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  1. 04 Apr '06 12:36
    What constitutes a "must have" chess book? What are the "legends" of chess books? What will be read again and again for years to come?

    I have not read much chess books but I have a few that I think every chess library should have. They are:

    Logical Chess: Move by Move by Irving Chernev
    How to Reassess your Chess: Jeremy Silman

    So, what are your must haves?
  2. 04 Apr '06 12:44
    Originally posted by stanloh
    What constitutes a "must have" chess book? What are the "legends" of chess books? What will be read again and again for years to come?
    How to Reassess your Chess: Jeremy Silman
    My System: Aron Nimzovich
    Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual
  3. 04 Apr '06 12:47
    All of the above plus The Art of Attack by Vucovic
  4. 04 Apr '06 12:53 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by BLReid
    All of the above plus The Art of Attack by Vucovic
    Just a warning: Art of the attack is a very difficult read.
  5. 04 Apr '06 12:57
    Originally posted by zebano
    Art of the attack is a very difficult read.
    Yes, but still an essential part of any library. How to Reassess is a difficult read for some people, and for class C-ish players like you and I, it is still rather advanced.
  6. 04 Apr '06 13:42
    Originally posted by BLReid
    Yes, but still an essential part of any library. How to Reassess is a difficult read for some people, and for class C-ish players like you and I, it is still rather advanced.
    I didn't find the concpts in Silman's book difficult at all and I read it when I was a 1200. Vukovic's book is dense with many many variations.
  7. 04 Apr '06 13:48
    The Amateur's Mind by Silman
  8. 04 Apr '06 14:08
    Originally posted by zebano
    How to Reassess your Chess: Jeremy Silman
    My System: Aron Nimzovich
    Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual
    I own Silmans and Nimzowitsch's book, but not Dvoeretsky's (yet).

    I think "My System" can be quite hard in the sense of pedagogics (is that a word?).. I think it's slightly more ineffecient since I think you have to work a bit more with it to get something out of it.. naturally, working with things is usually good in itself, but I'd say some of that work is unnecessary.. but that's also because of the character of the book. From what I've understood though, it's one of those real classics and it does have some very good points..

    Silman's book is great. I just wish he made it a lot thicker and included "everything" so I just needed to buy one book =)
  9. 04 Apr '06 14:33
    I don't any chess book can include "everything". Chess is such a vast game thus it would just be impractical to do so.
  10. 04 Apr '06 14:46
    Originally posted by Golub
    Silman's book is great. I just wish he made it a lot thicker and included "everything" so I just needed to buy one book =)
    I just got Silman's "How To Reassess Your Chess" today. It's the 3rd edition, which seemingly has several new chapters and lots of additional examples. Maybe it will continue to grow.

    I also got Vukovic's "Art of Attack" today. I decided it was time to start studying the game.
  11. 04 Apr '06 15:34 / 1 edit
    The following books would form the basis of a good chess library. Also, many of them can be found in economical Dover editions:

    A. Alekhine, “My Best Games of Chess 1908-1937”
    Max Euwe, “The Middlegame: Pts. I and II”
    M. Botvinnik, “100 Selected Games”
    David Bronstein, “Zurich International Chess Tournament, 1953”
    Smyslov and Levenfisch, “Rook Endings”
    Bobby Fischer, “My 60 Memorable Games”
    Irving Chernev, “Capablanca’s Best Chess Endings”
    Hans Kmoch, “Rubinstein’s Chess Masterpieces: 100 Selected Games”
    Reinfeild, “The Immortal Games of Capablanca”
    Ludek Pachman, “Modern Chess Strategy: Pts. I, II and II”
    Siegbert Tarrasch, “300 Chess Games”
    A. Nimzovitsch, “My System,” and “Chess Praxis”
    Richard Reti, “Masters of the Chessboard,” and “Modern Ideas in Chess”
  12. 04 Apr '06 19:08
    Originally posted by der schwarze Ritter
    The following books would form the basis of a good chess library. Also, many of them can be found in economical Dover editions:

    A. Alekhine, “My Best Games of Chess 1908-1937”
    Max Euwe, “The Middlegame: Pts. I and II”
    M. Botvinnik, “100 Selected Games”
    David Bronstein, “Zurich International Chess Tournament, 1953”
    Smyslov and Levenfisch, ...[text shortened]... tem,” and “Chess Praxis”
    Richard Reti, “Masters of the Chessboard,” and “Modern Ideas in Chess”
    Did you honestly spend $320+ on just books? If you want to buy one book, buy "Chess" by Lazlo Polgar. It has every single mate possible, with miniatures, combinations, sacrifices, etc. On a similar vein, you could buy "Winning Chess the Polgar Way" by Susan Polgar, although that is a beginner's book.
  13. 04 Apr '06 19:46
    Originally posted by blingice
    Did you honestly spend $320+ on just books? If you want to buy one book, buy "Chess" by Lazlo Polgar. It has every single mate possible, with miniatures, combinations, sacrifices, etc. On a similar vein, you could buy "Winning Chess the Polgar Way" by Susan Polgar, although that is a beginner's book.
    Thats hardly worth most peoples time. The majority of games are resigned before they get to a checkmate. It would be much more benificial to study a mix of mate and win material combinations (with emphasis on the latter). Besides tactics can only take you so far (further than I am though).

    In any event, colleciting is fun =)
  14. 04 Apr '06 19:54
    Seirawan's 'Play Winning Chess' is good for beginners.
  15. 05 Apr '06 02:48
    There are thousands of books written about chess, more than for any other game. There is simply no way to read them all, as more are published every year. Here is a list of the ten books universally regarded as absolutely essential to any chess player. You will not find any opening "repertoire" books or "Easy guide to..." books or anything like that. These are not shortcut books, they are serious works by serious authors for serious students. Most advanced players will own 9 out of the 10 at least. They have not been numbered because that would imply that one book is more important than another. So here you have them:

    Title: My System
    Author: Aaron Nimzovitch
    This is the timeless classic from the Father of Modern Chess. Nimzowitch was the first to explore and describe the game of chess from a viewpoint of its "elements." At the same time, he layed the foundation for modern positional play with his concept of overprotection This is required reading for anyone aspiring to mastership.

    Title: Basic Chess Endings
    Author: Reuben Fine
    This is the Bible for chess endgames. Every conceivable endgame that could ever arise is analyzed by a superb GM. It will take you months, even years to read and understand this book. Although tedious work, your effort will be rewarded by this book. Only drawback: It's in descriptive notation. All other efforts since this endgame study have been basically to condense the knowledge in this book.

    Title: 1001 Winning Chess Sacrifices And Combinations
    Author: Fred Reinfeld
    This is probably the most famous of the "tactical trainer" genre.
    It is well known that tactics is the weakest part of an amateurs
    game and prevents his progress. I do about 10 of these
    exercises a day to keep me tactically "fit." A must for anybody
    under 2200.

    Title: How To Reassess Your Chess
    Author: Jeremy Silman
    This book is already considered a modern classic. You can think of it as a modern "My System," but in a more user-friendly presentation. It introduces the reader to a new vocabulary and concepts in much the same way. Tons of improving chessplayers swear by this book. It is a "I want results now!" book.

    Title: My 60 Memorable Games
    Author: Bobby Fischer
    60 great games annotated thoroughly by arguably the best chessplayer in the history of the world. If you get any game
    collection book, make it this one. You will spend many pleasurable hours by the chessboard playing over magnificent games, all fabulously commented.

    Title: The Art Of Attack In Chess
    Author: Vladimir Vukovic
    A necessary component of any chessplayers library is this treatise by Vukovic on the subject of Attack. This book guides the reader through all the common ideas that are essential so that you can "bring home the victory." Aggressive players will love it.

    Title: tZurich International Chess Tournament 1953
    Author: David Bronstein
    This tournament book stands out from all other books because of Bronstein.
    Many strong masters of the day played at this tournament of lore:
    Bronstein, Smyslov, Keres, Reshevsky, Petrosian, Geller, Najdorf, Kotov, Taimanov, Euwe and so many others. Bronstein studies all 210 games with great annotation and throws in stories as well.

    Title: Logical Chess: Move By Move
    Author: Irving Chernev
    This book is incredible because it gives an explanation after every move! Everybody is tired of books that give a line and no annotation or explanation. Well, this book is the answer chessplayers were looking for.

    Title: The Ideas Behind The Chess Openings
    Author: Reuben Fine
    Although the openings studied are often not up to date, that is not the
    point. This is not a traditional openings book that may "teach" you
    the Sicilian, it attempts to explain the WHY not the WHAT. In this
    regard, it is similar to "Logial Chess: Move by Move." An
    important classic so you can play the first moves with understanding
    and confidence.

    Title: Pawn Structure Chess
    Author: Andrew Soltis
    Books like these have become increasingly important in the information age. It is no longer possible to blow out your opponent in 15 moves every other game. Modern masters rely on their knowledge of topics such as pawn structures to separate them from the stronger amateurs. This book lets you know exactly what they know.