Chess Position Evaluation: Who is better, and by how much?

Chess Informant popularized a classification system that is now universally used in chess literature and when discussing positions. Who is better, and by how much? When I was struggling to learn chess, I didn’t really feel what these meant. Now, I hope others will be a bit less confused! This is a short post, and

Sherlock’s Method: The Working Tool for the Club Player

Authors: GM Elshan Moradiabadi, WGM Sabina Foisor 445 pages. Thinker’s Publishing, 2020 List price: $39.00, $31.69 on   Read This First! First, I believe 1700-2300 is an appropriate range for Sherlock’s Method. Second, the authors are being too modest about what they have created. Having gotten to know them a bit personally, I’m not

Chess School 4: The Manual of Chess Endings

Chess School 4 by Sarhan Guliev (Russian Chess House, 2003) is the last volume in an amazing series, and the only one that isn’t a tactics manual. Last year, I reviewed Chess School 1a and Chess School 1b by Sergey Ivashchenko. Chess School 2 (for 1600+, also by Ivashchenko) and Chess School 3 (for 2000+, by

Learn Chess in 40 Hours

Great for adult novices Things are tough for the older player who has taken an interest in chess: most books are either written for children or for experienced tournament competitors. GM Rudolf Teschner (1922-2006) gave this forgotten crowd much help with his well-structured course Learn Chess in 40 Hours: A Self-tutor for Beginners and Advanced Players.

Encyclopedia of Chess Miniatures

Šahovski Informator is the long-time publisher of Chess Informant, Encyclopedia of Chess Openings, Encyclopedia of Chess Endings, and many other references loved by chess players worldwide for over half a century. Encyclopedia of Chess Miniatures (ECM) is one of those “other” reference titles. I’ll be upfront: at 50 USD one can say ECM is not essential, because it isn’t.

Simple Chess: New Algebraic Edition

If You Must Buy Only One Chess Book… Pick Simple Chess by English Grandmaster Michael Stean. The original edition of the book was written in 1978, a few years before Stean retired from chess at the age of 29. Fred Wilson  edited the book and translated it to algebraic notation for Dover Publications in 2003.

Understanding the Caro-Kann Defense

The Best Book to Learn the Caro-Kann Defense Understanding the Caro-Kann Defense was published way back in 1981. Amazon tells me I purchased it in March 2012, but I’ve only read it recently … and regret not doing so much sooner. I have read a lot of Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) books over the years, as I

Attacking Chess: the French

Excellent for the Right French Player Attacking Chess: the French by Simon Williams lives up to its name. This lines chosen in this book are for the player who wants to employ the French Defense in an aggressive style, and not for the player who wants to just sit back and equalize. I read this

Hacking Up The King: Chess Calculation Practice

Killer Instinct in Chess Hacking Up The King is all about trying to checkmate the enemy king, whether castled or still in the center. There are countless books in this genre, but the 2014 work by English International Master David Eggleston is better than most. If you like Attack with Mikhail Tal (which I reviewed previously)

Positional Chess Handbook: Strategy for All Levels

495 Chess Lessons in Your Pocket Positional Chess Handbook can be considered a strategy cousin to 1001 Chess Sacrifices and Combinations, the iconic puzzle book by Fred Reinfeld. Both are pocket-sized and ideal for studying on-the-go — but PCH is definitely the superior book. I recommend Positional Chess Handbook to players (and coaches!) of all