Top 5 Chess Books for Beginners (0-1200)

Here are 5 Chess books that helped me as a beginning chess player and that can certainly help you!

0:00-0:34 Why I made this video
0:34-1:48 #1 – 5334 Chess Problems by László Pólgar
1:48-2:45 #2 – Silman’s Complete Endgame Course by Jeremy Silman
2:45-3:54 #3 – Mastering the Chess Openings Vol. 1 by John Watson
3:54-4:32 #4 – Mastering the Chess Openings Vol. 2 by John Watson
4:32-5:19 #5 – The Mammoth Book of the World’s Greatest Chess Games by John Nunn
5:32-6:08 If you only had to pickup two of these

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I hope you have a wonderful day! Let me know your favorite book in the comments 🙂

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93 Comments

  1. Getting back into this game after 3-4 years lol, I'm 14, I have forgotten everything and only know the rules now, let's see if I actually get into this hobby and if I do let's see how much would I improve in 2 years

  2. Will you get a kickback if I order through the link you provided? I want to make sure I ask because it’s a little awkward to use the link but I’ll use it if it makes you money bro!

  3. Great video these books have helped me become better

  4. How do you feel about Jesus de la Villa's 100 Endgames you must know?

  5. FCO is pretty good for openings. Thanks for the suggestions.

  6. Attacking Chess by Josh Waitzkin was my all time favorite.

  7. Which one you recommend should I buy first?

  8. Can anyone suggest me midgame related books for beginners cause thats what I'm bad at

  9. Can you give me an alternative to 5334 problems?It's too expensive in India 🇮🇳

  10. are some of these books still good for 1400+?

  11. An interesting note about Judit Polgar, she has beaten 11 World Champions, including Fischer, Carlsen and Kasparov. The closest male player I have found so far to accomplish this is Korchnoi, who has beaten 9. Her Peak Rating was 2735, making her not only the strongest woman player of all time so far, but one of the strongest of all players. She was ranked #55 in the workd as a 12-year old, at the time this was extremely rare. There seems to be a problem with misogyny iin chess and this needs to be corrected ASAP. If I see it in person, there may be some unscheduled chess boxing.

  12. Although it is sound advice to study the end and middlegames first, I think most players ignore this because you have to play the opening well enough to reach a middlegame. There is a context of course and it is inevitable that the endgames will need to be known to get into the Intermediate/ late intermediate level. The good news is that if I stay in principles, I do reach the middle most games, but for my purposes it needs to be guaranteed.

  13. I'm 20 y.o can i get any master title from this age ????

  14. I don’t like the last one, the games collection. I’d suggest Giddins, 50 essential chess lessons. Big plus: the ebook version is excellent.

  15. I'm studying those days the Laslo's Polgar book, it's a very great book

  16. That Polgar book was actually written by Susan when she was under 18 and needed to use her dad's name to get it published.

  17. I'm only a 750 Elo…I have The Mammoth Book and I use it regularly with my own board, playing the games in it out move by move and memorizing as best I can. I highly recommend it too! As for the others, will definitely put them on my list! New subscriber hete!

  18. I have the Silman book on the way. I'm fed up with giving away the game in the end game. Keen to improve!

  19. I have just started playing which one of them do u think I should read?

  20. The problem I have with so many chess opening books/courses is that they only teach it from white's perspective. Like, what if I want to play the French defense as black and all I've ever studied is how to refute my ideas as black?

  21. what's a good alternative for "The Mammoth book of the World's Greatest Chess Games" ?

  22. Greetings from a new player & subscriber! I appreciate the book list and recommendations very much!
    Best Wishes!

  23. Just bought "keep it simple" thanks for the rec…Side note, heard you on H1 Chess…good stuff!

  24. Unfortunately, but Laslo polgar was not a grandmaster

  25. This man have a similar appearance of Alireza Firouzja

  26. Colgate should sponsor this video, Thank you so much

  27. Hey! Ik it's been late but does mastering the chess openings vol 1 contain Sicilian defence?I am thinking of buying it

  28. pourquoi tu souris comme si tu avait 90 de Q.I.?? et Pourquoi tu bouges sans cesse tes mains???

  29. Hey, I think you might wanna add something.

  30. As a more advanced player, I feel that the mammoth book is really helpful for anyone, not just beginners. It has a style of annotating with certainly simple language, but what I do is that I try to follow while also trying to find the move the player played before looking at the move at the most critical moments, and I recommend this for anyone who is using books containing games.

  31. Do you have a video about books to reach 2200 or something like that?

  32. Do you recommend to combine the first two books? So for example do 50 puzzles of the first book and after that some pages of the second book?

  33. For anyone who cannot afford to buy any of these books, do not worry, none of them are essential. Everything you need to become a good player is available for free online. These books are mostly good as entertainment for people who can afford them. One of them, the Mammoth book of games, has the world's greatest games, but what makes them great also makes them totally over the head of players rated under 1200. Finally, every game in this book is available for free online.

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