s level. A good one for intermediate players is Pachman’s “Modern Chess Strategy”, or the full three volume version “Complete Chess Strategy”.


Pawn structure chess, Soltis.

robbie_1969 wrote:

Pawn structure chess, Soltis.

Agreed. Personally, I would recommend the Pachman book or books first, but Soltis provides middle game knowledge that is indispensable for improvement. To that I would add Mauricio Flores Rios, "Chess Structures: A Grandmaster Guide". Flores covers some of the same structures as Soltis and some additional ones, and his book lays out the plans in a more clear and organized manner. Soltis and Flores are both exceptionally helpful for club level players.


"... Chess structures: A Grandmaster Guide is not a primer of positional play; for that, try Michael Stean's Simple Chess, Herman Grooten's Chess Strategy for Club Players, or Silman's ... How to Reassess Your Chess. Instead, you might think of Chess Structures as positional chess 'finishing school.' ..." - John Hartmann


my favorite books on the middlegame are 2 books by Peter Romanovsky and the 2 middlegame books by Euwe & Kramer 


There are lots of good books.  When I coached a very successful high school team in the '90's and '00's, I gave each of my players a copy of Silman's How to Reassess Your Chess, when it was the concise and manageable 200 page 1st Edition.  I bought the 4th Ed. and the workbook last year and, while it is an excellent book for me, it would have been too much for my high school kids to digest.

I also photocopied for them the 2nd chapter of Keres' and Kotov's The Art of the Middlegame, which is titled, Strategy and Tactics of Attacks on the King, possibly the 50 best pages of chess instruction ever written, as well as the 6 pages of Part II, chapter 4, of Aaron Nimzowitsch's My System, "Overprotection and Weak Pawns" in which a game is used to demonstrate why you shouldn't leave pieces hanging or underprotected.

Today there are many good books out there on the middlegame and they are generally about one of three things: tactics/combinations, positional strategy, and the best of them to my thinking, are aimed at showing you how to develop a middlegame plan from the opening - something that I surely struggle to do successfully.

Consequently, books on being aggressive and attacking are what I would have my players reading if I was still coaching, in addition to what I noted above and there are two I like a lot:

Fred Wilson, Simple Attacking Plans – four straightforward principles demonstrated with 36 annotated games.

Michael Song and Razvan Preotu, The Chess Attacker’s Handbook, fourteen principles demonstrated by games and with example problems.


Mastering Chess Strategy by John Hellsten is brilliant for Middle Game understanding and Chess Structures - A Grandmaster Guide by GM Mauricio Flores Rios (2015)  ( still reading )is superb and with excellent descriptions. My son's rating elo has increased from  1600 to 1900 just by doing these. 

Can anyone suggest a good book with explanation  for the topic of Art of Exchange

Also , as stated above , the best guide /book  aimed at showing how to develop a middlegame plan from the opening. 


How many pages/annotated games do you get through in a day from your dedicated study of a middlegame book?


Avg study of 2-3 hours /day . 


Per your request, the following book is pretty good on the topic of exchanging....

Your Kingdom for My Horse: When to Exchange in Chess by Andrew Soltis...

There is no "best" middlegame book.  But there are lots of good ones.  Any book that deals primarily with positional concepts, pawn play, planning, strategy, etc., is largely concerned with middlegame play.  The following chess book lists contain many good titles that deal with these topics....


thanks a lot for your kind inputs.