Saturday, December 09, 2006

GCTS Study Guide

Here is a list of our various study and solving routines and some suggested reference materials that can be used to implement those routines:

Key: N - Novice (<1600) A: Advanced (1600+)

SO - Opening Studies
N: "Starting Out" Series, Everyman Chess; A: Any good opening intermediate/advanced book on your chosen repertoire line.

SG - Strategic Studies
N: My System - Nimzovitch A: Modern Chess Strategy - Pachman, Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy - Watson

SE - Endgame Studies
N: A Guide to Chess Endings - Euwe/Hooper, A: Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual - Dvoretsky, Fundamental Chess Endings - Muller/Lamprecht

ST - Tactical Studies
N: Winning Chess Tactics - Seirawan A: Secrets of Chess Tactics - Dvoretsky

VT - Tactical Problem-Solving
N: 1001 Brilliant ways to Checkmate - Reinfeld, Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games - Polgar, A: Sharpen Your Tactics - Anatoly Lein

VG - Strategic Problem-Solving
A: Imagination in Chess - Gaprindashvili

VE - Endgame Problem-Solving
N: Chess Endgame Quiz - Evans
A: Informants

Please feel free to post a comment if you think another book is well suited to a certain category.


Chess Relearner said...

Another of your extremely well-thought out and helpful postings for the aspiring player. This is a wonderful book list.

I would only quibble/offer suggestions in a couple of places. Perhaps "My System" is well above the novice level? Seirawan's "Winning Chess Strategies" might truly be novice material, maybe too much so, though.

In tactics, the 1001 Combinations book of Reinfeld's contains quite some amount of non-novice material. Susan Polgar's tactics book is a possibility, though again, it may be I'm targeting a lower range (1300 level or even less) than you.

Again thank you for an extraordinarily helpful chess blog.

Mark said...

Hi relearner,

All good suggestions. The books you choose are a matter of style for the most part, and those you suggest would do the job just as well.


Anonymous said...

Your chess blog is great, and I've started using your generic training schedule.

I just a question regarding the books for Endgame Studies. I've read "Chess Endings Essential Knowledge" by Yuri Averbakh, and I'm wondering about going right for "Fundamental Chess Endings" by Muller/Lamprecht. Do you think this book is too advanced for a novice? I'm somewhere below 1600. I just joined a chess club, so I don't have a rating.


Mark said...


FCE is not really too advanced for anyone, as the explanations are clear and the examples plentiful. However, my personal favorite is Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual because a student of the game can draw parallel to the saying that 'Chess Masters know about 250 endgame positions very well', and those positions in DEM printed in blue ink correspond well to those positions.

Also good is "A Guide to Chess Endings" by Euve and Hooper.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the quick reply!

I was actually thinking about going for both FCE and DEM, even though DEM is probably a bit over my head at the moment. Guess I'll have enough material for a lifetime of endgame study:)