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

Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual

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

Recommended by:
Le Quang Liem Vladimir Kramnik David Navara Boris Gelfand Sam Shankland Garry Kasparov John Bartholomew
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:
Josif Dorfman Peter Svidler Teimour Radjabov David Navara Yasser Seirawan
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:
David Navara Pentala Harikrishna Levon Aronian Gata Kamsky Yasser Seirawan
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:
Yasser Seirawan Pentala Harikrishna John Bartholomew Simon Williams
Aron Nimzowitsch

My System

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

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

Endgame Strategy

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

Recommended by:
Andrew Tang 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
Vladimir Kramnik

Kramnik: My Life & games

In the book Vladimir Kramnik describes his life and his chess career. It contains more than 50 of his best games with deep annotations.

Recommended by:
Magnus Carlsen
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
Jeremy Silman

Silman's Complete Endgame Course

Silman's Complete Endgame Course teaches the endgame from basics concepts to master level information.

Recommended by:
Daniel Naroditsky
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
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
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

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: