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20 Best Chess Books for Intermediate Players

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Are you looking to improve your game in chess? There are many chess books out there that can help you do just that. This blog post will list the best chess books for intermediate players. We’ll discuss the 20 different chess books and topics covered in each book, and how they can help you become a better chess player. So let’s get started!

A few days ago I published a blog post on Lichess about 20 Best Chess Books for Advanced Players and it got over 10,000 views.

Importance of studying chess books

Studying chess books and chess courses has a lot of benefits in overall improvement. Chess books are usually very cheap compared to hiring a private tutor.
Studying chess books helps you to concentrate and focus on the chess board. If you choose the correct books, it will definitely improve your overall strength much quicker and faster. Consider chess books as a part of the chess training process.
Right now, in today’s world, we don’t necessarily have to study chess books for improvement. You can also improve with chess courses and other chess tools.
Sometimes purchasing books can be an impulsive decision, and you have to control this type of buying. Usually, I recommend purchasing a maximum of 3-4 books and studying them.
Once you finish one book, you can go with another

What is considered an intermediate chess player?

This also depends on the player to the player. I know some people who are 2000-rated and still call them intermediate. Even if you ask me (FM), I am hesitant to reply to you as an advanced chess player.
Many Grandmasters said in the interview that they are still discovering chess and some of the streamers behave like they are grandmasters.
Usually, Intermediate players are those who know how to play chess and are able to solve difficult chess positions. Also, they understand chess openings and remember quite of them.
If we want to put this into the rating, I would say it’s between 1000 to 1800 rating or 1100-2000 lichess rating.

How to Purchase these books?

Following are some of the best resources to purchase the books
1- Amazon - Best for Paperback and Hardcover Printed Edition
2- Chessable - Chessable UI/UX is one of the best but the problem is you will not find some books on the platform
3- Forward Chess - Almost all Quality Chess publication books are available on Forward Chess

Best Chess Books for Intermediate Players

Now we will see the 20 best chess books for intermediate players. These books are also helpful for advanced and also for beginner chess players.

1- My system by Aron Nimzowitch

My system should be your first chess book on the list to study if you haven’t. This is a classic masterpiece produced by Aron Nimzowitch.
This book is published by Quality Chess Books and is the best-selling chess book in the world
He covered all the chess concepts necessary to adopt if anyone wants to become a good chess player.
He also explained various chess themes and analyzed some critical positions.
Buy Now on Amazon

2- 1001 chess exercises for club chess players

This is the best chess tactics book you will ever need as an intermediate player. In this book, the author gives 1001 carefully selected chess puzzles.
FIDE Master Frank Erwich believes that chess is 99% tactics. He explained ideas and then provided me with a lot of puzzles.
This book is perfect for those who have significantly less time to work on chess books. You can work on this book while traveling also.
This book’s ten chapters focus on chess tactical themes such as Pins, Discovered attacks, finding draws, defending, etc.
1001 Chess Exercises for Club Players is published by New in Chess, a part of Play Magnus Group.
Buy Now on Amazon

3- Attacking chess for club players by Herman Grooten

The main reason to add this book to my list is the concept.
The author mainly focuses on how to spot opportunities, exploit weaknesses, bring your forces to the frontline, and strike at the right moment.
You will learn the structured way of attacking chess. This book is for you if you don’t have a chess coach.
This book is suitable for all levels of chess players, and studying this book will surely improve your game strength.
Attacking Chess for club players is published by New in Chess.
Buy Now on Amazon

4- Anthology of chess combinations

Again a solid chess puzzle book for everyone. This book contains around 2700 chess puzzles which are dedicated to all levels.
Certain positions are very difficult, but the first 1000 chess puzzles are recommended for intermediate chess players. Of course, if you finish the first 1000 chess puzzles, you can start the next 1000.
Unfortunately, this book is mostly unavailable or out of stock on Amazon or any other websites. You can try finding this book in offline shops.

5- Improve Your Chess Calculation by GM RB Ramesh

Best chess book awardee of 2022. Improve Your Chess Calculation by RB Ramesh is one of the finest chess books available.
In this book, he categorized players into five parts and then gave calculation positions according to each level.
Ramesh is also known as the finest chess coach in India, who produced a dozen Grandmasters and International Masters. In this book, he focuses on how calculation can help you.
Buy Now on Amazon

6- Positional Chess Sacrifices by Mihai Suba

When we usually talk about sacrifices in chess, we talk about sharp and tactical positions. But there are some unique types of sacrifices that don’t mainly give a direct winning advantage. They usually are better in the positional sense.
A typical example of this type is Rxc3 sacrifice in Sicilian Defense.
GM Mihai Suba is a Romanian GM who has won the Best BCF Book of the Year for his book Dynamic Chess Strategy. This book is published by the world’s leading chess publisher, Quality Chess.
Buy Now on Amazon

7- How to Reassess Your Chess: Chess Mastery Through Chess Imbalances by Jeremy Silman

Jeremy Silmon is an International Master from the United States. He wrote and produced high-quality chess literature for intermediate players.
In this book, he focused on Material imbalance and Master level positional play. This book is perfect for players ranging between 1200-2000.
Buy Now on Amazon

8- 100 Endgames you must know by Jesus la da villa

One of the greatest chess endgame books ever written. Jesus La Da Villa selected 100 best and most possible chess positions in this book.
100 Endgames You Must Know becomes a best-seller chess book on Chessable. This book should be on the list of every chess player.
I highly recommend you buy this book from chessable instead of the hard copy. Chessable has the movetrainer technology, which makes it easy to study chess.
After the huge success of this book, he came with another two books as the following

  1. 100 Endgame Patterns You Must Know
  2. The 100 Endgames You Must Know Workbook

Buy Now on Amazon

9- Silman’s Complete Endgame Course

Again a high-quality chess book by Jeremy Silman. In this book, he created chapters according to ratings. In each section, you will find different endgame patterns which are important to that particular range.
This allows readers to learn endgame patterns quickly according to their strengths. It’s very difficult to compare the 100 Endgames You Must Know book with this book.
Both books are different in their own perspectives. Silman’s Complete Endgame Course is also a best-seller chess endgame book.
Buy Now on Amazon

10- Life and Games of Mikhail Tal

Who doesn’t love to watch attacking and pure chess games? World Champion Mikhail Tal wrote a book that goes through his life with some beautiful chess games.
You will see a pure master class and also a light analysis of Mikhail Tal. You will also notice how chess players were playing at that time without opening preparation, lack of chess resources, etc.
Mikhail Tal is also known as the Magician of Riga and the greatest attacking world chess champion of all time.
Buy Now on Amazon

11- How to study chess on your own by GM Davorin Kuljesevic

This is the recent addition to the collection of New In Chess. This book teaches about how you can study chess without a chess coach and still progress.
Usually, chess coaches are quite expensive. A chess coach can cost you anywhere between $30-75 per hour. If you take weekly 2 classes, it will become a decent amount for anyone.
Also, chess is a mental game that is not only dependent on your strength. So the chess coach cannot help you 100%.
By studying this book, you will understand which books to study, how to study, and how much time to give. He also gave a detailed plan for those who have full-time jobs.
This book is mostly about reading chapters. The author has also added a few instructive positions for a better understanding of the chapter.
Author GM Davorin Kuljesevic is from Croatia and is a famous European chess coach.
For advanced chess players, you can study his other high-quality chess book, Beyond Material. In this book, he explained the material value and how you can sacrifice material if you are getting a better position.
Buy Now on Amazon

12- Think like a grandmaster by Alexander Kotov

GM Alexander Kotov wrote this book which became most favorite chess books in no time. In this book, Kotov considered the amateur’s mind and also the GM’s mind and compared them to create this masterpiece.
You will learn some of the secret chess strategies about chess openings, middle games, and endgames. Once you read this book, your chess improvement will be boosted.
Unfortunately, this book is very difficult to get on Amazon due to its low availability. You can check offline bookstores and try to find it.
Buy Now on Amazon

13- Python Strategy

This book is for those who want to play like GM Tigran Petrosian and also improve chess fundamentals. Python Strategy is a book written by GM Tigran Petrosian, which consists of his best game collections.
By studying this book, you will learn Positional play, and strategic play, and also helps you to improve defensive chess skills.
This book is also recommended to advanced chess players if they haven’t studied it.
Buy Now on Amazon

14- The Shereshevsky Method to Improve in Chess

This book overviews how one might make playing an endgame repertoire better. Mikhail Shereshevsky is among the most well-known authors worldwide.
His previous work includes classic novels such as “Endgame Strategy”. Studying the book correctly can improve general knowledge, and you can even learn the precise techniques for improving chess.
This book is one of the excellent chess books that helps you to learn various new ideas and an excellent explanation by IM Shereshevsky.
Buy Now on Amazon

15- Chess Brilliancy

This is a perfect book of 250 game collections for intermediate players. In this book, the author provides games with a bit of analysis.
The book is perfect for those who want to enjoy a royal game of chess and the beauty of it.
Buy Now on Amazon

16- Chess Structures: A Grandmaster Guide

GM Mauricio Flores Rios wrote this amazing chess book which helps you understand chess structures arriving from each chess opening.
He also chose very instructive chess games arriving from various chess openings and analyzed it deeply. After studying this book, you will understand how you can play different structures, chess pattern recognition, and plan ideas.
There are also 50 exercises for learners to solve. This book is also recommended for advanced players.
Buy Now on Amazon

17- The Mammoth Book of the World’s Greatest Chess Games

This is no doubt the greatest chess game collection book available in the world. In this book, there are 125 chess games with 1000 plus diagrams.
All of the games are analyzed and chosen by British chess experts, including Graham Burgess, GM, Dr. John Nunn, and John Emms.
This book was originally published in 1998, and the latest publication was in 2021. If you are a chess lover, this book should be in your chess library.
Buy Now on Amazon

18- Keep it Simple with Black: A Solid and Straightforward Chess Opening Repertoire for Black

This book can be classified in the list of best chess opening books for intermediate players. In this book, author Christof Sielecki gives a complete repertoire against the black side. If you finish this book and just do some additions from your side, you will not need any other chess opening books to study.
He suggested Queen’s Gambit Declined against 1.d4, 1.c4, 1.Nf3. Against e4, he suggested playing Caro Kann's Defense.
Keep it Simple was published initially as a video course on chessable. After the massive success of his course, they decided to launch a hard copy.
The original price of the video course is $299, and the book price is $34.99.
The author is the owner of a very famous YouTube chess channel called Chess Explained.
Buy Now on Amazon

19- Think Like a Super-GM

It’s a unique theme-based book collaborating with 2700 players Michael Adams and some serious as well as amateur chess players.
Each of player was given 40 chess positions on various chess topics and told to write their thoughts after some time. Then they compared that thought process with GM Michael Adams’ thought process.
This book offers a unique opportunity for readers to not only solve the puzzles but also compare their thinking to that of club-level chess players, strong amateurs, IMs, GMs, and Michael Adams himself.
This book also won an award for Book of the Year by the British Chess Federation.
Buy Now on Amazon

20- Amateur to IM: Proven Ideas and Training Methods by Jonathan Hawkins

Jonathan devoted his entire attention to the endgame by establishing several important building points and selecting several highly significant areas for research. It was an impressive rise as his career became established as an influential GM killer at British tournaments.
This page is a firsthand view of what he had written. Hawkins focuses on providing a resource that will allow you to learn practical skills and master key areas of chess. The detailed study of the lesson material provided in the book will enable an experienced player to improve in this field significantly.
This book is published by Forward Chess in print format and available on Forward Chess as well as on Amazon.
Buy Now on Amazon

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