Best Chess Books for 1200 Rated Players

16 Best Chess Books for 1200 Rated Players

Once you reach a 1200 rating, you are considered an intermediate-level player or club-level player. In this article, we will see the best chess books for 1200 rated players.

To improve the rating from 1200, the most important thing is to do chess tactics and solve chess puzzles. You can choose any chess book and just start solving chess tactics.

Also, if you are target-oriented and want to become a professional chess player, start preparing for chess openings. Chess strategies and chess calculation skills are going to help you reach a 1500-1600 rating.

As always, don’t buy multiple books and courses at once. First, buy 1-2 books from the list, and after studying it, buy another book.

All of the books mentioned below are recommended for 1000-1400 rated players. Some are might harder, but worth it to study.

Best Chess Books for 1200 Rated Players

Following is the list of best chess books. In this article, some of the books are recommended to purchase from chessable as I have seen my growth by using chessable rather than hard books.

Also, I haven’t suggested any opening books as most chess players study from opening courses and on prepare chessbase software. We have written some in-depth reviews regarding chess course websites. You can read by clicking the links below.

1001 Chess Tactics for Club Players by Frank Erwich

As I said above, you should focus on tactical skills and calculation techniques. This is a perfect chess book for you. Author Frank Erwich added various chess concepts, such as how to reach the next level of positional play, identifying weak spots in the position of your opponent, recognizing patterns of combinations, visualizing tricks, and much more.

If you start solving this book on a daily basis, it’s gonna take you 80-150 days to solve it, considering how much practice you do. I recommend solving 5-7 puzzles. It helps a lot.

How to Study Chess on Your Own by Davorin Kuljasevic

I recommend this book in almost every article as it provides knowledge of the highest values for those who don’t have a chess coach. Many of you don’t want to spend on chess coaching, and it’s absolutely fine as long as you understand how to study on your own.

In this book, GM Davorin explained various study techniques and ways in which you can implement these strategies and make progress.

We have written a full review of this book, which you can read by clicking here.

1001 Deadly Checkmates

A real chess lover is always keen to learn chess and solve checkmate puzzles. This book is a gem for this rating category as you will understand 1001 different checkmate and hundreds of checkmate patterns.

Most of the puzzles are for beginners, but you will find various interesting positions in the last few chapters.

This book is relatively old. If you want to check another book on mating patterns, you can check The Checkmate Patterns Manual book. Following is the video where Magnus is solving the final test from the Checkmate Patterns Manual chess book.

Chess Brilliancy

This book is one of the best chess books to see interesting chess games. As the name and title suggests, this book is the best book for all about chess brilliancies. In this book, you will find 250 chess games that won brilliant prizes in many chess tournaments.

I have personally seen and played all the games from this book when I was young (In 2013-14)

You will not see a direct improvement after studying this book, but you will understand various attacking and positional chess-playing patterns, which will help you in the long term.

Also, studying famous chess games helps you to understand more about the player and the game.

Chess Fundamentals by Jose Capablanca

Chess Fundamentals is a timeless classic in the world of chess literature. In this book, Capablanca, one of the greatest chess players in history, imparts his profound insights into the fundamentals and art of chess strategy and tactics.

Originally published in 1921, the book remains relevant and beneficial for players.

This book is available for free on chessable, and you must check this book out as this is one of the best chess books I have ever seen for FREE.

The following chapters and topics are covered in this book

  • Basic endgames and checkmates
  • The value of the pieces in different situations
  • Pawn structure
  • Middlegame strategy
  • The importance of the initiative and how to take it
  • Rook and pawn endgames

Chessable is the world’s best chess course platform, which has move trainer technology. They offer various high-quality chess courses. We have written a full Chessable review, which you can read by clicking here.

Bobby Fischer’s Outrageous Chess Moves by Bruce Pandolfini

A very interesting chess book published in 1985. In this book, a very famous author, Bruce Pandolfini, analyzes the most brilliant moves made by GM Bobby Fischer.

This book is still one of the best chess books ever about Bobby Fischer.

The pricing of this book is also very competitive ($12 for paperback)

This book is perfect for 1100-1500 chess player who doesn’t know much about Robert James Fischer, aka Bobby Fischer.

World Chess Champion Strategy Training for Club Players

A high-level chess training book! Author Thomas Willemze wrote a complete book to improve the strategic play of a player. You will learn various techniques applied by world chess champions to win the games.

This book is the latest, which includes some games and puzzles of recent world chess champion Ding Liren, who is quite an inactive player now.

We have published a few fact articles about World Chess Champions, which you can read by clicking the following links

Attacking Chess for Club Players by Herman Grooten

This book is a gem for club-level players. The book can be a little high-level for 1200-rated players, but definitely worth it. After studying this book, you will understand how to attack and how to win a winning position.

The book focuses on developing critical skills such as visualization, structuring, anticipation, calculation, and memorization. It goes beyond mere thematic moves and delves into the mental aspects of chess, providing players with the tools they need to spot opportunities, exploit weaknesses, and strike at precisely the right moments.

The author offers a structured and comprehensive course in attacking techniques by sharing practical tips and illustrative examples and using instructive games and exercises.

Herman wrote a few amazing books apart from this one. You can check out all the other books here by clicking this link, which directs you to Amazon.

How to Reassess Your Chess: Chess Mastery Through Imbalances

This fourth edition of the book, completely rewritten and featuring new examples, takes Silman’s concept of imbalances to a new level.

It covers imbalance basics and ensures mastery of all types of imbalances, providing readers with a solid positional foundation at the master level.

In addition to positional instruction, the book includes a section on practical chess psychology titled “Psychological Meanderings.” This section offers insights into psychological processes that hinder players of all levels and provides practical advice and techniques to overcome these challenges.

Jeremy Silman is a very popular chess author and wrote a world-famous chess book, Silman’s Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner to Master.

The Mammoth Book of Chess

Comprehensive and straightforward, this enlarged edition of Graham Burgess’s best-selling annotated book is a valuable reference guide. Contains dozens of test positions in all the main chess opening positions for players of all abilities.

This updated edition includes more sections and includes 125 best chess games played in the world thoroughly analyzed by top chess authors such as John Nunn.

This book is perfect for players ranging from 800-1600. Also suitable for hobby chess players. A perfect book to study with coffee, a chess board, and a nice view.

‘Winning Chess Tactics by Yasser Seirawan

Winning chess tactics is perfect for players wishing to increase tactical skills. It includes many exercises which assist the player to quickly calculate and analyze the possible outcome. Through consideration and analysis, the player will learn what is the most effective move in the most difficult scenarios.

Seirawan is a famous American chess player with numerous titles. He has given practical advice about improving your game and winning a tactical game for a good price.

This book focuses on chess concepts rather than chess exercises, and hence if you don’t have a chess coach, this book is for you.

The winning chess series contains a total of seven books, and all the books are suitable for beginner and intermediate chess players.

My System by Aron Nimzowitsch

This is the only time when I suggest doing it with a chess coach. My system is very much a high-level chess book that will help you understand various concepts.

This book is in the list of best books on many websites, including our website.

Aron wrote this book decades ago, and still, it’s one of the best chess books you will see in the market.

‘Chess Praxis’ by Aron Nimzowitsch

‘Chess Praxis’ is a classic book on chess strategy used in chess that offers a detailed look at how to use the positioning of your pieces to get an edge. Reading the outlined position and strategy in this book allows a player to enhance his or her positional skills and become an effective player. This book is designed to improve game-related skills.

Chess Praxis is also known as chess classics. This book comes under the category of must-know chess books.

Silman’s Complete Endgame Course by Jeremy Silman

Silman’s book Complete Endgame course offers comprehensive information about the most popular endgame scenarios. He divided this book into multiple sections according to rating. So, for those players reading this article, you should study endgames from 1000-1400 section as it will be most relevant to you.

Jeremy Silman is a very famous chess author. All his books are highly recommended for the 1000-1800 rating range.

100 Endgames You Must Know by Jesus De La Villa

This book is no doubt the greatest chess endgame book ever written. Jesus is a very famous author of many books and 2 legendary books i.e., 100 Endgames You Must Know and 100 Endgames You Must Know workbook.

This chess book provides you with the most common positions, which typically arrive in the endgames. The book covers all endgame types, from Pawn Endgames to Queen Endgame.

I have personally purchased this book from Chessable as it costs less than Amazon and is also quite interesting to solve on chessable rather than on the board. I highly recommend you purchase it on Chessable. This link directs you to chessable

What sets this book apart is its clear and concise explanations, making complex endgame concepts accessible to players of varying skill levels. Each position is accompanied by instructive commentary and strategic insights, helping readers understand the underlying principles and techniques.

This book is a perfect comprehensive guide for all chess players. Even I have studied this great book for more than 2-3 times.

Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess by Bobby Fischer

For $9, you are getting a chess book written by World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer. Bobby Fischer teaches chess is all about learning chess and complex strategies. It’s a complete book you will ever find in the market at this price.

This chess book is perfect for players ranging from 800-1600 as it mainly targets beginners and intermediate chess players.


Is 1200 a high chess rating?

A chess rating of 1200 is considered to be a beginner to intermediate level rating. Chess ratings, typically measured using the Elo rating system, start at 1000 for new to intermediate players and can go up to 2800 or higher for world-class Grandmasters.

A rating of 1200 indicates that you have some basic understanding of chess principles and can play at a reasonable level but still have room for improvement.

With regular practice, you can improve it to a 2000 rating. Once you reach to 2000 rating, It gets difficult to increase every 50-100 rating points.

Is 1200 rapid good?

1200 is not a very good rating. The rating is quite overrated than the FIDE rating. If you are comparing the FIDE rating with the rating, the difference will be around 300-500 points at the 1200 level.

If you need a 1200 FIDE Rating, your rating should be between 1650-1800.

How long does it take to reach 1200 in chess?

Reaching 1200 in chess is quite an easy task. You just have to improve your tactical vision, study annotated games, and do a little work on endgame strategy.

If you are able to hire a chess coach, you can do it. It will help you to make a very fast progress.

Even if you have very little time to study on an actual chess board, you can study chess by reading books. There are many great books available in the market!

Apart from that ChessMood Membership for $89 a month will be a great choice for anyone below 1800 if you want to make serious chess progress.

How strong is 1200 USCF?

Thank you for reading this article. Read more of our articles related to chess books.

I am sure that you will enjoy this list. If you think that we have missed anything, you can send us an email and we will be happy to add.


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