Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Only Chess Books You Will Ever Need (?)

According to USCF Life Master and chess instructor Alan Goldsby this list of books are the only ones the beginner will ever need.
1.       Chess Fundamentals by Capablanca
2.      Complete Chess Player by Reinfeld
3.      Logical Chess Move by Move by Chernev
4.      The Amateur’s Mind by Silman
5.      The Art of Attack in Chess by Vukovic
6.      The Ideas Behind the Chess Openings by Fine
7.      The Most Instructive Games Ever Played by Chernev
8.     Modern Chess Openings by De Firmian
9.      Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy by Watson
10.  The Road to Chess Improvement by Yermolinsky
11.   Pawn Structure Chess by Soltis
12.  Zurich International Chess Tournament by Bronstein
13.  Winning Chess Ending by Seirawan
If I were to take exception to his list it would be to eliminate Modern Chess Openings. Fine’s Ideas Behind the Openings is now in the public domain and can be downloaded free from a number of sources.  While the lines in Fine’s book are badly out dated, the IDEAS still remain valid.


  1. This is a very sound list. Of course you could make some individual substitutions according to personal taste (I might actually consider substituting Najdorf's 1953 Zurich book), and MCO seems quite dated, but this is an excellent list.

    That said, buying these books will not help the average player succeed--unless he actually puts in the time and considerable effort needed to master their content! Most would-be players are content to buy chess books and let them sit unread on their bed side table. I've done that myself.

  2. After 55 years of playing chess who knows how many chess books I have bought? 5 or 6 actually got read all the way through. You are right; most of them became bathroom books, if you know what I mean!