One of the best ways to get better at chess is studying chess books. I found a great article on the best chess books on Chessable.com. One of the nice things is that it gives the opinion of several masters. I think all of the books are great on this list, but for beginning players I have to recommend that some of the books be saved for later in your chess rank up!
Here are some books that were recommended that I think are appropriate for beginners:
● Lasker’s Manual of Chess by Lasker
● Chess Fundamentals by Capablanca
● Ideas Behind the Chess Openings by Fine
These are not only great books, but very instructive in different areas of the game. One of the mistakes I made when I was beginning to study chess books is that I studied books that were too difficult for my level. These books listed above are just right for those who have recently started the game.
Once you’ve moved to more an intermediate level, I would try these books on the list.
● My System by Nimzowitsch
● My Life and Games by Tal (not primarily instructive, but awesome games to inspire you)
● Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual (use this more as a reference to look up after you have some positions)
At this point as an intermediate player, I think any of the recommend game collections are fun and enjoyable. You don’t want to tackle those too early because some of the commentary might be too advanced. However, if you are say rated 1200-1600 you can feel free to try these.
There is a section in the article where the masters discuss more advanced books. It is very important (I know I’ve said it a few times) not to touch these books until you’ve reached a certain level, say 1800-2000 rating or even more. However, these are some of the books to check out at that point:
● Any of the training books by Dvoretsky
● Think Like a Grandmaster by Kotov (an old book but very useful)
● Aagaard’s Grandmaster Preparation series (I’ve only looked at these in the bookstore and they’re over my head, but once you’ve reached expert level they should be great training)
There are a lot of good chess books out there as well as e-books online (for example my previous review of Chessable.com). However, the key point I’m trying to make is to make sure they’re the right level for you, so you can get on with your extreme rank up 🙂