Recommended Chess Books by Rating

Best Chess Books by Rating

Chess Rating: 1200-1400

1) Chess Tactics for Students by John Bain

2) Logical Chess Move by Move by Irving Chernev

3) Back to Basics: Tactics (ChessCafe Back to Basics Chess) by Dan Heisman

4) Winning Chess Tactics, revised (Winning Chess – Everyman Chess) by Seirawan

5) Silman’s Complete Endgame Course by Jeremy Silman


Chess Rating: 1400-1600
1) Modern Chess Strategy by Ludek Pachman

2) The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played by Irving Chernev

3) Chess Training Pocket Book by Lev alburt

4) Chess Exam and Training Guide By Igor Khelmenitsky

Chess Rating: 1600-1700

1) The Amateur’s Mind by J. Silman

2) Alekhine’s Best Games

3) Practical Chess Exercises by Cheng

4) Capablanca’s Best Chess Endings

5) Chess Praxis by Nimozwitch

Chess Rating: 1700-1800

1) Art of Attack in Chess by Victor Vukovic

2) My 60 Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer

3) One Hundred Selected Games by Botnnivik

4) Understanding Chess Move by Move by Nunn

Chess Rating: 1800-2000

1) How to Reassess Your Chess by J. Silman

2) Fire On Board by Alexei Shirov

3) Fundamental Chess Endings
by Mueller

4) Improve your Chess Now By Johnathan Tillman

5) Dvoretsky’s Analytical Manual by Dvoretsky

6)  Chess Strategy for Club Players by Grooten

7) Zurich International Chess Tournament, 1953

8. Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual by Dvoretsky

9) My System by Nimzowitch

11) Think Like a Grandmaster by Kotov

beginchess has written 144 articles

8 thoughts on “Recommended Chess Books by Rating

  1. I also think that My System is fairly accessible to lower rated players….and isn’t Chess Praxis supposed to be a follow on book? I haven’t read it but my understanding is that it demonstrates applications of the principles he outlines in MS.

    Also: my new favorite “intro to the openings for beginners” book is the recently published FCO. It’s not a repertoire book, nor a reference work, but it’s very useful for understanding the reasons and history behind why the openings are played the way they are.

  2. Bill says:

    This list meets my approval.

    And I have no problem with My System being a 1800+ book b/c that is exactly where it belongs. A sub-1800 player should be reading books such as “modern chess stategy” or “simple chess”….and save MS for later.

  3. I teach children, most of whom have a long and difficult road to get to 1200. Can you recommend books for these young players? Naturally, I think mine is okay. Essential Tactics: Building a Foundation for Chess Skill (2017). Currently this book is available for Kindle readers.

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