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A Chessplayer's Library

There are probably more books on chess than any other subject. Here are the books I found helpful as a budding correspondence chess player.

Your suggestions and comments are appreciated.


Play Winning Chess

Yasser Seirawan

The best book for the beginner. Friendly, humorous style, easy to read format, full of good information. If you're wondering what to do after 1.e4, this is the book for you.

Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess

Bobby Fischer

A good introduction to tactics. The current paperback editions are almost impossible to read. Try to find a used hardcover through

Logical Chess Move By Move

Irving Chernev

An oldie but still the best introduction to chess strategy. New algebraic notation edition in print, plenty of used older editions around.

Winning Chess Tactics

Yasser Seirawan

Part of his Microsoft Press series. If you don't understand tactics your games won't last long, and you'll miss   opportunities to improve your chances in a game.

The Search For Chess Perfection

C.J.S. Purdy

A renowned correspondence chess player, the late Cecil Purdy also published a chess magazine in Australia for many years. This book combines a biography of Purdy with selected articles from the magazine. Recommended by no less than Bobby Fischer, this book is full of suggestions for improving your play.

Think Like A Grandmaster

Alexander Kotov

Kotov was one of the pillars of the "Russian School" that produced many of the finest chessplayers ever seen. In this book he concentrates on analysing a position and expands on the concepts of space, pawn structure and other ideas presented in Seirawan's Play Winning Chess.

Modern Chess Openings

Nick deFirmian

MCO is a catalog of chess openings and variations. It will help you plan opening lines and point out erroneous paths. Not essential for beginners, but you can learn from it.

Zurich International Chess Tournament, 1953

David Bronstein

This Candidates Tournament gathered some of the strongest chess players who ever lived. Bronstein's analysis and comments are easy to understand and enjoyable to read. Excellent translation by Jim Marfia, still in print, and inexpensive.