Tips4Chess “How to find the most suitable chess book for yourself? “

It is a very well known fact by many chess players that reading chess books is a key activity not only  for creating a knowledge base but also for improving your skills and deepen your knowledge of this extremely complicated game.

It should be clearly understood by chess players that they will not benefit same from all chess books as they do not represent the same value for all chess players. Reading chess books becomes highly beneficial only if we could manage to collect the “right type of information” from the chess books we have purchased.

Our tips 4 amaters and chess enthusiasts is to be aware of the fact that only certain type of chess books with clear instructions are useful otherwise that would not contribute to their understanding of the game or her own knowledge gap.

In the case of a chess player with basic chess knowledge and skills, it would be best to search for beginner level books or old school classics with simple instructions and analysis rather than searching for chess books focusing on advanced analysis and more complicated chess games and positions..

All in all, you have to be highly selective while spending your money, time and energy to reach the right type of information and this is the main goal of this article in order to guide you in the right direction towards your goals and hopefully will help you to find the right type of chess books.

In this article, Tips4Chess tried to gather several important tips for our readers to take into consideration and also to help you in making the optimal choices when searching for chess books.

Below you can find a list of our tips 4 you.


Pay attention to the right author & theme combination

Many chess players fail to find the right type of chess books mainly because at first sight, their focus shifts into attractive and ambitious chess book titles and also to attractive cover images put by chess publishers.

In order to illustrate this, here are some imaginary examples of us in order to illustrate how so called “attractive” chess book titles would look like.. such as, “attack with dragon”, “kill your opponent with …. Gambit etc.”  On the other hand we will not be able to judge the product only by looking the title however we need to be aware of the fact that not every chess book is referring to your chess level and therefore maybe first step is to read some reviews on the websites like or websites of other chess book publishers to collect data by reader reviews and their evaluation of the product.

When searching for a chess book to study, it is important not only to focus on the titles of the books as some of the basic books may have the most attractive names however contentwise it would not be the best source that will help you to fill in your knowledge gaps. Therefore it is recommended to research the authors background as not all chess book authors are active chess players it is useful to understand what perspective and bulletpoints the author is intending to cover in his/her book.


Content vs value comparison

Never forget that you should not expect from a chess book with less than 50 pages to provide you a comprehensive knowledge about one opening. These kind of books are mainly written for general instructions and gives you only an overview of opening rather than focusing on details of the various positons that may arise from it. Please note that this argument cannot be always a true approach to evaluate a chess opening book as for beginners and for players who wants to learn a brand new opening to surprize their opponents will definitely need this type of a summarized book to acquire a general idea about openings key ideas and about the general philosophy.


Always buy more than one book on particular opening themes

The idea of buying several chess books on the same or similar chess topics is that you will be able to compare analysis of both chess experts/authors and you will be able to find out similarities and more importantly the main differences in thoughts on similar chess positions and variations.

For instance if you are buying a book such as “play najdorf” etc. then you will be more or less focusing only on the beneficial parts, lines and variations for black side and this perspective may prevent you to analyse and see the opportunities your opponent has in certain positions and variations.

Therefore buying several books will help you to see especially chess openings and chess variations from both angles for white and black. This comparison strategy will deepen your knowledge of the positions you are analysing and will definitely contribute to your understanding of the game in long term.

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Tips4Chess –Book of the week – “Volga Gambit (Benko Gambit) A58-59” by Anatoly Karpov

A58 – A59 series of the traditional chess monograph series published by Sahovski Informator. This particular series for Volga Gambit is prepared by former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov and this book covers the main line of the Volga Gambit (Benko Gambit) Accepted 1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5  3. d5 b5 4. 5.bxa6. One important note for Tips4Chess readers is that Chess Monographs only include opening trees and pure variations. Therefore for you who expect to find comments or narrative explanations of the moves should definitely search for other types of books as this book format would not match your needs at all.

Instead, chess monographs consist of pure variations with only chess notations and signs, in other words, a book that represents you the opening lines in a opening tree format. In that aspect a monograph pretty much resembles a Chessbase Opening Tree which is nowadays used by majority professional chess players in modern chess era.

Other than set of variations in the Volga Gambit, you will be able to find some reference games are referred to each variation in Volga Gambit as this could be an old publishment, however, considering the books author, it shouldnt be playing significant role as long as the example games and lines are selected by Anatoly Karpov. If you want to specialise in one chess opening or in a particular chess variation of an opening, chess monographs are a must buy resource for you to acquire an overall knowledge related to the opening area you are mostly interested in to focus.

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Tips4Chess “Mayhem in Morra” by IM Marc Esserman

This week Tips4Chess team review one of the most interesting chess opening books “Mayhem in Morra” by American International Master Marc Esserman.

This great chess opening book is covering one of the most fascinating and exciting chess opening Smiths Morra Gambit, which is considered to be a good weapon against sicilian 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 by IM Esserman.

Mayhem in Morra is paying attention to both main variations with 3…dxc3 but also focusing on anti-Morra Gambit lines where black often prefers to play the position with equal material to reduce the tension in this interesting opening line.

Morra Gambit accepted lines with all possible setups used by black such as Siberian System, Schveningen System, The modern Nge7 and also covering early deviations used in practice by black right after dxc3 move.

In addition, there are many exciting lines included in almost all of the setups where white is trying to prove advantage by offering pieces and implementing plans combines with exciting sacrifices. This book is especially recommended for young chess players who would like to improve their tactical understanding of chess but also recommended for players who would like to deepen their understanding on certain chess positions in attacking chess.

The text language used in this book by IM Marc Esserman uses in his book is quite entertaining and inspiring as its written in the spirit of a science fiction movie. IM Esserman also included inspirational quotes from well-known movies like James Bond 007, Batman – Dark Knight series and trying to take us into an exciting and imaginary world for his adventurous analysis.

This unique opening book differs itself in many different ways from traditional chess opening books we get used to buy and read.

One important fact regarding IM Esserman is that he is considered to be one of the leading Morra Gambit practitioner in todays modern chess and this product is mainly reffering to Essermans personal Morra Gambit experience and practices.

The book also analyses his well known game against strong GM Loek Van Wely in Morra Gambit in year 2011. Click here to see the game

Apart from that, most of the variations recommended by IM Esserman in his book, has been tested by author in various tournaments and his passion to bring this opening . His efforts to put all these years work together is a sign that Esserman has done an excellent job.

Another impressive feature of “Mayhem in Morra” is the way Esserman draws his conclusions with respect to his practical game experiences combined together with modern computer analysis and this makes his work both interesting and at the same time increasing the reliability of his game analysis and we strongly recommend this great and exciting chess book for all levels of chess players up to Grandmaster Level.

Tips4Chess team recommends this interesting book for all e4 players who has been having hard time in coping with the main lines of sicilian. As we all know that sicilian has always been a good weapon against 1.e4.

Furthermore, it might require quite a lot of effort, time and energy for some chess players to prepare for all sharp lines and variations in sicilian therefore “Mayhem in Morra” can be used as a good secret weapon for your chess tournament preparations and also allows you to surprise you opponents.

Finally, Tips4Chess team appreciates your comments and evaluations of this interesting book. Below you are able to make an overall asessment of Mayhem in Morra (from 1 to 10 point ) and please do not forget to add your comments on this interesting chess book.

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