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(The best chess-players the game has ever produced.)
(From this page you can find links to my pages with the best tournaments, the best games 
ever played, the best short games of chess, etc.)

Do you know the ONLY correct way to study a chess book? 
(ANY chess book.) 
Click  here  and I will show you what I mean. 

A reader from Wisconsin pointed out (in Nov, 2000) that this is an excellent website, but a major oversight was prompted by the question,

  "Where should I go to get  [buy]  my chess books?" 
(See the left margin for a link to my preferred chess distributor.)


WOW!!  I never thought of that. The second choice would be the U.S. Chess Federation's  web-site. The third choice would have to be The Amazon <dot> com  web-site.  The next choice would be the Barnes and Noble  web-site.  And the next choice would have to be the chess items from the "e-bay"  web-site. Here you can find many of the books that are out of print!! Click  HERE  to go there now. Good choices!! Another site to check out is Batsford's Web-site.  Also check out this link

Eventually, I will have a list of the best chess books ever written. I will try to break them down into several different categories. (Best books, Best Match Coverage, Best Game collection, Best Analysis, Best Biography/Auto-Biography, etc.)

I highly suggest before anyone criticizes my choices here that they go to and read the book reviews and see what EVERYONE has to say about these books.  

  A.J.'s "Book of the Month"  
  (This feature started in February, 2006. The archives for this feature are here.) 

  Here I will list a {relatively} recent (?) book acquisition, and I will tell you why I liked it.  



My choice  <*****>  for  July, 2007  is:  

<< Alexander Alekhine's Chess Games, 1902-1946. >> 
This is an excellent book by Leonard M. Skinner and Robert G.R. Verhoeven.  (Published in 1998 by McFarland and Company, Inc.)  ISBN:  # 0-7864-0117-6 (Hardback, Library binding, 50# alkaline paper.) 

This is an excellent book, a truly massive volume, you can break your arm just trying to pick it up!! It is also a bit pricey, some dealers want 300 bucks (or more!) for this volume!!!!! (You can buy it on-line for $125.00 plus shipping.) Just about every game that Alekhine ever played - that could be located - will be found in these pages. Plus there are many references ... most of these articles would have remained buried in some forgotten chess magazine, if not for the labor of these two authors. 

THE definitive book on the games of Alekhine ... for those who can afford it.  

(An A.J. "Top-Ten" selection. Best Auto-Biography.)

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One of my all time favorite books is 'Bobby Fischer: My 60 Memorable Games.' This is easily one of the best all-time biographical collections. Bobby analyzes the games to great depths. His notes are clear, instructive, and to the point. (I still refer to this book on a regular basis, although my copy is probably close to 30 years old!!) Another bonus is GM Larry Evan's very instructive and entertaining comments at the start of the game. This is surely one of the "Ten Books I Would Take to a Desert Island."


(A close second in the Autobiographical Category would have to be Alexander Alekhine's [former Chess World Champion] collection of his games. You could spend ten years learning from the tactics and ideas from this creative player!!

 [  # 4.)  In my "Instructional Books" category. ]  Maybe not a top ten book, [overall] but one of my personal favorites, is: " The Complete Chess Player,"  by  Fred Reinfeld. Want to know which book I studied and I feel helped me the most when I was a non-Master? Want to know what book I have taught all of my chess students' out of? What book do I recommend to the average player? What book have I designed an entire course curriculum for local schools out of? Which book I feel is the best and written the most simply? Which book I feel is the best for someone just starting to "get a feel for the game?" This is it! Go to my book reviews page to see how I reviewed this book for  

Another two very good points about this book? One is the excellent section on the openings. The other is the illustrative games in the back of the book. This one is a must for every player under 1600! (IMOHO)

(Maybe my selection for the "Best Teaching Book for the Average Guy!!!") 

A must for every novice!!!!


Click HERE to go to my book review page and see what I wrote about this book for


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(Best Instructional Books)

# 1.)    Maybe   the very best [instructional] book ever written   for the non-master has got to be, 'How To Re-Assess Your Chess.' [3rd Edition.] by IM J. Silman. Can you name at least 3 "Anti-Knight" techniques? (Masters have given me blank looks on this one!) Do you understand "The Minority Attack?" Do you know Silman's, "3 Rules of [the] Combination?" Do you understand the various strengths and weaknesses of the standard pawn structures? Do you know some of the basic imbalances? Do you know the basic properties of each piece, and how they relate to each other  ...  and the overall position on the board?

I am a Life-Master. And it is my opinion that the average MASTER could learn something from this book! Now if a Master could learn from this book, don't you think you would learn something from it? (On the cover, it has endorsements from GM N. DeFirmian, and IM's John Donaldson, Jack Peters, and Elliot Winslow.) In my opinion, this is the finest book since Nimzovich's, "My System." Get this book, and read it! I promise you that if you STUDY it, you will definitely improve from it. I demand that all of my students get and read this book!


(For your convenience, I have reproduced my book review here, instead of making you go to the book review page.)

<<  10 of 10 people found the following review helpful: >>
(Copied from the web-page - Oct, 22nd, 2000.)

<< How did he get all my best ideas?, December 13, 1999>>

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top-reviewer-1000.gif (1371 bytes)   Reviewer: A.J. Goldsby I (see more about me) from Pensacola, FL (U.S.A.)

<< "Many years ago, I was at a tournament in Alabama. I was espousing several/many of my ideas. They all said, "Hey - that sounds great, why don't you write a book?" Then Silman came out with his book. All my best ideas were in there. How did he do it?

Seriously, this is a GREAT book. I have used the material in this book to teach many of my students. I can use what is in this book to puzzle Masters. Do you know how many high-rated players I have asked to name the various "Anti-Knight" techniques, and all they have given me is a blank look? If you had a thorough knowledge of everything in this book, (and could always apply it); you'd be at least an EXPERT. (USCF =/> 2000.) I think many Masters could learn something from this book. I know, I am a Life-Master.

In my own not-so-humble opinion, this is simply,  "THE BEST INSTRUCTIONAL BOOK EVER WRITTEN!"  (Especially for the Non-Master!!) If you even think you want to be better, this book had better be in your library!

[Note to J.S.: Your word editor and spell-checker on your laptop are broken.]" >>

# 2.) Another one of the greatest instructional books ever written [especially for the Opening Phase!!!] has got to be the late, Great GM Ruben Fine's book,  "The Ideas Behind the Chess Openings."  This is the book that will teach you the correct way to play the Openings. Generations of chess-players have learned from this book. A MUST for every aspiring chess student. Learn the correct ideas to play the opening. Do NOT try to memorize every opening, but learn to play the opening correctly. This is the only book for you to buy to learn these concepts. I demand that all my students buy this book.  Get it now !!  If you are worse after most openings, then you must get this book and learn what you have been doing wrong. Don't lose another game because of ignorance. Learn the PRINCIPLES behind the opening phase. Stop losing and START playing the openings correctly. Find out the correct way to begin the game!!

A real gem that teaches the basic knowledge you need!!


( Note: The variations are somewhat dated, but that is not the point. You can buy a book like MCO-14 and find out what the correct modern lines are. Try to learn the principles and ideas  [behind the moves]  that are outlined in this book. )


Here is my book review from on this book: 


   << 7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

  4 of 5 stars The Openings = A sound foundation.    December 14, 1999

Many of the examples in this book are not current theory. But if you play through all the examples, or only a few of them, the Author will continually reinforce what is important. He shows you that building a sound opening is just like building a house, brick-by-brick. You will learn to lay your bricks with thought and care. This book will help you more than 10 or 20 modern books on the opening. Clearly and concisely written. If you are serious about improving and need help in the openings, learn the principles and ideas behind the moves. The next time your opponent takes you out of book, you won't be scared ...  
you will mash him.  >>  (Copied from the web, Dec. 2000.)

# 3.) Another one of the best instructional books ever written has got to be "Pawn Structure Chess," by GM Andy Soltis. Go to and read what I wrote about this book. Suffice it to say that until you learn the basic structures and the plans that are common to them, you cannot hope to even attempt a basic mastery of the game of chess. Credit this book for turning a strong Expert into a real Master. (Me.)  THE  textbook for pawn structures. Get it!! 

(Only AFTER you have read and studied Soltis's book will you be ready to read - and try to make sense of - Hans Kmoch's,  "Pawn Power In Chess.")


# 4.) "The Complete Chess Player." A masterpiece of the 20th century for the beginner and novice. Scroll up the page (or click here!) to read further about what I had to say about Reinfeld's teaching masterpiece. This is a book that every player under 1300 should be required to read!! I give it to all of my students. 

A gentleman - I have forgotten his name - told me that he was a BIG fan of my web site. He said mine was easily one of the best sites on the web. He also told me he was completely unaware of the above book until he read about it on my web site ... now it is required reading for the young people in his chess program!!!


# 5.) Another one of the greatest instructional books ever written has got to be "Logical Chess, Move-By-Move." (By Irving Chernev.) This is one of the best books ever written for the bare-bones beginner. Jude Acers thinks this is the greatest chess book ever written. (So do a lot of other great players.) There is an explanation after every move. Go to and read what I and many other players have said about this book. A real classic. If you are a bare beginner, I can not think of a better book to recommend to you. It is also a great teaching vehicle, like many of Chernev's books.


# 6.) Another one of the greatest instructional books ever written has got to be, "The Game of Chess," by GM Siegbert Tarrasch. This man and this book were the BIBLE for chess students of the 19th century. If you are struggling with basic concepts, and stuck in a low rating - then I suggest you get and read this book. An absolute must for the collector and a book with a very highly instructive value. The new, re-edited and redone algebraic edition by Lou Hays should be in every aspiring chess players' library!!  


# 7.) Another one of the classics of instructional literature has got to be Capablanca's, "Chess Fundamentals." Easily one of the best chess books for the average chess player that was ever written!! (Originally published in 1921.) Example # 56, of chapter five; (with the two rooks) is a position that MANY Masters have failed ... when I have asked them, "What is the correct technique to win this position for Black?" (Many average players don't have a clue here!!) Also, how do you treat pawns and Bishops? (Let's say our opponent has a Bishop, and you do not. What color-complex of squares do your pawns generally belong on?) There are many others in here that the average Expert will NOT correctly answer. A true classic. A MUST for the beginner.


# 8.)  Another new book, but surely one destined to be a classic is:

"The Secrets Of Modern Chess Strategy," (Advances since Nimzowitsch) by  IM John Watson

While this book might be a bit much for the average beginner, it is certainly a great book - and one just about everybody can learn something from. (I am still learning from this book!!) This is an exceptional chess book. I do not know how much time went into this book, but I am sure it took a tremendous amount of work. 

Click  HERE  to read what I thought of this book. (My book review.) 

Stay tuned for the rest of my list of, "The Ten Best Instructional Chess Books Ever Written."  

So stick around!!

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(A.J.'s "Top Ten" Chess Books)

{ My choice of,  "The Ten Greatest Chess Books Ever Written."  }

 [ This list literally took me months to decide on. ] 

(Please make sure to go to  and read my reviews of the books you see listed here!!) 


  (These are also the "Ten Chess Books  I would take to a Desert Island!!!)  

# 1.)  One of the best books ever written has got to be  "The Art of Chess Analysis,"  by GM Jan Timman. In my humble opinion, this is the greatest chess book ever written. I first got this book I guess in the 1970's, I remember what an impact it had on me. I spent days just going over the same variations, again and again. Not only was it the best analysis I had ever seen, the variations were beautiful!  I was enchanted and put into a trance by this book. The book opened my eyes to what a complicated, beautiful, and very complex game the game of chess actually is. This was definitely a chess book of a different color. I think this book was also the definitive book for chess analysis. 
(Back in the 70's when most chess books seemed to be nothing but fluff - all show and no real content - this book was like the real deal!)

(You should definitely go to Amazon <dot> com,  and read my review of that book. Go to books, then  and then search under chess. Or you can navigate to entertainment>games>board games, etc.)  Or:  Click  HERE  to go to my book review page and read my book review of Timman's book.


If I were to take on a young IM with the goal of making to GM, we would sit down and learn and study this book for months. I am quite certain this book was an innovative book, ground-breaking and ahead of its time. All I can tell you is that I consider this to be the Greatest Chess Book ever written!!
(NOTE: For the average player, this book is probably a bit much. An instructional book would be much better.)


(Another book that is a close second in this category is GM Yasser's Seirawan's book,  "Winning Chess Brilliancies."  Surely this book is a classic, and will go down as one of the best books written in the last 25 years.) 



# 2.)  One of the best books of all time is easily  "My System"  by Aaron Nimzovich. This is the book that makes average players into Masters, and turns Masters into GM's. Not only did this book explain many of the "new" ideas of the hyper moderns, (i.e., overprotection, and the new concepts on controlling the center); it also will teach the basics of strategy and planning. This book was a landmark in the chess world and easily one of the most important books from the standpoint of chess history. Be sure to go to and read ALL the reviews, (NOT just mine!!); of this great book. A real masterpiece of chess literature. A definite inclusion in the library of every would be, future GM. 




# 3.)  Another one of the greatest books of all time has got to be,  "Think Like A GM,"  by GM Alexander Kotov. Not only a great book, but a masterpiece of training methods. And it was a  [MAJOR]  revelation. Many western players got their first glimpse of the Eastern [Soviet/Russian] training techniques from this book. If you are an "A" player, to an Expert, I know you will benefit from the myriad of tips included in this book. This book is one of those books you could study it a hundred times, and still not get all the usefulness out of it!!


BUT ...   its NOT for beginners!!!  (In fact, students of mine who were rated over 1800 have found it a very difficult book to study.)



# 4.) Perhaps the greatest Tournament Book of all time has got to be,  "The Chess Struggle In Practice."  (by GM David Bronstein.) [Be sure to go to, and read what  ALL  the reviewers say about this book.] David Bronstein takes a very close and in-depth look at all of the games of what would have to be one of greatest Candidate Tournaments of all time!

[The Super-Masters Candidates Tournament of: Zurich, 1953.] 

(Many ex-world champs, and all the best players in the world - at that time.) 
As one of the competitors, GM Bronstein offers a unique and valuable insight into the ideas and the psychology of what must have been going through the players minds' at the time of the game. He does not drown the player with a sea of variations, but instead offers much verbiage and explanation. Many of my students have said this was easily the best book they ever studied. A  FANTASTIC  teaching vehicle!! Its definitely a book you could look at over and over and over again. Its also one of the ten books I would want to take, if I knew I were to be stranded on a desert island!!!!   

If you get it, (or read it); I can guarantee you will not be sorry!!

(Even beginners like this book!)



# 5.) Another one of the greatest books of all time has got to be Bobby Fischer's,  <<My Sixty Memorable Chess Games.>>   Many Masters have personally told me what an impact this book has had on their careers. Scroll up the page (or click here) to see what I thought and said about this book. A true classic. Suffice it to say that many GM's have told me if they could only have 25 books in their collection, what would those books be? Many have said they would definitely want this one in their collection!!!

 (I still refer to this book on a regular basis, even after nearly 30 years of study!) 

April - May, 2003:  I am just about finished working on a big project ...... mostly connected with developing and annotating games for various web pages. I just finished analyzing a game that should eventually find its way to a page I have been working on for more than 5 years now. (Click here.) 

Anyway, I have had occasion - many times! - to spend days of computer-assisted analysis, often going over the games in this book. (Click here to see one such example.) 

I continue to be totally absorbed by this book. The analysis in this book has often - and by turns - amazed, astounded, confounded, baffled and delighted me. Anyone who spends some serious time in this book MUST improve!! (And have a lot of fun too!) 


# 6.)  I am going to part with tradition here and nominate a fairly new and modern book for my "Top Ten" list. I think the sixth greatest book ever written has got to be: [The Mammoth Book of]   "The World's Greatest Chess Games."  (By GM John Nunn,  GM John Emms,  and FM Graham Burgess.)  

(Not to be confused with a very good book by Ruben Fine, with a similar name.) This book is one of the best instructional and analytical books I have seen in my entire chess career. It is the collaboration of three authors: GM John Nunn; GM John Emms; and FM Graham Burgess. Some of the best game analysis I have ever seen in my whole chess career is in this book!!! There is definitely a lot of meat here. 

(2003: I still refer to this book on a VERY regular basis. The analysis is 'top-drawer.') 


  100 of the best games of chess ever played!!       --->   The B.C.F. "Book of The Year."   {for that year} 

A real jewel and destined to be a true classic.  A must for the aspiring Master!


[ I wrote these words before GM Andrew Soltis came out with his book, "The 100 Best." ("The 100 Best Chess Games of The 20th Century, Ranked." by GM A. Soltis. Copyright 2000, McFarland Books.) But this is easily a GREAT book in its own right. While the analysis of the Soltis book may not be of the same caliber as the 'Mammoth' book, I am sure the average player would find the Soltis book much easier to read, understand and absorb. I also enjoy the stories in this book far better than the 'Mammoth' book. If I had to go to a desert island  today, I would take both, and I hope no one would try to force me to choose between the two!!! These 2 books may almost be interchangeable.  And although from a technical viewpoint I like the 'Mammoth' book MUCH better, I think Soltis did a FAR better job in his research and in choosing the overall quality of the better, and prettier! - chess games. ]


# 7.) The next book is by  Irving Chernev.  I met this man several times, and he had a real love for the game that few players today demonstrate. He would look at games by the hour with anyone. I personally believe Chernev was at least IM strength. (I believe he played in several U.S. Championships.) The book is: 
 "The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played."   [62 Masterpieces of Chess Strategy];  by Irving Chernev. 
It contains 62 true masterpieces of chess by various different players. (Masters such as Fischer, Capablanca, Alekhine, Tal, etc. Plus many more of the all-time greats!!) Each game is carefully and lovingly annotated. This book had a tremendous impact on me and the way that I viewed and looked at chess. 

  { I studied it many, many,  many  times. }   

Chernev provides games with an almost blow-by-blow commentary. His ideas are simple, fresh, insightful, and expressed with great clarity. He explains all the basic ideas of the game in a manner that ANY chess-player can follow. The variations are perfect. (Not too much to overload the senses.) I have had players who were almost beginners to players who were accomplished tournament players ... and they all tell me that they profited from a careful study of this book. I think one should study this book, as I did. Every  time your rating goes up 100 points, you should work your way through this book from cover to cover! You won't regret it and you definitely will improve! 

Another unique thing is he finds one idea or theme in each game, and just hammers away at it. It is a very good study method. 

It also contains some of the classics of Chess, and Chernev brings you a fresh insight and analysis to each game. (Indeed - his comments and analysis may differ greatly from the ones that may have been published in the {chess} press when the game was first played.) Chernev was (easily) one of the  greatest  all-time teachers and writers in the chess field. This book is a true pearl!!! I think it belongs in the library of every real chess aficionado. 

Click HERE to go to's web page and see what ALL the reviewers though of this book! 



The next book in this list is one that I have given months of thought to. 

(They are so many good books ... so many GREAT books ... it is hard to choose only 10!!) 

# 8.)  But the next book on this list (for me) would have to be:  "The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal,"  by GM M. Tal. This is one of the greatest works of love of all time that are in print. Tal was not the world's greatest writer, although he wrote with a home-style type of charm and honesty that few GM's today could match. An absolute work of love. He chronicles his rise to the top of the chess world like NO OTHER GM HAS EVER DONE, PERIOD!!!!! There is hours of great reading here, hundreds of chess games and game positions to go along with it. ONE HUNDRED of Tal's own favorites are analyzed  in DEPTH!!  I simply cannot convey what a wonderful book this is. It is definitely a book that I (and Dozens of other Masters too!), would take to a desert island. (I have the original, Hard-Cover; RHM edition of this book; along with a rather poor soft-cover edition that was recently released.) There is so much fantastic stuff in this book, that a lifetime is definitely NOT enough to absorb what's in it!! (I have worked my way through this book close to 5 times.) I could just rave on and on, but by now I trust you get the point. You should also go to and read the DOZENS upon DOZENS of favorable book reviews that this book has received. A true masterpiece!!!



# 9.)  The next book on my list is  "Masters of the Chess-Board,"  by GM  Richard Reti. Here the dynamic young genius of the hyper-modern revolution goes through all the masters that had played chess up to that point. Reti rates "The Older Masters," in Part I. (Anderssen, Morphy, Steinitz, Tarrasch, Lasker, Schlecter, and H.N. Pillsbury. Apparently Reti felt this group of players had covered all the basics of chess and showed several distinctive styles.) In Part Two, Reti rates many of the more modern masters of that time. (Such as Maroczy, Marshall, Rubinstein, Capablanca, Alekhine, etc.)  He also gives a chapter on his opening system.  I can not emphasize too strongly what a great book this was. I was in my late teens before I began a serious study of this book. It opened my eyes to many new ideas and some of the greatest players of history. And to have Reti analyze these games and tell you his opinion of the games, the ideas, etc. Also, many Masters (& GM's) have told me  repeatedly  that this was a fundamental book to read and a landmark in the careers' of many of the great players of the 20th century.  I think history will judge this book very highly!  Another one of my books that I would feel forced to take to a desert island, if I could only bring ten. 
Check it out!! A must for the chess collector!! A true gem!!!


 Note:   (March 31st, 2002)  I am in the process of annotating dozens of the older games for my various chess websites. And I have to say several really nice things about this book. A.)  The analysis is always very good and penetrating; B.)  Reti always points out lines and continuations that other annotators have missed; C.)  I have yet to punch a hole in one of his lines with the computer, which I use CONSTANTLY!!; D.)  Reti has some of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL (dang) PROSE you will ever see in any book!!!!!!!!  In other words ... GET THIS BOOK!!!   

  (My 5-year-old daughter Ailene, approves of this note.)  



# 10.)  Another one of the greatest books ever written has got to be:  "500 Master Games of Chess,"   by GM (Dr.) Savielly Tartakower and J. Du Mont. 

[Copyright 1952 & 1976; Dover Publications of New York. This book was originally published by "G. Bell & Sons, " of London, England; in 1951.] (There is also a nice companion volume to this book called "100 Master Games Of Chess.")

Easily a truly great book and a monumental work. Every single opening is represented. (It is actually 3 books in one!) I studied this book as a teenager. I plowed my way through it, doing anywhere from ten to thirty games a day. Later in tournaments, (after I had been studying this book for a while.); the same guys who had beaten me steadily before ... now seemed like so much cannon fodder. I remember one "Class A" player who fell to a sac on h7. He asked me where I learned this technique. I didn't tell him, but it was from this book. Think about it. 500 of some of the best chess games ever played by some of the greatest Masters of the Chess-Board, at least up to that time. Each game is carefully and lovingly annotated by one of the 'classic' Masters, and certainly maybe the one of the better chess teachers - of the 19th and 20th centuries! (Tartakower.) How could you not improve after studying this book?  

This book has the best chess of over 150 years of chess praxis!!!

I remember, quite a few years ago, there was a young expert from another state. He asked me to recommend  ONE  book for him to read and get better. After asking him several questions, I told him he should get this book. Two years later he broke into Master. (Although I am sorry to say, I don't think he plays tournament chess anymore.) I have also purchased a copy of this book and given it to many schools. This is a great book.  Even if you only studied the section that has the openings you played, you would have to improve. Its also a tremendous research and reference book. Just about all the great games of the last 200 years were incorporated into this book. I can not think of a better book. 
Maybe the best chess book of the 20th century!!

A MUST for every collector!!!

Well, that's it. My choice of the, "Ten Greatest Chess Books Ever Written."   Drop me a line   and tell me what your choice is. Maybe I can do a list of the "Ten Best Chess Books A.J.  left off his list,  but were recommended to him by his readers." !!!!

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A special recommendation [and prize] goes to Graham Burgess and "Gambit" publications for their new book, "Chess Highlights of the 20th Century." (Published, 1999.) [The Best Chess 1900-1999 In Historical Context.]

A beautiful hard-back book, well worth the nearly $35.00 that I paid for it! 


This has got to be one of the better books of the last 25 years for a lot of different reasons.  


The blurb on the back cover reads: 

"Like the rest of the world, the game of chess has changed enormously during the 20th century. This book surveys these developments by focusing on the top events, the greatest achievements and the most brilliant games, year-by-year."

Each year is represented by a game or a part of a game. There is also a list of the most outstanding chess accomplishments of that year. There are a bunch of really great photo's in the center of the book. And there is a brief recap of each of the most important news [historical] events, from an international viewpoint, for each year. A book for the real collector of fine and beautiful chess books. Destined to be a Classic!!

(Make sure you read my review of this book on

A.J.'s "Ten Favorite Books - (that no one else might name.)"

(Ten of my favorite books in my chess library.)

(These Books are in no particular order, as I would part with none of them.)

  • 'The Best Games of Boris Spassky,' - by GM A. Soltis. 

    When I was just a little boy, before Bobby won the whole shebang, there was a Chess Champion of the whole world. And he was universally liked and respected. An average Joe, who liked to do the things we all liked to do. An average Joe ...  who also happened to be blessed with an incredible amount of chess talent. An average Joe - who was a real chess prodigy as a child. An average Joe who treated others like a human being and did not act like a spoiled, rotten brat - or a Prima Donna. An average Joe, who had to climb the summit of Mount Everest several times before he finally claimed the ultimate prize. And this average Joe's name was ... 
     --->  Boris Spassky.  

    GM Andy Soltis wrote a very captivating book about a real, nice and likable human being who could play both awesome and unbelievably creative chess. I have played over every game in this book at least a dozen times. If life were fair, (and long enough!) I would be able to play over each game a thousand times. This book is a real gem. Maybe not one of "THE" classics, (for anyone else!); but a real good read.  And some great chess too. 

  • And the annotations are   crafted with tender loving care.  

    Definitely one of the favorites in my library

Stick around for the rest of this list!!



Fred Reinfeld - Maybe he does not belong on the "Ten Best" list, (And maybe.. on the other hand ... );  but he is one of my personal favorites. One of the better American authors of the 20th century. He wrote some of the better teaching books - aimed primarily at the beginner - that were written during this period. Most Masters write to impress other masters. Reinfeld wrote to a level where just about everybody could easily understand and grasp what he was writing about.

His book, "The Complete Chess-Player," is a classic. Its the book I learned from, and the first book that I give to all my students.

(Later I will bring you a list of all the chess books this author wrote.)  
  No need, here is Bill Wall's page. 03/31/2006  


I think the best writer in the U.S.A. today (2000-2001) is easily ... GM Andy Soltis!!! 
(You should definitely read his interesting and informative column in the monthly magazine, Chess. Not only will you learn a lot about the game of chess you will certainly read unique ideas you will see nowhere else. And the most important thing about GM Soltis's column? Its VERY entertaining!!)

(At one time I could say I owned every book he ever published, although I doubt if this is true today. He is simply too prolific! Although I am sure I own at least 75% of all the books he has written.) He is one of the greatest American authors of all time! (In my book, anyway.) One of the main things I love about GM Soltis is the little stories and facts he relates in the course of almost all his books. WHERE does he find all these juicy little tidbits of information? Its great!


Good job, Andy! And Thanks!!! (For ALL the great books.)

A.J.'s List of "The Ten Best Books (on) 
The Best Chess Matches Ever Played."

  1. GM Robert Byrne and IM Ivo Nei's book, "Both Sides of The Chessboard." 
    A beautiful hard-back book [with a gorgeous dust jacket] with many photo's, (a first, for me anyway - for that era of chess books); a great story, and some of the best chess analysis of all time. (Better than most of the match books I had seen.) Definitely one of my favorites. A truly great book that is unfortunately no longer in print.

    Click here to go to my page on "The Best Chess Matches Ever Played."


Stay tuned for the rest of this list!

STAY TUNED for my other lists, "The Ten Best Chess Books ever Written," in various  categories. I.e.,  The Ten Best Instructional BooksThe Ten Best Tournament Books,  The Ten Best Match Books,  The Ten Best Biographies, etc.

Want books that have been greatly discounted? Then click  HERE.

Another good place to buy books? Its got to be this site. Click  HERE.  

 Another good place to BUY or SELL chess books? Click  HERE

  Keep watching this page ... for more of my picks ... of the best chess books of all time!  

   Read  my book review of  "The Immortal Game,"  by  David Shenk.   

  •   An interesting blog page on the subject of the greatest chess books of all time.  

 (Page last updated: Saturday, March 15, 2014 .)  

  Copyright (c) LM A.J. Goldsby I  

  Copyright () A.J. Goldsby, 1985-2013.  

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