9 Best Chess Books Ever Written

No matter how much advanced chess engines & databases become, chess books will always remain a treasure!

Today, it has become a part of our chess culture to read books regularly! 

Fortunately, the books written about chess are massive, yet it poses practical issues to figure out which chess books belong to your shelf: 

Lucky for you, I have handpicked 9 best chess books, you should read in 2020 -

9 Best Chess Books Ever Written

9. The Life & Games of Mikhail Tal 


Author - Mikhail Tal 

Let's start our list with "The Magician From Riga" 

The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal is an autobiography book on Mikhail Tal, one of the greatest attacking world chess champion!

This book perfectly lays out the character of Tal and a few of the most vicious game you will ever see! It will add aggression and amazing attacking capabilities to your game. 

A beautiful quote from the Magician - 

You must take your opponent to a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one.​​​​

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8. Think Like A GrandMaster


Author - Alexander Kotov

Think like a Grandmaster is not your standard chess strategy or tactics book!

Every chess beginner and fan dream about becoming a chess grandmaster one day... With this book, you will not become one, but you'll get to know how grandmasters think!

In this book, Alexander Kotov focuses on the overall approach of game and how to make the right decisions!

Undoubtedly, it is built for advanced chess players with some practical insights to grow your tactical and positional strength!

7. Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual


Author - Mark Dvoretsky

Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual, comes directly from IM Mark Dvoretsky (most respected instructor of world-class chessplayers)

Buy this book only when you are serious about improving your endgame skills because,

Endgames by their true nature are quite tricky, even for chess grandmasters! 

This book is an comprehensive work by Mark Dvoretsky and has been designed for stronger chess players (above 1600 rating)

Even though the book covers basic theories and must-know concepts to master the endgame, I would recommend this book should not be your first or even second book on endgame!

6. Chess for Zebras


Author - Jonathan Rowson

There are three crucial questions for all chess players, investigated by Jonathan Rowson, the author of Seven Deadly Chess Sins and Chess for Zebras as well -

1) Why is it so difficult, especially for adult players, to improve?

2) What kinds of mental attitudes are needed to find good moves in different phases of the game?

3) Is White's alleged first-move advantage a myth, and does it make a difference whether you are playing Black or White?

Rowson presents many ideas, and one of them is “Zugzwang Lite” where White finds himself lacking any constructive moves. He also takes a close look at the theories of two players who, in differing styles, have specialized in championing Black's cause: Mihai Suba and Andras Adorjan.

5. My 60 Memorable Games


Author - Bobby Fischer

My 60 Memorable Games is written by the biggest chess legend himself, Bobby Fisher!

One of the most important chess books ever written, reissued in the celebration of Bobby Fischer! A book of Fisher's best chess games with his comments, annotations and insights are enough for a chess fan to own it. 

In this book, Bobby Fisher takes the reader move-by-move through 60 of his most spectacular games, including the phenomenal "Game of the Century" played when he was only 15 years old!

This book truly gives a deep insight into one of the most gifted, troubled & controversial minds of the 20th century!

4. My System & Chess Praxis


Author - Aron Nimzowitsch

My System & Chess Praxis is undoubtedly a masterpiece by former GM Aron Nimzowitsch, the founder of Hypermodern movement!

Unarguably, it is one of the best-selling chess book of all time. The book has been recommended by grandmasters & trainers for over a century now!

This book is deigned for intermediate to advanced player focusing mainly on positional style of playing chess: prophylaxis, center control, piece development, tactical maneuvers like the pin, pawn chains & more...

This book is a must have for every serious chess player!

Note: My System & Chess Praxis were two separate books earlier. NOW, they are combined into one with modernized English & additional bonuses.

3. The Seven Deadly Chess Sins 


Author - Jonathan Rowson

The Seven Deadly Chess Sins is one of the best chess books out there!

This book is one of my all-time favorite as the way it brings out the human side of chess is remarkable!

Everyone loses chess games occasionally, but losing a game doing the same types of mistake makes us sick.

It becomes worst when deep down, we knew why we blundered and couldn't overcome that... 

Jonathan Rowson took the liberty to ask himself - Is there any reason behind why do we commit these chess-board sins?

Lucky for you, he found the answer! This book talks about the 7 deadly chess sins; a chess player commits on the chess-board -

  • Thinking (unnecessary or erroneous)
  • Blinking (missing opportunities; lack of resolution)
  • Wanting (too much concern with the result of the game)
  • Materialism (lack of attention to non-material factors)
  • Egoism (insufficient awareness of the opponent and his ideas)
  • Perfectionism (running short of time; trying too hard)
  • Looseness (“losing the plot”; drifting; poor concentration)

2. How to Reassess Your Chess


Author - Jeremy Silman

How to Reassess Your Chess is a popular chess book designed for players in the 1400-2100 rating range. 

The concept behind this book is to master chess by mastering imbalances...

Almost every chess game played by a human, have imbalances. AND, this book will teach you how to find them & use them for your advantage!!

1. Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess


Author - Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess is a classic best-selling chess book with over 1 million copies sold & counting...

Learning how to play chess from the most significant world chess champion is something no chess lover would like to miss! 

From Tactics to Strategies, this book will help you to master the art of checkmate! 

The book is designed according to the principles of programmed learning. With questions and puzzles after every lesson, the book proves to be a helpful & fun way to master chess fast!

With that, our list of 9 best chess books is finished.

Which is your favourite chess book? Let us know in the comments.

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