Alberto Chueca, FIDE Trainer & International Master 
quality chess book
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Choose high-quality chess books

Quality chess books are the oldest way to research or learn chess to dominate the practical tools the book is trying to teach you. There are tons of books of any kind about the topic you like, with great content that represents an artwork of creativeness.

Every book in the world deserves to be read, just because of the work that the authors put into it. It requires an incredible effort to put your ideas into words so others understand and ideas.

This is why I’d like to explain what I really mean by “quality chess books”.

Studying chess is not about the book you choose or the material you review at all. The study of chess (and every other discipline) is all about the quality of your study. Many chess learners pass the entire day watching chess videos and think they are progressing, so mistaken…

To have a good chess understanding we need to actively train your mind and emotions with good quality chess study, good quality chess books, and good quality chess analysis.

I already talked about the importance of finding the study method that works best for you in my 5 keys to get better at chess post.

So, the high-quality chess books are the ones that fit best to your level, rhythm, and chess abilities. You can’t start studying chess combinations if you don’t even know how to checkmate the king….

How to study with chess books

quality chess books chessboard

You know as a chess coach I have seen many chess players with great talent, but that talent may be useless if you don’t learn how to sharpen it first. I have also taught many people in my career, and I can be sure of one thing:

Most of the people try to study chess, but almost none knows what study really is like.

There will be an eternal search for the perfect quality chess study, this is actually a very interesting topic, and it becomes even more interesting when you realize this is a journey of self-discovery.

The best you can do I tart trying different methods until you find the best for you, this is an experimental way to find the best way. The same applies to the books, a good quality chess book is consistent with your level and methodology.

We could compare for example, different chess books because there are authors that create easy-to-understand content in general terms for players of any level. While some go deep into abstract chess concepts and variations and chess analysis, you would be lost in a minute.

5 Top-quality chess books (Personal opinion)

quality chess books king

Many quality chess books treat different chess topics, but I will divide it into 5 key points of the chess study:

  • Chess openings study
  • Tactical vision and combinations
  • Chess middle-game planning and positional understanding
  • Theory endgames
  • Chess psychology

For study chess openings I would definitely recommend “Fundamental Chess Openings” by Van Der Sterren. It was published in 2009, maybe a little old for the time yet the chess source of study is really good. The analysis of the variations will be very helpful, especially for beginners.

For developing your tactical vision I can recommend a quality chess tactic book like Learn Chess Tactics! By the GM John Nunn. Nunn is an expert in writing quality chess books, he has more interesting chess material published.

In planning and chess middle-game you must check out Understanding Chess move by move, again, an excellent piece of work written by GM John Nunn. When I first read these books I was able to understand many new strategies and plans in chess should be read by everyone.

The best top-quality chess book for endings is clear, not many books can equal the simplicity and usefulness of 100 endgames you must know by Jesus De La Villa.

Finally, I have a great book for you to understand chess mistakes and learn pure Practical chess. This book should be read by EVERY chess player in the world, no matter which level you are. Think like a grandmaster by Alexander Kotov will help your chess.

Study the chess classics

quality chess books table

It’s impossible to even try to talk about quality chess books without remembering the classics. The reason for this is that classics contain high-value chess concepts that can’t be refuted or upgraded in modern chess.

The perfect example of this is “My system” By Nimzowitsch, the concepts and chess practical information found in this book are superb. This is the best chess strategy book for any beginner in chess.

Nobody is ever going to change the fact that Bobby Fischer, for example, made important advances in chess theory and concepts. For this reason, is essential to study these games, we can see them in so high-quality chess books like “My great predecessors” by Garry Kasparov.

And Bobby Fischer was just an example, but how about Alberic O’Kelly de Galway?  Emanuel Lasker? Tigran Petrosian? All of these are chess players that should be considered as pure chess scientific, and there are many more, start researching!

What is the advantage of studying with quality chess books?

quality chess book pieces

There is a clear difference between studying with chess books and studying with other media like videos or PGNs. The thing is that you can actually see the author’s point of view, that it will most of the time be different to yours giving you new ideas.

For example, I could talk about the quality chess book Attack and defense by the legendary chess coach IM Mark Dvoretsky. This masterpiece has given me ideas like no other books have before.

The reason for this is that Dvoretsky is an expert communicator, he explains in such a way that anyone would understand it despite the deepness of his content.

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SHIV SHOME India
Alberto is giving me step by step guidance on how to progress in chess. Because of his strong repertoire and game analysis support I was able to get an initial rating of 2148. My sincere thanks to my mentor Alberto who constantly supports me in my game analysis and helps me strengthen my game before going to the next rounds. He has a huge database of knowledge that caters to the beginner up to the master level. Thank you, Alberto, for being there throughout my chess journey.
ARVIND VIDYARTHI USA
Vyom and Omya have been learning from Coach Alberto since they were USCF rated ~1500 & ~1000 respectively. Coach Alberto played a critical role in understanding Vyom’s weaknesses and helped him overcome them. He has been an exceptional chess coach with a lot of patience with my kids. He played an instrumental role in teaching them different openings for both black and white. He is always available to help/guide them. He helps to analyze the games and suggest good moves. Our kids are very comfortable with the teaching style of Coach Alberto. He being an active player also helps as he shares what he learns from his games and experience as well.