Chess books are obsolete

As a beginner, I definitely appreciate how paper books are increasingly available as ebooks and interactive websites like chessable and forward chess. So many resources to adapt to your learning style and have all your digital collection available anywhere. The interactive element improves upon already classic favorites to better integrate the new ideas into your normal thinking. Not to mention being able to discuss/collaborate with like minded people around the world through forums and discord.

Books on openings might be outdated, but books in general if used properly are good for learning chess.
Not just passively reading though, actively working through the book and see for yourself what the book is saying and understanding and memorising.

Seeing what move an engine makes doesn't tell you why that move was played, a good book should do that.

I believe memorising openings without understanding is 1. harder and longer to memorise and 2. will give you limited improvement.

You'll definitely win more games when you come out of the opening with a strong position, but as you increase your rating and start playing higher rated players who have a better understanding of the principles and fundamentals of chess they will outplay you after you are out of book.

Actively reading books will help you to not only learn and memorise the principles and fundamentals but help you learn how to analyse yourself. So you can study an engine move and basically write your own book, see what move the engine made and work out why it was made. To help memorise you should write it down and read it with some sort of spaced repetition.

Every data source is limited and somewhat overrated because it is basically just dry knowledge. Chess is considered a procedure like riding a bike. So besides the theory you have to get a feeling for it, learn to play. You have to proceduralize the declarative wisdom obtained from books. That is crucial, you don't learn "good technique" by means of books or engines alone. It's a whole bunch of everything. There's no book which makes you "good". Tens of thousands of hours of hard work...

I do agree. And this is not limitted to chess and bicycling. Just about any skill requires active learning. Here what videos and books get wrong variation and lack of activity. I saw a video that supposed to teach importance on center. and it was game analysis whrere whitye used better center to break trhough. But there rather big amount center configurations. Going through a game to teach one particular skill is not efficient. Showing is not efficient. with modern methods it shoudl collection of positions in gradually increasing difficulty/lack of hints where "learner" needs to solve what to do in this position. And both sides. Nice idea that customer woudl one going for killing break but quite often I find myself lookin for how not to get overrun by the central break.

enforcement learning id not only for artificial networks

I agree with you that reading alone won't help, you have to do the work.

Here's an analogy, imagine learning calculus without books, just with hard work. You would have to reinvent it and all the discoveries that came before it. Even Isaac Newton didn't start from zero, he studied maths from books first to get a head start in having a deep understanding of maths as understood at the time the books were written.

You could say the books Newton read were out of date because they didn't mention calculus. They were still useful.

Newton didn't passively read the old books though, he actively worked through them, got a deep understanding of them, used them in practice and made new discoveries of his own.

thats the point. There needs to be active component. During newtons time books were a best there is but today with technology we can do so much better. Still chess literature is clutteres "Crushing Sicilian Najadorf" books yeart after year. I dont think that over 1% of readers gain anything but short lived entertainment from there which is fine. They are happy buying that entertainment

If you are reading a 20 year old opening book looking for cutting edge opening theory, you are gonna have a hard time. Chess has developed a lot the last years. Access to insane engines have seen to that.

Good books have their place even after they are outdated. You can learn valuable opening history, plans and themes from them. Tbh that's all an opening book is good for anyways. You should work with the book, check the lines and find your own ideas. Blind faith will lose you points.

@lovlas different for me and you. Knowing cutting edge theory wont do you much if opponent deviates on move 5-7 from any know theory. Also weak player in OTB are afraid on other one knowing theory ans pick opening that are kinda obsolete but almost guaranteed to put opponent out of book - like 1. b4 in my last tournament. Both sides try to avoid opening knowledge ot the other both having about zero of it.

and deviation amongst us of no skille are not the ones you find in books. we are on our own anyway

The same principles apply whether you know them or not.

Actually I acquired "New York 1924" recently, all games were commentey by Alekhine with good remarks. Still a good read, but sometimes not "cutting edge". 1. ... g6 is considered outright bad... :D But some opening lines are assessed correctly even compared to modern standards.

By the way, the high-end tournament was won by a 55 y.o. Lasker. ;)