In this article, we will see the 10 best chess books of all time. Studying chess books always plays an important role in your chess career. In your career path, you should not skip certain books. If you are a hobby player or just want to start chess seriously then you must read these books. I haven’t covered any opening book in this list because opening theory changes a lot by every year. You have to consistently update your opening repertoire.
10 best chess books of all time
I have read almost every book mentioned in this list until now. These books are my recommendations. You will find many excellent books other than this.
In this book, Nimzowitsch explained opening ideas, middlegame techniques, and some endgame themes. This book should be your first book after getting a FIDE rating. This book was firstly printed in 1925 and still, it is one of the best books. The author’s system will help you to expand your knowledge atleast by 20-25%. When I finished this book, I was already a 2000+ chess player. Still, I got some insights and some chess thumb rules which I didn’t know before.
One of the best masterpieces by Bobby Fischer. In this book, Bobby analyzed 60 best games played in his career. Out of 60 games Fischer chose, 48 wins for Fischer, 9 draws, and 3 losses. This should be on the bookshelf of any competitive player. It’s one of the classics, like Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual, or My System. This book was originally published by Simon & Schuster with 384 pages hardcover and right now Batsford Chess has taken the rights to sell.
This is the 5 books series written by Garry Kasparov. If you complete studying all these books deeply, Congrats! You are atleast a master-level player. Garry Kasparov, who is universally acclaimed as the greatest chessplayer ever, subjects the play of his predecessors to a rigorous analysis. He covered all past world champions in 5 parts. Let’s see which world champions he covered in each part
- Part 1 – Wilhelm Steinitz, Emanuel Lasker, Jose Capablanca and Alexander Alekhine.
- Part 2 – Max Euwe, Mikhail Botvinnik, Vassily Smyslov, and Mikhail Tal
- Part 3 – Tigran Petrosian and Boris Spassky
- Part 4 – Bobby Fischer
- Part 5 – Anatoly Karpov and Victor Korchnoi
Winning chess is a 7 part book series that covers almost all topics. This was written by US grandmaster Yassir Seirawan. In these books, he focused more on analysis and position evaluation. This series is recommended for beginner and intermediate players. I remember when I was young, some Indian publications took a right to produce the same book in India, and at that time they were offering this book for less than $5. I still regret not purchasing at that time. Following are 7 books in this series.
- Play Winning Chess
- Winning Chess Tactics
- Winning Chess Strategies
- Winning Chess Brilliancies
- Winning Chess Openings
- Winning Chess Endings
- Winning Chess Combinations
The greatest chess series I have ever seen. These books are written for professional chess players. Jacob is a very famous chess coach, chess tutor. He also started his online chess academy in 2020. This series is recommended and targeted for chess players above 2200 FIDE rating. Although you can work on this series at an intermediate level. All these books focused on puzzles. In every chapter, he analyzed some model games and then exercise. In Thinking Inside the box book, he focused on Chess psychology, The four types of decisions we take at the board, How to play simple positions. Right now, this is the highest quality chess series available in the market which covers almost all chapters. Following books are there in this series.
Dvoretsky endgame manual most famous chess endgame book. This book is also targeted for advance level players. Endgame is the most boring part of chess and so is this book. But you cannot skip studying chess endgame. When it appeared in 2003, the first edition of Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual was immediately recognized by novice and master alike as one of the best books ever published on the endgame.
I feel this is one of the greatest chess books ever written. GM Davorin Kuljasevic written this book. In this book, he explained how you can improve without a chess coach. He recommended actual resources and best advice for improvement. Chess improvement is a slow process and if you read this book you will get some useful information.
When I started studying chess, I didn’t know what to study, how to study. At that time I don’t have many resources. The only resource was to hire a chess coach or join a chess academy. Now, you have a lot of material available online which you can use and improve very faster. Even you don’t need a chess coach if you use resources properly. This book is perfect for anyone above beginner level.
100 endgames you must know is a classic book for players below 2000. In this book, the author handpicked 100 best and common chess endgames. After finishing this book, you can also purchase the next part of his book which is related to endgame exercise. Instead of purchasing from Amazon, you can buy from chessable. Chessable will give you access to their move trainer technology and will give you a lot better experience
Tigran Petrosian, also known as the python of chess wrote this beautiful chess book. In this book, he analyzed his games and gave insights. I particularly like his opening selection. How he played opening perfectly when there were no engines available. This chess book comes under the chess classics series where Quality Chess has published more than 5 books.
Judit Polgar Teaches Chess
Recently launched, these series become very popular in no time. GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly also suggested this book in the chess24 video. In these 3 books, Judit explains her career through different stories. These books are the perfect gift for women chess players. Following are the name of 3 books.
- Part 1 – Judit Polgar – How I Beat Fischer’s Record
- Part 2 – From GM to Top Ten: Judit Polgar Teaches Chess
- Part 3 – Judit Polgar – A Game of Queens
Which is the best book to master chess?
You can choose any book from this list. However, my system and how to study on your own should be your first preference.
Has Magnus Carlsen written a book?
Magnus hasn’t written any book until now. But many authors have written books on Magnus which you will find below.