Chess For Novices - A Guide for Fresh Beginners and Aspiring Novices

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The Best Chess Books for Beginners and Novices (Part 2)

Game Collections

Playing over master level games is the easiest (and usually the most enjoyable) way to become familiar with a wide variety of strategic concepts. Irving Chernev's classic Logical Chess: Move by Move is an essential volume that will get you started along these lines. Chernev walks the reader through 33 classic games, literally explaining every single move.

Understanding Chess Move by Move is another fantastic game collection that all novices should pick up. Nunn - an international grandmaster and one of England's strongest players - is one of the most highly respected chess writers around. Pick up a copy of Understanding, and you will soon see why.

Paul Morphy, with the debatable exception Bobby Fischer, was the greatest American chess player of all time. In fact, Fischer described him as "perhaps the most accurate player who ever lived." Studying Morphy's games is very effective for novices, because Morphy's style of play elegantly enunciates the basic principles of the game. A First Book of Morphy by Frisco Del Rosario is a great way to work through 60 of Morphy's games.


As described above, the best way to learn a variety of strategic concepts is to study master level games. However, once you've worked through Logical Chess, you can check out Seirawan's Winning Chess Strategies. As is the case in Winning Chess Tactics described previously, Seirawan's engaging writing style shines - a fantastic read for any improving novice.


Bruce Pandolfini (famously portrayed by Ben Kingsley in the 1993 chess film Searching for Bobby Fischer) delivers the novice endgame bible with Pandolfini's Endgame Course. The book is composed of 239 endgames, organized into a series of themes. The themes are developed over a series of linked problems, each problem building on the last. This method of instruction turns out to be a refreshing and simple approach to endgame study.

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Chess Improvement - Table of Contents
Beginner Level
Novice Level - Board Vision - Part 2
Tournament Level - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Thought Process
Best Books for Novices - Part 2 - Part 3