The Top 5 Chess Books For Beginners

Interested in learning and improving your chess? We’ve put together a list of our top recommendations for beginner chess fans to learn more about the game, different strategies to study, openings and more.

  1. How to Play Chess for Beginners: Tips & Strategies to Win at Chess - By Joe Carlton

    This book contains everything you need to know about chess. From setting up the board, basic checkmates, chess terminology to strategies to win. It will give you an good general knowledge about the game and is therefore great for beginners.

  2. 1001 Chess Exercises for Beginners: The Tactics Workbook That Explains the Basic Concepts, Too! - By Franco Masetti & Roberto Messa

    This book merges a thousand (literally) chess problems with descriptions of the various positions as well as tactics such as double attack, mate in one or mixed motif.

    Training tactics combinations is the way to win at chess as the game is 99% based on tactics. The authors have done a great job in combining concept explanations with exercises so the reader gets a holistic chess training.

  3. Complete Book of Chess - By Elizabeth Dalby

    This book is the ultimate guide to chess history, techniques and tactics. It gives advice on planning moves, effective attacks, defending your pieces and trapping your opponent; all in order to ensure a win!

    It also emphasizes the skills chess teaches you, such as memory and analysis, consequences and cause as well as planning ahead and following rules. It’s designed for younger players, but would be interesting for any beginner who’d like to learn about chess and the skills that come with it.

Speaking of younger chess learners, our newest app - Magnus’ Kingdom of Chess - teaches kids the basics of chess in a fun and adventurous way!

  1. Logical Chess: Move By Move - By Irving Chernev

    A classic when it comes to chess books! Chernev walks readers through 33 tournament games in detail, explaining every move.

    An English chess master and broadcaster, Leonard Barden, says: "The novice who plays through Logical Chess can learn an ocean of basic chess wisdom." It’s an easy read and a must for every chess lover!

  2. Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins - By Garry Kasparov

    The last book we’d like to recommend focuses on chess legend Garry Kasparov’s experience with Deep Blue - the IBM supercomputer that once beat him in 1997. In this book, he shares his story of what it was like to play against a machine, his strategies and his mistakes.

    Readers will learn a lot about both chess and AI from one of the most important chess figures in history. It’s a book that every chess lover should read no matter what level you’re at!

There is one last tip we have for you:

While it won’t teach you how to play chess, David Llada’s book - The Thinkers - beautifully showcases not only the game of chess but also the player’s emotions and the mental intensity this game demands! Definitely inspiring for new chess players, and well worth a read!


Ready to go beyond the books and actually start practicing? Download our Magnus Trainer app free, and you can #TrainWithMagnus today.

- The Play Magnus Team