My Most Favorite Chess Books
I created this fun list of "My Most Favorite Chess Books" after IM Jeremy Silman's inspirational post in chess.com days ago. I am thinking that this list will also act as personal reminder. Please noted that most of them are considered "modern" chess books, I rarely have a change to get into "vintage" chess books written by author from pre'1980s.
Chess Player Story and Games Collections
Basically reading is my favorite hobby. Reading a chess player story is two hobbies in a same time. My favorite:
- Chess Duels - My Games with the World Champion - Yasser Seirawan (2010)
Most of Yasser's anecdotes are well known, this book compiled all of them as the side story of Yasser's biography. Highlights: Victor Korchnoi side stories
- Fire on Board - Alexey Shirov (1997)
The nature Shirov's games are convert perfectly into this enjoyable book. His annotations are surprisingly easy to follow, well most of the game are obvious when you get the tactical hints.
- My 60 Memorable Games - Bobby Fischer (1995 version)
Of course a classic literature that also enjoyable to amateur like me.
- Half a Century of Chess - Mikhail Botvinnik
Another classic games collections with Botvinnik annotation, this is serious one.
- Sokolov's Best Games - Ivan Sokolov / John Nunn (1997)
At the time I was extremely 1.d4 fans and found that Ivan also mostly play this. His collections against top GM of the '80s-'90s are a reflections of non-Kasparovian master in the scenes. Contained lots of theory and analysis.
- It's Only Me - Tony Miles / Geoff Lawton
One of my favorite chess biography because of the comical figures of Tony Miles. So far the only serious tribute to England first grandmaster.
- Kasparov's Greatest Chess Games series - Igor Stohl (2006)
Collections of Kasparov games from 3rd eye view.
- Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess series - Garry Kasparov
Garry annotated his own games, and with lots of background chess story (and politics) also.
- The Art of Chess Analysis - Jan Timman
- On the Attack!! The Art of Attack According to Modern Master - Jan Timman
Another good collections of games and annotations of the '70s and modern era by Jan Timman.
- Logical Chess Move by Move - Irving Chernaev
Nonetheless to say, everybody's must have chess book.
- Lessons with A Grandmaster - Enhance Your Chess Strategy and Psycology - Boris Gulko
Games collections of GM Boris Gulko and presented in an interview format annotations.
- Tactics in the Sicilian - Gennady Nesis & Prof Igor Blekhtsin
Good collections of Sicilian games.
- The 100 Best Chess Games of the 20th Century, Ranked - Andrew Soltis
Well, you got the 100 chess games annotated.
- Black is OK
- Black is still OK
- Black is OK forever - Andras Adorjan
Although this is basically a games collections books with black as the main hero, but the writing part is superb.
- Diary of a Chess Queen - Alexander Kosteniuk
There is a prequel How I Became a Grandmaster in 14 but that is too elementary. In Diary of Chess Queen we get a story of mature Kosteniuk and how she really in the throne of chess queen. Love the Russian-English style.
- The Day Kasparov Quit and other chess interview - Geuzendam, Dirk jan ten
A collections of interview from New in Chess, which also compiled as a chess history from '90s to the day Kasparov Quit.
- The King : Chess Pieces - J.H. Donner
This is like a classic literature that has chess as its background, collections of strange essay by J.H.Donner.
- Russian Silhouette - Genna Sasonko
Collections of Genna Sasonko encounter to well known chess grandmaster of the 20th century. From Mikhail Tal to Paul Keres.
- Smart Chip from Saint Petersburg and Other Tales - Genna Sasonko
More tales from Genna about lesser known chess personalities of the past.
Chess Openings Book
- Practical Chess Openings - Reuben Fine
Well, it's explained fundamental things about chess opening.
- The Sicilian Labyrinth Vol 1 , Vol 2- Lev Polugaevsky
Lev's passion in Sicilian defence is so high and he write this lovely book. We only know about Polugaevsky variation, but he is indeed works a lot on the whole system. I also enjoy the "third" sequel, Sicilian Love, a collection of sicilian games and Buenos Aires thematic tournament report.
- Queen's Gambit Declined - Matthew Sadler (2000)
I rarely can finished chess opening books but this one I remember well. It's added many fundamental knowledge to the opening and chess.
- The Easiest Sicilian - Atanas Kolev
As Sicilian enthusiast I really like this book compilation of the defence. Covered from 'easiest' Rossolimo variation up to rare line such as the Novosibirsk variation.
- Winning Chess Openings - Yasser Seirawan
Actual quite elementary chess openings, but it has many valuable beginner advise by Yasser.
Tactics / Strategy
- Amateur's Mind - Jeremi Silman
Serious book for amateur who trying to frog leap into new level of chess.
- Surprise in Chess - Atmazia Avni
Surprisingly fun to read chess book with fresh ideas.
- Chinese School of Chess - Liu Wenzhi
The story behind why the Chineses became good in chess. The grand concept that built Hou Yifan, Wei Yi, Ding Liren and Yu Yangyi.
- The Art of Logical Thinking - Neil McDonald
Instructive chess book which explained why chess is an art of logic.
- Rethinking The Chess Pieces - Andrew Soltis
Another flash back on how we can play chess with different mind set.
- Forcing Chess Moves The Key to Better Calculation - Charles Hertan
Good topic, it will forever influence how you going to use force line and how to avoid it also.
- Chess for Tiger - Simon Webb
One of earliest chess book that written with lots of humor, which in the later days adopted by many chess writer. Mostly coffee house tactics.
- The Wisest Things Ever Said About Chess - Andrew Soltis
You'll surprise how wise they are.
- Mammoth Book of Chess - Graham Burgess
will keep updated this list as I read more books, or when I remember what good I've read.