Top 10 Chess Books Every Chess Player Should Read

Chess Book Every Player Should Read

A chess player’s diet is important. Like every other athlete, a chess player needs to be well-fed on a balanced diet of knowledge to reach the next level. And for this, Chess books are a must-have. Even in the age of Online Chess Coaching, books do not take the back seat.

Various Chess books have been written for decades by many masters of the game, and every book serves a different purpose. There are Chess autobiographies of Grandmasters, Chess books for beginners that introduce you to the game, and Chess books that will teach you different stages of the game (Opening, Mid-game, Endgame).

Chess Books May Be Difficult To Read And Follow For Beginners, As They Have Many Chess Notations.

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But the best way to go about it is to have a Chessboard set up near you when you sit to read and learn the book or have an online board ready on your phone. Seasoned players have the power of visualization, making it easy for them to understand.

Why to Ready Chess Books

  • It improves your Chess knowledge
  • It helps you get better at a specific aspect of the game (calculations, tactics, traps, openings, etc.)
  • Chess books help you answer the question ‘Why to play the move’ in addition to ‘What moves to play.’
  • It takes you through the entire thought process of the player/author of the book.

Want to get started with your first Chess book?

Here Are The Top 10 Chess Books Every Chess Player Should Read

1.Logical Chess: Move By Move By Irving Chernev

Logical Chess is an excellent book recommended by top Grandmasters. It was originally published in 1957 and is still relevant even after 6 decades. It was written by Irving Chernev, a Russian-American Chess author.

Logical Chess Move By Move By Irving Chernev

Irving showcases 33 instructive games that will teach you why each move is played. The book takes you through the process that starts after you’ve learned the basic moves. This gives you a clear idea of how to approach your games and think while you make your moves.

2.My System By Aron Nimzowitsch

My System By Aron Nimzowitsch

Aron Nimzowitsch was one of the greatest players of his age. Many Chess openings and defences are named after him, the most popular ones being the Nimzo-Indian defence and the Nimzowitsch Defence.

My System is a highly influential book that takes you through Chess theories. It was originally written in 1925 and is divided into 3 parts: ‘The Elements’, ‘Positional Play’, and ‘Illustrative Games’. The book can teach you a lot from Nimzowitsch’s career, as it takes you through about 50 of his games.

3.Think Like A Grandmaster By Alexander Kotov

Think Like A Grandmaster By Alexander Kotov

Alexander Kotov was Soviet Grandmaster and Soviet champion and a distinguished Chess writer. His book, think like a Grandmaster takes readers into the minds of Grandmasters and how they think and calculate during the games.

The book gives you solutions as to how and when to analyze, select candidate moves and different aspects that determine the success of a game. The gist of the book can be taken from its apt title, ‘Think like a Grandmaster’.

4.My 60 Memorable Games By Bobby Fischer

If you know Chess, you know Bobby Fischer. Probably one of the greatest players of all time, all of Bobby Fischer’s games are unique and interesting on their own. In his book, Fischer covers his games from 1957 to 1967. Unlike other Chess books, which covers Grandmaster’s wins, Bobby Fischer also covers 9 drawn games, and 3 losses, as they were equally instructive.

My 60 Memorable Games By Bobby Fischer

The book was a success among the Chess community and is often considered the best Chess book ever written. 

5.Grandmaster Preparation: Calculation By Jacob Aagaard

Jacob Aagaard is a Scottish Grandmaster and a Chess author with many books in his name. His book Calculation is one of the many books in his Grandmaster Preparation series. In this book, he shows an effective training plan and how to think differently and efficiently to a Grandmaster’s level.

Grandmaster Preparation Calculation By Jacob Aagaard

It takes you through different thinking strategies like candidate moves, traps, prophylaxis, intermediates, and many more.

6.Secrets Of Practical Chess By John Nunn

Secrets Of Practical Chess By John Nunn

John Nunn is an English Grandmaster and a celebrated Chess writer, publisher, and mathematician. In the book, John Nunn teaches you how players of any standard or playing style can level up their game by making most of their talent.

The topics include how to defend difficult positions, how to study openings when to calculate, how to avoid mistakes, and a lot more!

7.Endgame Manual By Mark Dvoretsky

Endgame Manual By Mark Dvoretsky

Mark Dvoretsky was a Russian International Master and a Chess writer. His book, Endgame Manual, is regarded as one of the most instructive books on Endgame by beginners and professional players.

The book is perfect for players looking to master and sharpen their Endgame tactics. It covers all the different Endgame concepts and teaches you how to defend and convert a winning position to a win.

8.Winning Pawn Structures By Alexander Baburin

Winning Pawn Structures By Alexander Baburin

Alexander Baburin is a Russian-Irish Grandmaster whose book is one of the best references to master Pawn structures. Learning the manoeuvres with Pawns is very tricky, something even computers can’t handle with accuracy.

The book teaches you the different approaches, tactics, and patterns you need to plan to have a solid Pawn structure.

9.Pump Up Your Rating By Axel Smith

If you are taking up Chess on a professional level, it becomes all about numbers, ratings, and titles. Axel Smith, a Swedish Grandmaster, in his book Pump up your Rating, helps you increase your titles and reach for professional ratings.

Pump Up Your Rating By Axel Smith 1

He does this by covering all the important aspects of your game and giving a peek into both the technical and psychological aspects of the game.

 10.My Great Predecessors Vol.1 and 2. By Garry Kasparov

Gary Kasparov is undoubtedly the most well-known name in the Chess World and one of the greatest players to play the game. The series, My Great Predecessors, has 5 parts and covers some of the legends of the game that existed before the Kasparov Era.

My Great Predecessors Vol.1 And 2.By Garry Kasparov

Volume 1 and 2 talks about the earliest champions of the game, including Paul Morphy, Steinitz, Capablanca, Mikhail Tal, Smyslov, and many more.


Chess Books are always a great gateway into the world of Chess and are available to cater to every player’s specific needs. Which is your favourite Chess book?

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