10 Best Chess Books for Beginners

10 Best Chess Books for Beginners

For centuries, from the hushed corners of ancient India to the digital screens of the modern world, the game of chess has been a perpetual source of fascination.

This timeless strategy game has captured the minds of millions and has produced legends like Bobby Fischer, world chess champions who have shaped the way we play the game today.

Taking that first step into the world of chess, however, can often seem overwhelming. The intricate dance of the pieces, the anticipation of your opponent’s next move, the tactics that can lead to a victorious checkmate – it’s a grand game with many layers to understand.

But don’t deter yourself!

In this ocean of chess knowledge, there are beginner chess books – lifelines that can navigate you from uncertainty to understanding, from novice to mastery. And today, we bring you not just any books, but the best chess books for beginners – the golden keys to unlock your chess potential. From chess instruction books to all round-good beginner chess books, I hope to share with you the top 10 best chess books out there.

Whether you’re stuck in a stalemate or aiming to become the next world champion, these books are the guide you need. So let’s start this exciting journey into the world of chess together, one move at a time.

1. “Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess” by Bobby Fischer

bobby fischer teaches chess

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Bobby Fischer, a name that resonates with chess enthusiasts across the globe. In this book, you’re not just reading, you’re stepping into the shoes of a legend. Ever wonder what it would be like to grasp the chessboard from Fischer’s perspective?

Well, this book will take you there!

Instead of beginning at the opening, Fischer starts you at the endgame and guides you backward. The chessboard comes alive under Fischer’s guidance. With each move, each strategy, and each tactic explained with such clarity, it’s as if Fischer himself is playing the game with you.

A question for our readers – if you’ve read this book, how have you applied Fischer’s endgame teachings to your chess games? How has it transformed your understanding of the game? We’re excited to hear about your personal journey with Fischer’s teachings in the comments below. After all, who better to learn from than the grandmaster himself?

2. “Chess for Kids” by Michael Basman

Best Chess Books for Beginners

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Stepping into the world of chess can seem daunting, especially for younger players. But fear not, Michael Basman’s “Chess for Kids” turns this complex game into an exciting journey of discovery.

Let’s be real, not every chess book is kids-friendly. This, however, is a great book for starters!

Basman breaks down the basics in a way that’s both entertaining and educational. With clear instructions, colorful illustrations, and helpful hints, this book takes young learners through the initial moves to strategies that can win the game.

Have you used “Chess for Kids” to introduce a young player to chess? What was their experience like? We’d love to hear about it in the comments. Chess is, after all, a game for all ages!

3. “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chess” by Patrick Wolff

the complete idiot’s guide to chess

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Are you new to chess? Looking for a friendly guide to navigate through the sea of pawns, bishops, and knights? Look no further than “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chess.”

Although this is an easy read for beginners, don’t let the title fool you.

Written by Grandmaster Patrick Wolff, this book demystifies chess, revealing its strategic depth and beauty. It covers everything, from basic rules and moves to more advanced tactics and strategies. Of the beginner chess books, we have discussed, it is as comprehensive as it gets.

Have you discovered a new appreciation for chess after reading this guide? Let’s discuss your ‘aha’ moments in the comments below. After all, chess is a journey of constant learning.

4. “Play Winning Chess” by Yasser Seirawan

Best Chess Books for Beginners

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Ever dreamt of becoming a chess maestro? Begin your journey with  “Play Winning Chess,” an amazing book of chess!

Yasser Seirawan, a renowned Grandmaster, teaches you to view the chessboard through the lens of a strategist. Seirawan simplifies complex concepts, offering key insights into how to control the board, maneuver your pieces effectively, and—most importantly—win.

How has this chess instruction book influenced your approach to the game? Did Seirawan’s teaching style resonate with you? Share your experiences and insights with us in the comments. Your journey to mastery starts here.

5. “How to Beat Your Dad at Chess” by Murray Chandler

how to beat your dad at chess

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A chess game is about more than just moving pieces around a board; it’s a tactical battle. “How to Beat Your Dad at Chess” offers the perfect roadmap to victory, no matter who your opponent is. And of course, all dads are included.

Murray Chandler covers 50 deadly checkmates to arm beginners with an arsenal of winning strategies. With this book, you’ll get a thrilling taste of victory much sooner than you think.

Ever scored a surprising win against a more experienced player after reading this book? Do share your stories of triumph in the comments!

6. “Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games” by László Polgár

Best Chess Books for Beginners

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Imagine having a treasure trove of more than 5000 chess problems at your fingertips. That’s what “Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games” offers.

This isn’t just a beginner chess strategy book; it’s a challenge.

Curated by renowned chess trainer László Polgár, this book provides a vast range of challenges that cater to beginners and experienced players alike. It’s a must-have resource for those serious about improving their game.

Has solving these problems helped you think differently about chess? Feel free to share your favorite problem from the book in the comments. Let’s tackle them together!

7. “The Amateur’s Mind: Turning Chess Misconceptions into Chess Mastery” by Jeremy Silman

the amateurs mind turning chess misconceptions into chess mastery

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Are you ready to shift your chess-playing mindset? “The Amateur’s Mind: Turning Chess Misconceptions into Chess Mastery” is the companion you need.

Chess is as much about psychology as it is about strategy.

Jeremy Silman explores the common misconceptions that amateur players often have, offering insightful advice to help you move from basic understanding to mastery. It’s a unique and effective approach to improving your game.

Has this chess learning book changed your way of thinking about chess? How has it influenced your game? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments. Change begins with a single move.

8. “My System” by Aron Nimzowitsch

Best Chess Books for Beginners

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Delve into the world of chess strategy with one of the masters of the game. “My System” by Aron Nimzowitsch is not just a book—it’s an invitation to think deeply about your chess play.

Strategy is more than just clever moves, and this beginner chess book shows this clearly!

Nimzowitsch, one of the leading figures of hypermodern chess, presents a fresh perspective on chess strategy, inviting you to rethink conventional wisdom. His teachings still resonate today, providing a great foundation for the beginner aiming to climb the ranks.

Have you found Nimzowitsch’s approach to strategy applicable to your games? We welcome your stories and questions in the comments. Strategy is, after all, the key to victory.

9. “Logical Chess: Move by Move” by Irving Chernev

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If you’ve ever wanted to get into the mind of a chess master to understand the why behind each move, Irving Chernev’s “Logical Chess: Move by Move” is your ticket.

Chess is more than a game. It’s a narrative. And if you are a serious up-and-coming player, this is one of the best books about chess logic.

Chernev walks you through 33 games, explaining the logic and strategy behind each move. His clear and engaging style makes the intricacies of chess accessible to all. It’s a great starting point for beginners looking to understand the deeper logic of the game.

Has Chernev’s detailed analysis influenced your game? How have his insights improved your understanding of chess? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

10. “Endgame” by Frank Brady

Best Chess Books for Beginners

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Finally, we come to a different kind of book. “Endgame” by Frank Brady isn’t a guide or a manual—it’s the biography of the enigmatic Bobby Fischer.

Understand the player, and you’ll understand the game. This is one of the best books to read for a beginner!

Fischer was more than just a chess prodigy; he was a complex individual whose life story is as compelling as any of his games. Brady’s detailed account provides valuable insight into the mind of a chess genius, offering beginners a unique perspective on the game.

Has reading Fischer’s biography deepened your appreciation for chess? How has it influenced your approach to the game? We’re curious to hear your thoughts in the comments. After all, chess is as much about the people who play it as the game itself.

As you’ve seen throughout our exploration, the world of chess is deep, intricate, and full of wonder. Like the pieces on the chess board, each of the books for beginners we’ve discussed has a unique role to play in helping you master the game.

You also might like Endgame Mastery: 5 Grandmaster Secrets for It as well as 3 Things You Can Learn from Bobby Fischer.


There are books about chess that start you off with the basics, like Susan Polgar’s “Chess Tactics for Champions”. This book familiarizes you with the foundational principles of chess, from setting up the board to understanding the roles and movements of each piece. It’s a chess basics book that gets you comfortable with the game and prepares you for more advanced strategies.

Then you have comprehensive guides like Jeremy Silman’s “The Complete Book of Chess Strategy”. This is the best chess strategy book for beginners because it bridges the gap between knowing the rules and understanding the strategy. It’s a book for starters who want to move beyond just playing the game and start winning it.

These are just a couple of the top chess books for beginners we’ve discussed. There are countless more to discover as you continue your journey. Remember, learning chess is not a race. It’s a journey of strategic exploration, where each move brings a new challenge and each game is a new opportunity to learn.

As you dive into these best chess books, we’re excited to hear about your experiences. Which book resonated with you the most? How have they improved your game? Do you have other beginner chess books to recommend to our community of chess enthusiasts? Leave a comment below and let us know. After all, chess is more than just a game; it’s a community of thinkers, strategists, and learners.

Remember, in chess, as in life, the journey is just as important as the destination. As the great Bobby Fischer once said, “Chess is life in miniature. Chess is struggle, chess is battles.” So, grab your book of chess, set up your board, and get ready to conquer your battles, one move at a time.

Let the games begin!

Disclosure: We highlight chess books you might find interesting. If you buy them, we receive a small share of the revenue.

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Updated 12.15.2023