The best way to improve your chess game is to read but what do you read when you’re looking to get to, and past, the 1,000-rating mark? At this stage you don’t want to start reading books that you’re going to find overwhelming or that bore the socks off of you, you want to improve your chess not get a better night’s sleep, right? Here are the perfect books for the chess player seeking to get to beyond 1,000.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Chess by Patrick Wolff
It’s not that anyone below 1,000 rating is an idiot. “The Idiot’s Guides” are a popular brand of beginner books. This is a good place to start – it’s a nice and easy to read generalist’s guide to the game. There’s more than enough in here to entertain much higher rated players too, so the book will grow with you as you grow in the game.
It was written by Patrick Wolff an American Grandmaster and has a foreword from Larry Evans, another Grandmaster and former chess columnist. It’s super readable and the perfect introduction to boosting your chess firepower without blowing your mind.
You can find The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Chess by Patrick Wolff on Amazon.
Learn Chess by Dr. John Nunn
Dr. John Nunn is an English grandmaster who is also a three-time world champion of the World Chess Problem solving championships. Some would say he’s also the finest chess writer in the world and certainly, there are few who can match his knowledge of the game or his way to tackle and explain the concepts.
This is an easy to read book which walks you through all the basics to get you to a point where you should be winning more than you lose, at least within your peer group.
You can find Learn Chess by Dr. John Nunn on Amazon.
Chess Openings for Black, Explained: A Complete Repertoire by Lev Alburt
Black came before white in this list as it’s often hardest for less experienced players to grasp just exactly how to take on the challenge of starting the game a movement behind. This is an update edition which contains everything you need to strike back against any standard first move choice from white.
It’s very well-illustrated inside and you should grab a board and work through this book as you go – it’s an excellent and invaluable grounding on starting on the harder side of the board.
You can find Chess Openings for Black, Explained: A Complete Repertoire by Lev Alburt on Amazon.
Chess Openings for White, Explained: Winning with 1.e4 by Lev Alburt
Then, we jump to the other side of the board and grab white. Anatoly Karpov himself recommends this book because it’s the best way to get introduces to all the important (and effective) openings that you can use as white.
He focuses on Bobby Fischer’s favorite first move 1. e4 to bring the openings context and to help the student understand that, in the right hands, these openings aren’t for “noobs” but for the best players in history.
You can find Chess Openings for White, Explained: Winning with 1.e4 by Lev Alburt on Amazon.
A First Book of Morphy by Frisco Del Rosario
Paul Morphy was the first ever chess champion of America and his games were packed to the brim with brilliance and creativity. In this short and enjoyable chess book, you will find that Frisco Del Rosario has ripped over 60 of Morphy’s finest games to pieces so that you can learn from the master.
The idea is to use Morphy to illustrate what Del Rosario feels are the 30 key ingredients of great chess play and you’ll find that this text is instructive and practical. This book will help anyone looking to get to the rank of 1,000 or beyond.
You can find A First Book of Morphy by Frisco Del Rosario on Amazon.
Silman’s Complete Endgame Course by Jeremy Silman
Many players get so lost in learning openings and midgame tactics that they completely neglect studying the endgame and then they pay a price for it on the board. You have to be able to finish your opponent off when you have them on the ropes or be able to force a draw when your opponent ought to win and Stilman will show you how.
This is the best start to finish endgame instruction you could ask for and every page builds on the learning from the page before to prepare you to master the hardest part of the game.
You can find Silman’s Complete Endgame Course by Jeremy Silman on Amazon.
Winning Chess Tactics (Winning Chess – Everyman Chess) by Yasser Seirawan
At this stage of your game, it’s too early to worry too much about strategic chess play but it’s never too early to learn tactics. Tactics are the combination of moves and intents that you use to win small objectives in the game (such as developing a pawn structure or removing the opponent’s queen).
Grandmaster Seirwan breaks down how you can plan your game, how you can anticipate obstacles and how you can use tactics to smash your way through to an endgame in which you already hold a considerable advantage. It’s a master piece that can serve you as well off the board as it does on it.
You can find Winning Chess Tactics (Winning Chess – Everyman Chess) by Yasser Seirawan on Amazon.
Back to Basics: Tactics (ChessCafe Back to Basics Chess) by Dan Heisman
When you want a ton of examples to work through to get your tactical game on track, then you want this back to basics guide from Dan Heisman. There are more than 500 examples and problems to work on and you will never get bored.
You will find that some of these problems are, perhaps, a little complex for your current stage of learning but don’t worry about that – they will be there when you’re looking for your next boost in rating. This is how you learn to take advantages from nothing.
You can find Back to Basics: Tactics (ChessCafe Back to Basics Chess) by Dan Heisman on Amazon.
Logical Chess: Move By Move: Every Move Explained New Algebraic Edition by Irving Chernev
Cherney has worked with all the greats to try and determine what, exactly it is, that makes each move in chess effective. Then wrapped in entertaining story telling, he brings these lessons to life in a way that you can incorporate them into your game.
There’s never a moment where you feel that you are floundering when using this book, the purpose is clear and, well, logical. The objective is to use each move to bolster the power of decision making on the previous move and on the next to come. It’s how winners are made.
You can find Logical Chess: Move By Move: Every Move Explained New Algebraic Edition by Irving Chernev on Amazon.
Chess Tactics for Students by John A Bain
If you want a nice light read on chess tactics, this relatively short book from John A Bain might be exactly what you’ve been looking for. It’s ideal for those looking to head to 1,000 and it aims to educate by ensuring that it never overwhelms you with too much information at once.
Every player can learn something from this book, mind you, but those who will get the greatest utility from it are those that want to master tactics but who find other books a bit more than they are prepared to handle.
You can find Chess Tactics for Students by John A Bain on Amazon.
So, there are the top 10 best books for 1,000 rating. Of course, you can’t expect to read the books and immediately boost your rating but you can expect to improve dramatically if you take each book read it, work through the exercises and problems and try to implement your learning in your game. We’d say that it ought not to take much more than a few months to hit 1,000 rating if you’re really dedicated to the idea.