Originally posted by najdorfslayer
40 games is still to many cut down to 5 or so and read
1) Silmans how to Reasses your Chess!! (Covers basic endgames positions and general strategy)
2) A general book on openings a good one for a beginner is
UNDERSTANDING THE CHESS OPENINGS (Sam Collins)
Also join a club, you can learn lots for experienced players.
Also, MCO15 is out, a great opening book for regular players. You should pick one opening for white and learn it solid and one for black, like the modern defense and learn it backwards and forwards. That will at least let you last long enough to get into an middlegame
The other book he mentioned is very good also. There is one for more advanced players when you get far enough along, Best Lessons of a chess coach, by Sunil Weeramantry, more advanced stuff and harder to understand but when you get up to that book you will be already pretty strong.
Like he said, even 40 games is too many for learning. Just 5 is plenty to dig into. Don't forget to go over the game history to see what you could have done better and if you can't, a copy of fritz is very helpful along those lines, to analyze the game after the fact, it will find lines nobody else would but a grandmaster! Of course you can't use fritz during the game but there is nothing wrong with using it as a learning tool. BTW, Fritz 11 is out and has a training mode that is like having your own personal coach. I was just in a tournament over the weekend and won two games but lost two really badly because I didn't know how to handle the openings I used, both black, so I have the game scores and I go over them and see what I could have done better. One game I goofed bigtime on my first move! I would have avoided a whole ration of poop if I had known that before hand, and you can bet I know it now! A local club can help too. We have one here in Allentown, Pa at a local Lutheran church, where we take over the basement on saturday and they have a permenant 30 minute quick game tournament, not like 5 minute blitz but not like the hour and a half regular time either so you can play several good games in one day that way. Almost any of the strong players will give you time if you ask for it, mentors are a really good way to advance quickly. Good luck! And get your game load down to under ten!