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13 Must Read Chess Books for Beginners

Reading chess books is always interesting. You get a lot of information about chess which you can’t find on the internet. In this article, we will see 13 must-read chess books for beginners. 

We have covered the books in all aspects, i.e., Opening, Middlegame, and Endgame. Few of the books are just for reading. Usually, beginners don’t find a good book to get started. 

To improve their understanding of chess, beginners should read more books about chess middlegames and openings. Opening books will give you a good amount of opening ideas and also traps that you can use in actual games.

Another great resource is buying chess courses from various websites like chess mood or chessable. Lessons are exciting to watch and can help you generate interest in chess. Instead of purchasing chess courses, you can go to youtube and start watching various youtube chess channels. 

13 Must Read Chess Books for Beginners

1- My System by Aron Nimzowitsch

Nimzowitsch’s My system is a book on chess strategy published in 1925. The book is considered one of the most important works on chess ever written. In My System’ Nimzowitsch outlined his theories on chess strategy and tactics, which he called “the blockade.” Nimzowitsch’s ideas on chess have had a profound impact on the development of chess strategy and have influenced many of the world’s greatest chess players.

Buy this book from Amazon

2- How to Study Chess on Your Own

Davorin Kuljasevik’s book “How to study chess on your own” is an excellent resource for chess players who want to improve their game. The book covers many topics, from basic chess principles to more advanced concepts.

One of the most valuable aspects of the book is the section on chess openings. Kuljasevik provides detailed explanations of different openings and recommends which ones to study. He also includes a variety of exercises to help readers improve their understanding of the material.

Overall, “How to study chess on your own” is an excellent book for anyone who wants to improve their chess skills. It is clear, concise, and provides a wealth of helpful information.

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3- The Anand Files

FIDE Master Michiel Abeln writes this book. In this book, he provides insights about Anand’s three world championship matches. These three matches are as follows

  • Anand-Kramnik 2010 World Chess Championship
  • Anand Topalov 2011 World Chess Championship
  • Anand Gelfand 2012 World Chess Championship

Readers will gain helpful insights which we usually don’t find on the internet. Also, Vishy himself gave a few insights and thoughts. Overall this book is suitable for reading. 

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4- My 60 Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer

This book is a compilation of Bobby Fischer’s most memorable chess games. It is an excellent resource for chess players of all levels. Fischer himself annotates the games, and he provides insights into his thought process during each play. This book is a must-have for any serious chess player.

Fischer was known for his exceptional memory, and he could recall games he had played decades earlier with great accuracy. This book is a testament to his memory, as well as to his analytical skills. Fischer’s annotations are clear and concise, and his insights are profound. He was a master of the game, and his advice is still relevant today.

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5- Invisible Chess Moves by Yochanan Afek

Invisible chess moves by Yochanan Afek is one of the most instructive and entertaining chess books I have read. The book is about things that happen off the board that can significantly impact the game. 

Yochanan Afek is a Grandmaster and International Master from Israel, and he has a lot of experience in teaching chess and competing at a high level. In this book, he shares some of the most important things that happen off the board and how they can impact the game. 

One of the things I liked about this book is that it is not only about the big things that happen off the board but also the small things. For example, Afek talks about how important it is to have a good attitude and how that can impact your chess games. He also talks about how to deal with pre-game nerves and use psychology to your advantage. 

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6- 100 Endgames You Must Know

100 Endgames You must know is undoubtedly the most excellent book to learn the endgame fundamentals. This book is written by Jesus De la Villa, a Grandmaster, and a very strong chess player. 

In his book, he explained the basic concepts of endgame and selected 100+ endgame positions which we often see in actual games. This book is also a winner of the best chess book award and one of the most selling endgame books. 

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7- 1001 Chess Exercise Series

These are the collection of 3 books, namely 1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners, 1001 Chess Exercises for Club Players, and 1001 Chess Exercises for Advance Club Players. These are no doubt the best books to improve your chess tactics. In this book, the author explains every concept in detail and in an easy way. 

These books are recommended for players with ranging from 800-1400 ratings. Every chapter starts with easy exercise and gradually increases the difficulty level.

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8- Python Strategy

This book is written by Tigran Petrosian and published by Quality Chess. Tigran is known for his attacking style. In this book, he explained and analyzed his games in detail. This is what Garry Kasparov said about his book – “My games with the 9th World Champion broadened my understanding of chess. Had it not been for these two defeats, I would possibly not have reached the top in chess.”

This book is recommended for higher beginner players who understand basic chess concepts. Although, this book can be studied at any level, whether by beginners or grandmasters. 

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9- Winning chess series by Yassir Seirawan

Winning Chess Series is no doubt a gem for a beginner chess player. GM Yassir Seirawan, born in Syria, wrote this series in 7 parts. All the books are perfect for people who want to improve their chess understanding without a chess coach. The winning chess series won various awards and is the best chess collection in history. 

Some of the concepts are for absolute beginners, but this book is helpful for the rating range of 600-1600. Following are the seven books in this series

  • Play Winning Chess 
  • Winning Chess Openings
  • Winning Chess Strategies
  • Winning Chess Endings
  • Winning Chess Tactics
  • Winning Chess Combinations
  • Winning Chess Brilliancies

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10- Endgame strategy by Mikhail Shereshvesky

In the book Endgame Strategy, Mikhail Shereshevsky provides an excellent guide to chess endgames. Shereshevsky is a grandmaster and former world champion, so he knows a thing or two about chess! The book consists of various topics, which include multiple principles. Shereshevsky does a great job of explaining the different concepts in each section and provides plenty of examples to illustrate the ideas.

One of the things I like most about this book is that it is suitable for players of all levels. If you are a beginner, you can start with the basics and work your way up. If you are already familiar with endgame strategy, you can skip to the sections that interest you most. No matter your skill level, you are sure to learn something from this book!

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11- Zurich International Chess Tournament 1953

Again a book filled with a lot of games. Zurich International Chess Tournament, played in 1953, consisted of the 14 strongest chess players. This tournament determines a challenger for World Chess Championship against Botvinnik Mikhail. Author David Bronstein explained each game in a lot of detail. 

This book is suitable for everyone to understand about old chess era. This book cannot be called a chess improvement book, but you will learn many things from this. This also comes with a low price of less than $15. 

You will also learn how to analyze chess games and how people were doing analysis and study during the mid-1950s.

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12- Silmon’s Complete Endgame Course

Silmon’s complete endgame course by Jeremy Silmon is one of the best chess books available. It covers all aspects of chess endgames, from the most basic principles to the most advanced techniques.

The book is divided into four sections: Basic Endgames, Intermediate Endgames, Advanced Endgames, and Endgame Strategy. Each section contains information to help chess players improve their endgame play. The book also includes several exercises to test the reader’s knowledge.

This book is an excellent resource for any chess player who wants to improve their endgame play. It covers all the essential concepts and provides a wealth of information on more advanced techniques. The exercises are also a great way to test and reinforce the reader’s understanding of the material.

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13- New in chess magazines

This is the best-selling chess magazine in the chess world. New in chess, owned by Play Magnus Group, publishes eight magazines annually for an $89 subscription cost. This is by far the best material you will get to understand the latest chess trends. I would highly recommend everyone to try it atleast one time. 

Usually, this magazine consists of annotated games, interviews, puzzles, and more chess-related content. A must-have magazine for chess enthusiasts! 

Buy these magazines from the New in Chess website


Ultimately, I would say there is nothing better than studying chess books. I would highly recommend you purchase one book at a time. If you are still confused, start with New in Chess Magazines or American Chess Magazines. As I previously said, it is very important to generate interest in chess. Once you generate interest, you will find every book is interesting!  


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