This page is a list of various chess resources that I've bought/read/watched along with short reviews of each.
I have a growing collection of chess books at this stage. The issue is finding time to read them all. Still they do look good on the shelf!
I have a few endgame books which I've been looking at. They're interesting books to review as typically you won't really read or understand half of it. At my level I've read max 50% of any of these books but they're still essential, especially as reference books. There's a massive overlap between all of these books but I think it's worth reading about the same ending in multiple books to get a few different explanations on it. Eventually something might stick!
- 100 Endgames You Must Know by Jesus de la Villa
- This is a great book. There are 100 endgames covered here with 2-3 pages for most of them. This format is excellent as you can easily focus on the specific ending you wish to study.
- Silmans Complete Endgame Course by Jeremy Silman
- Another essential book. This one is split up by rating band so you can focus on the endings specific to your rating. I find the book is well written - I'm a fan of Silman's style here. The topics are relevant - I remember using one of his topics - the deep freeze - in one of my first games and picking up a point against a much higher rated opponent.
- Fundamental Chess Endings by Karsten Muller and Frank Lamprecht
- I haven't really read much of this - mainly have it to look good on my shelf! It's really comprehensive - not one to be read end to end but instead used as a reference book as needed. I typically look up endings here after I've read them in the Silman or de la Villa books.
- Endgame Strategy by Mikhail Shereshevsky
- I just bought this recently based on the recommendation of Jan Gustafsson at Chess24.com so haven't read it yet. It looks a bit more strategic than the other endgame books and seems an ideal complement to the more specific endgame books above. Also it's probably too advanced for me at the moment!
These endgame books are really good and more applicable to the games I play than any opening books. My main issue with them is that, for example, I can now identify winnning and lost simple king and pawn endgames but I don't know what to do in the phase just before that. I find myself in positions with say a piece and 4-5 pawns each and have no idea what to do. Then stuff happens and I suddenly recognise that I'm in a lost ending. I think the Shereshevsky book covers this type of position so hopefully after digesting that I'll have a better idea of what's going on.
Unfortunately I didn't play any real serious chess as a teenager or in my twenties so I missed out on a couple of decades of building a chess repertoire. So now I have to catch up quickly and I'm really looking for a simple, easy to memorise system. These are the two main resources that I'm using.
- Junior Repertoire from Exeter Chess Club
- These were the openings I used when I first started playing chess seriously in 2014. I played in the 1400-1500 range with them so they can't have been that bad. I only switched as I wanted something more comprehensive and cohesive. Speaking of which...
- Nigel Davies Building an Opening Repertoire
- This is a video course by Nigel Davies on a complete chess opening repertoire. The black openings extend the Junior Repertoire ones so it's a natural transition. The white openings involve playing d4 instead of e4 so that's a switch but at least now I can play either with white. One of the reasons for d4 is that you play some of the black openings with white so this cuts down on memorization - also the same concepts should apply to both openings.
- Practical Chess Exercises
This is a really great tactics book. The puzzles aren't labelled so you don't know what the required solution is. Instead you just have to find the best move in the position. The positions come from real games so they are realistic.
- How to Force Checkmate by Fred Reinfeld
- Win at Chess by Fred Reinfeld
I picked up a these two books in the States for about a dollar each secondhand. They're fairly slim volumes but have 300 puzzles each. I think they're great and I've gotten great use out of them.
- A great site for following online tournaments. The commentators are excellent. I used to be subscribed to this site also and the videos are also top notch
There are lots of chess players streaming on Twitch and Youtube. Here are the ones that I follow.
- IM John Bartholemew
- Astaneh Chess
- Lucas Anderson
- Some great videos on the past world champions