Recommended chess books

Affiliate disclaimer: Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

Chess books might be an old form of learning that a lot of people wouldn’t even consider today, however, this medium of the past can still deliver much more than you think. Personally, I prefer ebooks that I can just download and go but some might find reading real books to be helpful, so I’ve done the research.

Suggested chess books

The one that I will recommend will of course depend on your skill as a player or what you are trying to learn (since you can’t go too complicated as a beginner for example). In this one, I’ve scoured the web in order to identify the best ones that can give you the appropriate knowledge to excel, enjoy.

Suggested for beginners

Single buy

Chess Words of Wisdom book

As an absolute beginner, the Chess Words of Wisdom book is a must that will propel you as fast as possible.

It is mined from multiple books condensed into one medium for beginners. It contains an analysis with a thorough explanation of why certain moves are better than others, as well as exercises that would make you understand the themes of the position.

Batch buy

Winning Chess Series – 7 Titles

If you want a full set with you’ll everything you need as a beginner, this Winning Chess Series – 7 Titles are purchased on a set, meaning it is a collection of 7 different books at the same time.

Its subtopics are openings, endgames, strategies, tactics, combinations, brilliancies, and psychology. It is an all-around book that is reliable if you don’t know what to look for.

Suggested for semi-advanced players

My System & Chess Praxis by Nimzowitsch

With semi-advanced I am referring to players who are around 1500 to 2000 rating and have a decent understanding of opening, middlegame, and endgame. If this fits you, My System & Chess Praxis by Nimzowitsch is the best to go for.

It is pretty sophisticated, it is not your regular beginner book. The focus is among all is positional finesse by showing a variety of ideas, though there are other things too.

Suggested for advanced players

Jose Raul Capablanca’s My Chess Career, Chess Fundamentals, & A Primer of Chess compilation

If you are an advanced player I’m sure you have heard about this book, of course I’m talking about Jose Raul Capablanca’s My Chess Career, Chess Fundamentals, & A Primer of Chess compilation.

Take note that this is not a batch buy, it is a single book with all of Capablanca’s best treasures. I don’t think you would ask for anything else as an advanced player.


Carlsen’s Move by Move book

The book will challenge you to find ideas made by potentially the greatest player of all time and indulge you in his way of thinking, it is awesome.

If you are not willing to learn from an old legend, perhaps Carlsen’s Move by Move book is more to your liking.

Suggested chess literature

Carlsen’s Assault on the Throne

If you want a good chess story, Carlsen’s Assault on the Throne provides Magnus Carlsen’s shocking journey to his first world championship title.

Carlsen’s rise to the title is not as smooth as you think, he almost lost the right to be the challenger. This provides background to how hard it is to be a world champion even if you are already strong in chess.


Modern Chess 3: Kasparov v Karpov 1986-1987

If you don’t want to read about Carlsen’s story then Kasparov might be the guy for you. You can read it on Modern Chess 3: Kasparov v Karpov 1986-1987 specifically on the legendary match against Karpov.

Kasparov vs. Karpov is probably the best rivalry in chess history, you can glimpse the 1986-1987 match from the lens of Garry Kasparov. It will surely be a good read if you are a fan of Kasparov and wanting to see his perspective.