Whose annotated games should a beginner study first?

Whose annotated games should a beginner study first?

  • Steinitz
  • Morphy
  • Capablanca
  • Alekhine
  • Nimzowitsch
  • Fischer
  • Petrosian
  • Karpov
  • Kasparov
  • Other?

Created on September 4, 2011 | 5425 Votes | 105 Comments


  • 5 years ago


    Begineers should read "Pawn Power" by Kmoch

  • 5 years ago



    :O ZOMG, did someone say something "wrong" on the internet??

  • 5 years ago


    Did Zoroastre1o1 just call Nimzowitsch a "great attacking player"?  Surprised

  • 5 years ago


    My first chess book was from Karpov, and thanks to this book I took up the game.MY vote goes for Karpov.

  • 5 years ago


    I guess the main things here are:

    1. They should be masters from early(ish) chess history, not much past Lasker, I would say. Games from the early days of chess, whether positional or tactical, are far, far easier for a beginner to understand.


    2. They should be masters who had a fairly "user-friendly" style, both in the opening and throughout the game. Petrosian, for instance, though a brilliant player, had a very complex style that often involved a great deal of defending and subtle maneuvering from cramped positions. Essentially, Petrosian had one of those "Kids, don't try this at home" type styles. Someone like Fischer, however, would be much better for beginners to try and imitate.  

  • 5 years ago


    I believe that the best annotated games collection to study for beginners that want to begin with sound advices are the collected games of Nimzowitch, who is the great professor explaining the principles of modern, or even hypermodern chess play.


    This great attacking player was also proeminent in working out positionnal play and his precise analytical  mind was able to extract some, in fact few good rules to follow, playing the game and implementing calculations.


    Beginning with contemporary chess players, as we almost all did (to me was Fischer, Larsen, Petrosian, Botwinnick), is not best way because those are already very complex games impossible to comprehend in deep before at least a hint of understanding about general principles.


    Nimzowith is almost unique in chess history for illustrating those few and sound general principles with analysis of example taken within his own practice of the game, at higher level of tournaments as well as in different kind of encouters (simultaneous given, concertation chess, etc.)


    His explanations about 1) centralization, 2) restriction and blokade, 3) pawn-chain, 4) over-protection and prophylaxis, 5) color complexes, like weaknnesses on white or dark squares, and etc. , all those must come as great enlightenment before (almost) virginal minds.


    One newbie beginning with Anand or Carlsen's games today to study would iterate the same mistake we did, those games flashy and highly complex, very difficult to analyse, impossible to reproduce and to derivate proper learning from those.

  • 5 years ago



    Morphy often sacrifices a lot of material to maintain the initiative...

    And I don't think maintaining the initiative is something that the absolute beginner should really concern himself with just yet. 

  • 5 years ago


    Morphy and Greco maybe?

  • 5 years ago


    As a beginner, I have worked my way through Fischer's 60 Memorable Games...but I'm still pretty bad, so maybe I chose the wrong guy! At least it was interesting and entertaining.

  • 5 years ago


    I think Dreco's game and analysis are all classic and should be remembered by beginners.

  • 5 years ago


    The foundation of chess is piece play, and that's all chess was in the romantic era: pieces just flying all over the place. It's very important that you use them effectively and don't accidentally drop one of them off! In this regard it may be more helpful to study older games like those of Morphy and Adolf Andersson. To be honest though, I don't think studying master games is the best method of training for the beginner, and they may instead benefit more from studying isolated puzzle situations and basic technical endgames.

    In any case, contrary to some opinions I think a player can benefit from studying any master game with the right commentary and sense of discovery of the viewer.

    Chessvideoclub -- if Capablanca didn't know how to attack, we would not know of him today. You are using obnoxious generalizations.

  • 5 years ago


    Kasparov should be the last to be considered. He has very complex tactics and a very deep understanding of chess in his books.

  • 5 years ago


    Where is the best place to get said files? The one on here was done by Fritz 5 and 6.


  • 5 years ago


    Emanuel Lasker, for his flexible approach to the game.
  • 5 years ago


    is everyone forgetting bobby fischer teaches chess lol

  • 5 years ago


    Glad to see Morphy winning the vote, as he should be.  I don't even particularly like Morphy; I think he's overrated.  It would have been nice for him to play more than a handful of games against world-class competition.

    However, his games are the clearest & best examples of classical attack, a topic too often overlooked by most players.  Too many people delve too deeply into intricate hypermodern openings, without really getting a clear understanding of how to handle the converse -- space, development, and a classical pawn center.

    By no means is he the best player on the list (in fact, he's probably the worst), but he's the right place for a beginner to start.

  • 5 years ago


    Morphy is nice, but play may be a little dated, capablanca, and or fischers 60 games would've be a good start.
  • 5 years ago


    hey, why there isn't an option with "i don't know"?:D

  • 5 years ago


    Capablanca and tactics ? Hmmm.... When I analyse his games I see positional chess, dry like dust. Most of the time he takes a small advatange to the endgame and wins, because of unbelievable endgame-calculations. He strangle his opponent to death :-)

  • 5 years ago


    This should be a hurt/heal. Who is recommending Nimzowich or Fischer? For a beginner? Really?

Back to Top

Post your reply: