Top 10 chess books every chess player should read

by admin on Apr 22, 2020

Chess books written by the greatest grandmasters have always been a source of inspiration for the future generation of players. Here is a list of 10 of the best ones!top 10 books.

1. Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess by Bobby Fischer

Bobby Fischer teaches chess

This book was written by Bobby Fischer and co-authored by Stuart Margulies and Don Mosenfelder. It was published in 1966 and managed to sell over a million copies.

Intended mainly for beginners, this book follows a programmed learning approach. It asks you a question and if you give the correct answer, you can move on to the next question. If you answer incorrectly, it will tell you why you were wrong. With accurate diagrams and depictions, this book allows you to learn the game without a chess board.

This book mainly focusses on the end game and checkmate in one, two, three and four moves. You can gift this book to your family or friends who always wanted to learn chess. The paperback version of this book will cost you less than a fast-food meal.Top 10 books.

A free version of the book may be found at

2. How To Reassess Your Chess by Jeremy Silman,204,203,200_.jpg

This book was published in 2010. Jeremy Silman is a world-class teacher, international master, player, writer, who won The National Open, The U.S. Open and The American Open. He has authored more than 37 books on chess to date. This book mainly focuses on the middle-game. Silman breaks down different situations that may arise in the game and discusses the best moves and alternatives.

Complex concepts have been broken down into easier to understand topics for readers. He focuses on the imbalances in each position in an attempt to encourage the readers to dive into the minds of a master.

A free interactive version of this book may be found at

3. My System by Aron Nimzowitsch

This book was published in 1925. It is regarded as one of the best selling classics in this genre. It has firmly made it's place in the top 5 and has been a regular recommendation among Grandmasters. An influential chess player and Danish Grandmaster himself, Aron Nimzowitsch introduces the readers to very important positional ideas.

He is largely known in the chess community for his Nimzowitsch Defense.

Check out this Youtube playlist illustrating various aspects of this book

4. Zurich International Chess Tournament, 1953 by David Bronstein

The most comprehensive book to be written on the iconic Zurich International Chess Tournament, 1953. Originally written in Russian, this book has been translated into English by Jim Marfia.

The annotations given by Bronstein are what makes this book so unique. It was ready only 3 years after the chess tournament. Bronstein has been playing chess at the top-level for more than 50 years. He is widely regarded as one of the most insightful authors in chess.

A free copy of this book may be found here:

5. My 60 Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer

This book was first published in 1969. Composed by the man himself this book examines his best games from 1957 to 1967. Unlike many others, it doesn't involve only his winning games during this period but also includes 9 draws and 3 losses.

Fischer offers an easy to comprehend analysis of his best games giving readers a peak into the mind of a legend.

The games from the book may be accessed from here:

A free copy of this book may be accessed from here:

6. Think Like a Grandmaster by Alexander Kotov

In this book, Kotov shares important aspects of chess, including overall game process and decision-making. He shares tools for both tactical and positional growth. This book is aimed at advanced players of the game. This book was the first of a three part series.

Kotov is extremely thorough in his analysis of what makes a player strong and what makes them weak.Top 10 books he has been criticized from the community by some for his thinking and vision to be very stringent. Yet this book has had a strong impact on many, being sold-out only within a few months since it first came out.

A YouTube playlist about this book can be found here:

A free copy of this book may be found here:

7. Silman's Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner To Master by Jeremy Silman

The second appearance for Jeremy Silman in our Top 10 list is not surprising at all. The paperback version of this book was published in November 2006.

This book mainly focuses on end-games and what readers should learn and implement. It makes little sense for a medium-level player to be thorough with rook-pawn endgames.Top 10 books, It would rather be a lot more beneficial for them to focus on endgame strategies appropriate to their level. Aimed at the mid-segment of players, Silman's work gives you the guidelines, examples, and principles to learn what you need to know!  

A free version of this book may be found at:

8. Life and Games of Mikhail Tal by Mikhail Tal

Mikhail Tal was known to be aggressive in his games. His book which was first published in 1997, deals with aggressive strategies and openings. His engaging style of writing is enthralling and keeps the reader gripped. He was affectionately known as the 'Magician from Riga' by his fans.

His games are timeless and continue to motivate players of all levels through his tireless resourcefulness, incredibly daring attacks, and technical precision in the endgame. Tal’s games are full of moves that radically overhaul the position, ripping his opponent out of their comfort zone and hurling them into the center of chaos.

A interactive collection of the games mentioned in his book may be found here:

9. Karpov's Strategic Wins (two volumes) by Tibor Karolyi

The Top 10 chess book list is incomplete without with this book. If you are thinking of learning the secrets to positional play through clear analysis and examples, then this is the perfect book for you. It is an extremely detailed yet amazingly simple book for any reader interested in learning about the legend that is Karpov. Top 10 books.

The chess games included in this book may be accessed here:

10. My Great Predecessors (series) by Garry Kasparov

Without Kasparov, our top 10 list wouldn't be complete. This five volume set by Gary Kasparov consists of descriptive analysis of some of the best games in history starting from Wilhelm Steinitz, the first world champion. Kasparov examines the world champions throughout history in this marvelous book.

This book starts off on a simple foot and then moves into unchartered territory. This keeps the reader involved and they finally realise that they have access to the best resource in this genre. This is undoubtedly the most comprehensive set of books to have ever been written.