Books for motivated Club Player

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #1


    Hello everyone it's my first post here, and so far I've read lots of helpful replies on other threads so I'm hoping to get one too :D

    I'm a ~1700 player OTB, and until now I've not studied chess and had been stunt by 5min blitz games on

    My tactical abilities are good therefore, but when playing over the board at longer time controls I find myself wasting a lot of time trying to find a plan or even a reasonable objective. My understanding of the game is weak, and my endgame is.. well, how often do you come across those in blitz.

    I joined the chess club at school and want to sincerely improve for tournaments. More than ratings and results I want to learn chess, and enjoy its elegance and fireworks like Tal or Kasparov.

    I'm planning to spend 2-3 hours a day, but I don't know on what. There are so many books and videos available online it's hard to know where to begin.

    Given my playing strength, resources and objective, what do you suggest I do? I've made a list of books that were recommended by lots of people, but I don't know which ones to read and in what order:

    Author Book
    Seirawan & Silman Winning Chess Tactics
    Silman How to reassess your chess/work book
    Nunn Understanding chess move by move
    Silman The Amateurs Mind
    Baburin Winning Pawn Structures
    Alexander Kotov Chess Tactics
    Alexander Kotov Think Like a Grandmaster
    Vukovic Art of Attack in Chess
    Bruce Pandolfini Pandolfini's Endgame Course
    Chernev Logical Chess Move by Move
    Reshevsky The Art of Positional Play
    Nimzowitsch My System
    Alexander Kotov Play Like a Grandmaster
    McDonald The Art of Planning in Chess Move by Move
    McDonald Typical Mistakes
    Heisman Most Common Opening Tactics

    A long list I know but it reflects how seriously I'm taking this :D 
    What do you suggest? Which ones and in what order should I read them? Or are there other books or methods you recommend instead?

    I appreciate anyone who took the time to read this and wants to help. However given how convoluted things already are, I'd appreciate if you comment only knowing your advice is helpful than just an opinion as I'm already very confused. Hope you don't take it the wrong way, I already appreciate your read very much.

    Thanks a lot in advance :)

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #2


    I would recommend:

    The Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games, Burgess, Nunn, Emms.

    You should have at least 1 book of thorough annotations such as this.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #3


    How about studying life and death problems from Go(wei-chi)?  These will improve your reading skills faster than farting around with conventional chess training:  <<<yes they are free here.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #4


    Just head on over to Coach Dan Heisman's web site ( and follow his advice and suggested books to read.  The opinion of the many time awarded "chess coach of the year" is worth a lot more than anything you will get here.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #5


    Ok I will, thanks a lot for the responses :)

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #6


    If you're struggling to come up with a plan in your games i reccomend The Amatuers mind then How To Reassess your chess. After you read those two books then try Art Of Attack.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #8


    I recommend Simple Chess by Micheal Stean. Simple, very well written and a great selection of master games. 

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #9


    The Vukovic book, Art of Attack in chess, is a book you will not regret buying.  The Reshevsky book has a misleading title, it is basically an anotated collection of his games; it is however a good book.    
  • 4 years ago · Quote · #10


    Rather than throw a list of books in your face, contributing to the already "convoluted" list of names... If I were to start over, I'd begin studying / practicing tactics first, then reading Silman's books about positions, then studying book openings.  Silman does a great job explaining imbalances.  Measure your success in the beginning by how well you've controlled the board and produced positional gains, instead of straight wins and losses, because your losses will be many.  Ugh, it's disheartening how many losses I get, but I think it's getting better.

    This means in the beginning phases, you'd be losing tons of games, many times early in the game, because you'd be falling for opening traps, since you haven't studied them first.  Because you'll be starting without an understanding of book moves early on, you're forced to utilize principles you've learned to avoid book traps.  Understanding tactics is great, but opportunities for tactical ideas are less likely if your position sucks.  I chose tactics before openings first, because starting with openings will just overwhelm the starting player like myself, because they often straight up involve memorizing lines, which isn't very stimulating for the beginner.  Silman's books showed me what to look for in every position.  Yet, studying opening books sets me up for a solid position to maximize tactical opportunities.  Understanding Silman before traditional openings is a better approach because, then you'd have a larger context as to what you can do with those openings, once you are playing out of the main lines.  Also, understanding the position is better than memorizing lines since you'll be able to adapt to the organic nature of the game, which was why I think it's better to learn about positioning before opening books.  

    Hey, I'm just a noob in this game, so take this with a grain of salt.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #11


    If you haven't studied chess so far, I would consider reading Capablanca's chess fundamentals. It's old, but the fundamentals haven't changed, and Capablanca thinks very logical. While reading, you will continously think: it's so simple, why haven't I seen it, too? Smile

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #12


    modern books suck.

    general treatsies

    chess fundamentals - capablanca

    modern chess strategy - edward lasker


    a guide to chess openings - barden

    ideas behind openings - fine

    pocket guide to openings - golombek

    modern chess openings - korn

    openings practice theory - sokolsky

    chess opening theory - suetin

    middle game

    judgement + planning in chess- euwe

    art of middle game -keres

    my system - nimzovith

    modern chess tactics -pachman

    art of attack- vukovic


    chess endings-averbach

    guide to chess endings -euwe

    basic chess endings-fine

    pocket guide to endgames- hooper

    games anthologies

    development of chess style-euwe

    selected chess master pieces -gligorich

    masters of chessboard - reti

    individuals games

    my best games 1908-23 - alekhine

    my best games 1924-37 - alekhine

    my best games 1938-45 - alekhine

    tals best games - clarke

    60 memorable - fischer

    capablancas best games -golombek

    early games - keres

    middle years -keres

    later years - keres

    selected games - larsen

    best games - smyslov

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #14


    Thank you very much for your responses.

    I've added Bronstein's book zurich 1953 to my readings and removed or replaced many as suggested. I'm unable to find older books in algebraic notation but it makes sense that they're better, I'll just get used to descriptive notations eventually. But for now I've enough material to get started :)

    My tournament is in early January, not quite 2 months but I'll post how I do :D 
    Thanks again 

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