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
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
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
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
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:
John Bartholomew Daniel Naroditsky
Mikhail Shereshevsky

Endgame Strategy

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

Recommended by:
Andrew Tang Levon Aronian
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
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
Peter Romanovsky

Chess Middlegame Combinations

The book to learn how to make moves with positional plans and combinational ideas in mind.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky
Reuben Fine

Basic Chess Endings

Basic Chess Endings is considered to be one of the first chess books systematically looking into the endgame.

Recommended by:
Cecil Purdy
Mikhail Tal

Attack with Mikhail Tal

Mikhail Tal managed to gain the World Championship title with his uncompromising attacking style. Learn how to attack in chess by the best.

Recommended by:
Levon Aronian
Richard Réti

Masters of the Chessboard

In "Masters of the Chessboard" Richard Reti investigates the technique used by the great masters of his era.

Recommended by:
Yasser Seirawan
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
Mihail Marin

Learn from the Legends

In "Learn from the Legends" Mihail Marin gives analysis of the great chess games, explaining the ideas of the great masters of chess.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky
Jacob Aagaard

Excelling at Positional Chess

Learning positional play is perhaps one of the hardest things to learn in chess. With "Excelling at Positional Chess" Jacob Aagaard makes it a whole lot easier to learn the concepts of positional chess.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky
David Bronstein

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

In this book David Bronstein goes over some of his most brilliant games. Explaining the games in an easily understandable way with interesting stories around it.

Recommended by:
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
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

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: