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.
Why this book in particular? An argument could be made for the “best” book in many categories of chess: tactics, endgames, and especially openings. In each case there are a number of comparable titles, though we all have our favorites.
But I think there is no argument about the most useful strategy book for most players.
What’s so great about Simple Chess?
When trying to find good moves or ideas, begin by looking at checks, captures, and moves that create threats.
If such “power moves” are not available, use the keys below; Russia’s old capital (founded in 1147) can help you keep track of them:
Your mission is to identify which factor(s) are, or can become, dominant in the position and play accordingly.
Simple Chess teaches you how to do just that.
Simple Chess: Contents
This slim, 176-page book can be read in a few days at most. But it has what you need to dramatically improve your strategic play:
- Weak pawns
- Open files
- Half-open files; the minority attack
- Black squares and white squares
Note that slightly changing the names of Chapters 5 and 6, then rearranging the letters of Chapters 2-7 gives M-O-S-C-O-W.
A Look Inside
You can get a closer look at Simple Chess here.
If you’ve made it this far, you either have the book or need to get it. Don’t hesitate; you won’t regret your purchase.
Have you read Simple Chess? What are your impressions? Comment below!