In this article, we have compiled a list of books that are primarily targeted at strong chess players but can also be enjoyed by those below the 2000 rating mark. These books offer valuable insights, practical advice, and instructive analysis to help you improve your game and take your skills to the next level.
Whether you are seeking guidance on how to study chess on your own, looking to enhance your decision-making abilities, interested in exploring unconventional chess strategies or aiming to sharpen your endgame understanding, this list has something for you. These books cover various aspects of the game, from studying on your own to specific opening variations, middlegame strategies, and endgame techniques.
By investing time in studying these books and implementing the techniques and principles they teach, you can significantly enhance your understanding of the game and improve your performance on the chessboard. So, let’s dive in and discover the chess books that can help you in your journey to becoming an even stronger player.
To become a strong 2000 chess player, you need to work hard and study chess books, openings, and various other techniques. Also, you need to work on your mental health.
In terms of chess, instead of studying everything, do find your major weakness and study it. It will help you to become a 2100 or 2200 rating.
17 Best Chess Books for 2000 Rated Player
Following is the list of books that are mainly targeted at strong chess players. Although below 2000 can also enjoy these books.
How to Study Chess on Your Own by Davorin Kuljesevic
“How to Study Chess on Your Own” by Davorin Kuljasevic is a comprehensive and insightful guide for chess players looking to improve their skills independently. This book offers practical advice and techniques on how to effectively study and play chess without the need for a coach or a structured training program.
Kuljasevic shares his own experiences and provides valuable tips on topics such as setting goals, analyzing games, developing opening repertoire, and enhancing tactical and strategic understanding.
This book is recommended for everyone, and I have added it to many chess book lists on this website. Once you reach a 2000 rating, you have to work very hard to reach to next level, and hence this book is a perfect guide to help you with this.
The author provided every resource in this book, including best chess books, courses, videos, youtube channels, etc.
Boris Gelfand’s Decision Making in Chess Books Series
Boris Gelfand’s “Decision Making in Chess” book series is a highly acclaimed and instructive collection that delves into the thought processes and decision-making techniques of one of the world’s elite chess players.
This series comprises multiple volumes, each focusing on different aspects of decision-making in chess. Following are the names of the book written in this series
- Positional Decision Making in Chess
- Technical Decision Making in Chess
- Decision Making in Major Piece Endings
- Dynamic Decision Making in Chess
These books are quite difficult to understand, and sometimes you need to work with your friend. I recommend you start with Dynamic and Positional Decision Making in chess books.
Beyond Material by Davorin Kuljesevic
“Beyond Material” by Davorin Kuljasevic is a captivating and thought-provoking chess book that challenges the traditional concept of material advantage in the game.
Sometimes we become so much materialistic in games that we try to save our material and end up in getting the passive position. Beyond Material helps to deal with this.
The author covered various chapters and explained how the material is not important and how you can judge the position with the material. He explained beautifully with 1st puzzle in which the Black Sacrifice queen achieves positional crushing advantage.
Endgame Strategy by Mikhail Shereshevsky
Endgame strategy is one of the best classics. This book was published in the Russian language in 1981. (yes, around 40 years back!) The first English edition was published in 1985 by Everyman Chess. This book is an attempt to study and systemize certain basic practical principles of the playing of chess endings.
This book contains an interesting selection of endings along with classic examples. The author aims, in the first instance, to explain the course of the struggle, penetrate into the psychology of the player’s actions and focus readers’ attention.
This book is a valuable resource for chess players looking to improve their endgame understanding, sharpen their calculation skills, and develop a deeper appreciation for the subtleties and complexities of the final phase of a chess game.
Sicilian Warfare by Ilya Smirin
As you are reading this article, find some good chess books on each and every chess topic. This book can be a perfect chess opening book. Ilya explained Sicilian Defense strategies through his various chess games.
His analysis is top-class, and it’s one of the best chess game analysis books ever written so far.
Smirin himself is a well-known grandmaster from Isreal. We have also covered another book King’s Indian Warfare, written by him.
Chess Middlegame Strategies by Ivan Sokolov
I recently purchased part 2 of this book in 2023, and I am already in love with it. This is a book series of 2 parts. Which 1st part is dedicated to Sacrifices and Initiative in chess, and 2nd part is all about opening meets middlegame in chess.
If you are seriously thinking to improve your chess middlegame, this book is for you.
Ivan is a very famous chess coach and chess player. He is a chess coach of GM Alireza Firoujza and also helped many times to Iranian Chess Team.
Anand Files by Michiel Abeln
“The Anand Files” provides an exceptional and insightful exploration of Viswanathan Anand’s triumphant journey to winning three consecutive World Championship chess matches. This meticulously researched book takes readers behind the scenes, offering an intimate look into the inner workings of Team Anand.
From pre-game planning to the development of groundbreaking opening novelties, the strategies employed by Anand and his team are revealed in stunning detail.
This book covers 3 world chess championship matches against Kramnik Vladimir, Boris Gelfand, and Vaselin Topalov.
The level of detail presented is truly remarkable, allowing readers to gain a deep understanding of the challenges faced by top chess players and the immense work conducted by their support teams. The book’s numerous color photographs further enhance the reading experience, bringing the story to life.
This book is recommended for any chess player to understand how the world champion prepares and what is the role of chess.
Jacob Aagaard Grandmaster Preparation Series
The “Grandmaster Preparation” series by Jacob Aagaard is a comprehensive collection of six books that delve into various aspects of chess improvement. Each book focuses on a specific topic, providing valuable insights and practical guidance to enhance a player’s skills.
In “Calculation,” Aagaard explores the art of calculating moves, shifting the reader into a chess professional’s mindset to improve calculation abilities. The book emphasizes the importance of finding simple combinations and developing good calculation techniques rather than solely focusing on long, complex sequences.
“Endgame Play” delves into the critical phase of the game—the endgame. Aagaard covers essential concepts and teaches readers how to apply them in practical game situations, helping players strengthen their endgame skills.
“Positional Play” investigates the art of attack and key positional elements such as squares, weaknesses, and prophylaxis. Through approximately 150 exercises, readers reinforce their understanding of these fundamental concepts, making it a must-read in the series.
“Strategic Play” builds on the ideas introduced in “Positional Play” and explores similar topics. The book encourages players to ask crucial questions about weaknesses, poorly placed pieces, and opponents’ ideas, thereby enhancing their strategic understanding.
“Attack and Defense” focuses on the art of attacking and defending in chess. Aagaard discusses key ideas, including keeping the opponent’s king in vulnerable positions. The book provides valuable insights into defensive strategies and other tactics and emphasizes the importance of remaining vigilant even when in a seemingly advantageous position.
The final book in the series, “Thinking Inside the Box,” consolidates the knowledge gained from the previous five books. Aagaard encourages readers to apply their newfound understanding creatively. By combining the fundamentals with innovative thinking, players can elevate their game to the next level.
Each book in the series offers profound insights and practical exercises, making the “Grandmaster Preparation” series a valuable resource for chess enthusiasts looking to enhance their skills and broaden their understanding of the game.
Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual
Authored by the late Mark Dvoretsky, a legendary chess coach and Grandmaster, this manual is considered a masterpiece when it comes to endgame studies.
With meticulous attention to detail, he breaks down each position, offering strategic principles, tactical ideas, and practical advice.
This book is highly recommended for advanced players who are above 1800 rated. If you are below 1800, this book is maybe not necessary, and it will be a waste of time as you don’t need to learn very hard chess endgames.
How to Reassess Your Chess by International Master Jeremy Silman
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.
Recognizing Your Opponent’s Resources by Mark dvoretsky
The book delves into various aspects of chess strategy, such as piece activity, pawn structures, and positional imbalances, and demonstrates how to exploit or neutralize these elements in practical play.
Through instructive examples and in-depth explanations, Dvoretsky helps players develop their tactical and strategic awareness, enabling them to make more informed decisions based on the opponent’s resources.
Improve Your Chess Calculation by RB Ramesh
RB Ramesh is a very famous chess coach from India. He taught world-class chess players, including R. Praggananandhaa. He also runs a Pro Chess Training and Chess Gurukul. Pro Chess Training is an online chess training website, and chess gurukul is an offline training center in Chennai, India.
This book is all about chess calculation and how to improve it. The author Divided the material into 5 parts, as below.
- Level 1 – 1200-1600
- Level 2 – 1600-2000
- Level 3 – 2000-2400
- Level 4 – 2400-2600
- Level 5 – 2600+
Level 1 is very easy for many readers, but from level 2, it gets difficult.
This book is highly recommended for players ranging from 1600-2400.
100 Endgames You Must Know by Jesus La Da Villa
“100 Endgames You Must Know” by GM Jesus De La Villa is a highly acclaimed chess book published by New in Chess, owned by the Play Magnus Group. Within a short period of time, it has become one of the bestselling chess endgame books.
The book caters to players of all levels, from beginners to masters. It focuses on 100+ carefully selected chess endgames that frequently occur in real games and provides a comprehensive analysis of each position.
One unique aspect of this book is its curated selection of chess puzzles throughout. By thoroughly studying and solving these puzzles, players can expect significant improvement in their chess skills, potentially gaining up to 100 rating points as beginners.
While other endgame books may offer more detailed analyses and positions, “100 Endgames You Must Know” stands out for its practical and effective selection. It covers a wide range of basic endgame positions, making it a comprehensive resource that eliminates the need for additional endgame study.
For those seeking further guidance, Chessable has published a video course based on the book, featuring detailed explanations by IM John. Additionally, the book’s workbook provides puzzles and tests for further study, particularly suitable for players below the 2000 rating level.
The book is widely available for purchase on major websites and offline stores, including Amazon. It is also offered in e-book format on Chessable, which provides an app and website for easy revision. The book is priced at $29.99, with occasional sales and discounts bringing it down to $20-$25.
GM Jesus De La Villa, the author of the book, is a renowned Spanish Grandmaster who achieved his title in 1999. He is also a FIDE Senior Trainer, and his expertise is evident in the meticulous analysis presented in the book.
“100 Endgames You Must Know” is published by New in Chess, a prominent chess publication based in the Netherlands. Known for their extensive collection of chess books and the widely popular New in Chess Magazine, they are recognized for their commitment to providing high-quality resources for chess enthusiasts worldwide.
This book is recommended for 2000+ players only if your endgame is weak compared to other aspects. If your endgame is quite strong and you already know many patterns, you can start Dvoretsky’s endgame manual or Endgame Strategy by Mikhail Shereshevsky.
My 60 memorable games by Bobby Fischer
One of the best chess classic books is written by Former World champion Bobby Fischer himself. In this book, he analyzed his 60 best chess games.
Bobby Fischer’s understanding of chess is seen throughout the book as he explains every aspect of the position.
This book is one of the best chess books in the life and games category.
We have written an article on facts about Bobby Fischer. You can read it by clicking here.
Winning by Nigel Short
Again a game collection book by Nigel Short. Nigel Short is a chess grandmaster from England. He analyzed various games.
This book is also suitable for any chess player but mostly Nigel Short fans.
Nigel’s career peak was in 1993 when he challenged GM Garry Kasparov in the world chess championship match.
King’s Indian Warfare by GM Smirin Ilya
A second book suggestion by this author is on the list. This book is the first part of a series of warfare. In this book, the author analyzed various games played in King’s Indian Defense. KID is one of the most popular replies against 1.d4.
If you are playing KID and want to get an overall understanding of it, this is highly recommended. Smirin’s style of analysis is unique. He explains everything by keeping the analysis short and sweet.
We have already written a few articles on King’s Indian Defense. Check it out by clicking the following links
- 9 Best Books and Courses About King’s Indian Defence
- How to prepare the king’s Indian defense?
- Book Review – Opening Simulator King’s Indian Defense
- Top 9 Chess Players Who Play the King’s Indian Defense
A Matter of Endgame Technique by Jacob Aagaard
This comprehensive hardcover book, spanning nearly 900 pages, provides deep insights into the technical and practical aspects of chess endgames. Divided into six books within one volume, it delves into the underlying patterns and reasons behind common mistakes made in winning endgames.
Unlike many other resources that focus on endgame theory, this book is solely dedicated to the art of technique and devoid of excessive memorization. It aims to equip serious chess players with the necessary skills to convert advantageous positions into victories, preventing the heartbreak of squandering hours of hard work in a matter of minutes.
Recommended for advanced chess players who love to study chess endgame patterns and positions. Jacob covered everything in it.
Alternatives for chess books
Many of you get bored of studying chess books and hence find some alternatives to it. The best alternative to chess books is chess courses. Following are some of the top chess websites from which you get high-quality chess material.
Modern Chess Courses
Modern Chess is a chess course website started by GM Grigor Grigorov and GM Peter Arnaudov. Modern Chess has some of the best Chess authors, including GM Boris Avrukh, GM Ivan Cheparinov, GM Vassily Ivanchuk, GM Boris Gelfand, GM Abhijeet Gupta, etc.
For our readers, we have a special partnership with them where you get a flat 45% off by using the modern chess coupon code NIKHIL45
This code is valid for sitewide purchases without any restriction on order value.
ChessMood website was started by GM Avetik Grigoryan with his Armenian Grandmaster friends. Chessmood has 2 types of memberships, i.e., Essential and Pro. They have created thousands of hours of content for their students.
We have written a detailed review article about chessmood membership and whether you should purchase it or not. Read by clicking the following button.
Who doesn’t know chess.com? Chess.com is the world’s largest chess website, with more than 100 million users. Chess.com has its own membership with various benefits. This membership is recommended to every chess player.
Chess.com membership should be your first chess purchase. If you are 2000 or above, I recommend you buy a Diamond membership as you really need video content and all features like game reviews and insights.
Read our entire chess.com review by clicking the following button
Chessable is a brand that comes under the chess.com umbrella. Chessable is dedicated to high-quality, in-depth chess courses, mostly about chess openings.
They also publish New in Chess books and Quality Chess Books in Move Trainer format.
Chessable is recommended for opening enthusiasts.
Can anyone become a 2000-rated chess player?
No. You need to work very hard to achieve a 2000 rating. 2000 is a very standard chess mark to call yourself an advanced chess player. Less than 5% of people have achieved to cross the 2000 rating mark.
How good is a 2000-rated chess player?
Usually, an established 2000 FIDE-rated chess player is quite strong. He already knows all the basic chess techniques and has the ability to solve complex chess positions. He will never blunder anything quite easily and has the power to beat IMs and GMs.
Somehow he lacks an overall understanding of the game and has some clear weaknesses in either opening, endgame, or middlegame.
Can a 2000-rated player beat a GM?
2000-rated chess players have the ability to defeat chess grandmasters. Although it’s very difficult to beat Grandmaster, even for FMs and IMs
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