Grandmaster recommended Chess Books

This list contains the 20 best chess books as ranked by grandmasters. I hope this list helps you to find the perfect book for you.

Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors

This book series is considered by many as the best chess book series. In it the former world chess champion Garry Kasparov talks about his predecessors.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky Jan-Krzysztof Duda Vladimir Kramnik Jan Gustafsson Boris Gelfand Magnus Carlsen Wang Hao
Mark Dvoretsky

Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual

Perhaps the best endgame book there is. Highly appraised by many grandmasters.

Recommended by:
John Bartholomew Garry Kasparov Vladimir Kramnik David Navara Le Quang Liem Boris Gelfand Sam Shankland
Bobby Fischer

My 60 Memorable Games

First published in 1969 in "My 60 Memorable Games" Bobby Fischer goes over his most famous games.

Recommended by:
Levon Aronian David Navara Yasser Seirawan Gata Kamsky Pentala Harikrishna
David Bronstein

Zurich International Chess Tournament, 1953

David Bronsteins Zurich International Chess Tournament Book is widely considered one of the greatest chess books ever written

Recommended by:
David Navara Josif Dorfman Peter Svidler Yasser Seirawan Teimour Radjabov
Mikhail Tal

The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal

Mikhail Tal, the "magician from Riga", was one of the greatest attacking world champions in history. In this autobiography he goes over his extraordinary career.

Recommended by:
John Bartholomew Simon Williams Yasser Seirawan Pentala Harikrishna
Aron Nimzowitsch

My System

My System written by Aron Nimzowitsch is a highly influential book that formed the way chess is played.

Recommended by:
Le Quang Liem Wesley So Levon Aronian
Mikhail Tal

Tal-Botvinnik 1960: Match for the World Chess Championship

Mikhail Tal annotates his games from his 1960 World Chess Championship match against Mikhail Botvinnik which he ultimately won.

Recommended by:
Peter Svidler Yasser Seirawan
Jacob Aagaard

Grandmaster Preparation

Grandmaster Preparation is a book series by Jacob Aagaard. The series covers everything you need to master chess.

Recommended by:
Sam Shankland Boris Gelfand
Mikhail Shereshevsky

Endgame Strategy

Shereshevsky explains the principles of the endgame using classic examples from grandmaster practice.

Recommended by:
Andrew Tang Levon Aronian
Jesús de la Villa

100 Endgames You Must Know

You don't need to know all the different possible endgames that can ever arise. This book focuses on the endgames that will occur the most common in actual play.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky John Bartholomew
Vladimir Vukovic

Art of Attack in Chess

The Art of Attack in Chess is a classic book written by Vladimir Vukovic. Once you have read this book, attacking your opponent's king will become second nature.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky Caleb Denby
Jonathan Rowson

Seven Deadly Chess Sins

This book investigates the psychological pitfalls that we all fall for when we play chess. Understand why you sometimes make bad moves and how to notice this earlier.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky Levon Aronian
Jonathan Hawkins

Amateur to IM

In "Amateur to IM" Jonathan Hawkins provides training methods and provides information on how to learn as efficiently as possible.

Recommended by:
John Bartholomew
Tigran Petrosian

Python Strategy

Tigran Petrosian known for his impenetrable defensive playing style annotates his best games in this book. If you want to learn how to defend in chess this is the book for you.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky
Jeremy Silman

How to Reassess Your Chess

Learn to play better chess by getting insights how a chess master analyzes positions. In "How to Reassess Your Chess" Silman explains the thought process of a master in chess.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky
Marc Esserman

Mayhem in the Morra

Mayhem in the Morra is *the* book about the Smith Morra Gambit. Written by Marc Esserman who used the Smith Morra successfully in tournament play against players like Hikaru Nakamura.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky
Jonathan Rowson

Chess for Zebras

Chess for Zebras is a great book about the psychology of chess which tackles the questions why is it hard for adult players to improve and if whites first mover advantage is a myth.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky
Ger van Perlo

Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics

This book is a classic and award winning book about tactics in the endgame.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky
László Polgár

Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games

Never miss a checkmate tactic again. With over 3000 checkmate in two problems and 700 mate in three problems.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky
Frank Lamprecht

Fundamental Chess Endings

Fundamental Chess Endings is an encyclopaedia for all the important endgames you must know.

Recommended by:
Magnus Carlsen

These books were all recommended by chess grandmasters! Click on the more information to find out in detail what they have to say about each book.

I hope this list of recommendations will help you find the best chess textbooks for you. Because who else could judge whether a chess book is good or not if not grandmasters.

Have you found a recommendation from a grandmaster that is not yet in the list? Send me an email and I will add it.

More book lists

Looking for something more specific? Take a look at these book lists: