95 ( +1 | -1 ) No,every book on the openings is outdated as soon as it is printed.
An old (and outdated) book from which I have derived much pleasure is Suetin's Lehrbuch der Schachtheorie (1975). I consider this the best single-volume book for "advanced" openings, though I can't recommend it to anyone, in view of its antiquity.
Another good work is the likewise antiquated openings course by Panov and Estrin, which was published in English as three volumes, many many years ago.
An advanced study of the openings cannot be undertaken without working through monographs on particular openings or variations. I don't think that an advanced book on the Sicilian (the "compleat Sicilian") exists, but there exist many on the Najdorf variation (such as John Nunn's classic, outdated), and even books dealing with subvariations of the Najdorf. There is no end to it... so I think it's better to do away with all those openings books and study endings instead.
77 ( +1 | -1 ) Iagree very much with pebbles above statements. I'd like to add, that as long as you understand the principles in developing your pawns and pieces in the opening, don't spend any money on opening books. Spend them on endgames study and the deeper understanding of planning a game, execute plans in games and pure endgames principles. Many points will "drop in your basket" by knowing these principles.
I'll make two book recommendations:
Reuben Fine's Basic Chess Endings and Aron Nimzowitsch's My System.
Agreed about the endgame and Principles in the above posts
I'd recommend you get Tactical Exercise and problem solving books & chess books with lots of annoted games by Gms and Masters ones can write well when one thing when you solve problems don't set them up on a chess board do them directly from the diagram in the book and really try to understand whats happening in the position. Why? when you play on a real chess board your not allowed to move the men you have to visualize all your possibile moves and it's the same when doing problems.
Ok I'll recommend these books:
Sharpen Your Chess Tactics By Grandmaster Lein and GM Boris Archangelsky
Three Hundred Chess Games by Siegbert Tarrasch
1001 ways to Checkmate by Fred Rienfeld
My 60 Memorable Games By Bobby Fischer
5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games by Laslo Polgar
79 ( +1 | -1 ) General books bestForget remembering opening variations. I'd rather buy a general principles book like "The ideas behind the chess openings" by Reuben Fine. That way you'll be able to manage rather well no matter what weird opening your opponent plays. It doesn't help remebering opening variations unless you know how to punish an opponent doing a out-of-book move.
If you want to improve, learn positional principles and study some tactics as well. Positional understanding and tactics go hand in hand. With positional understanding you'll have an idea of what to do when there's no tactical shots (which is most of the time). Positional understanding is important in the opening as well (from move 1). Endgame studies are also well worth the time.
62 ( +1 | -1 ) i have always used just one: "Chess Openings" by I.A. Horowitz it's very outdated like pebbles' lehrbuch, but it serves its purpose for a player of my mediocre skill level :). I use it more as a guide to understanding openings than anything else. It's fairly detailed and I find it helpful, even if it isn't as accurate as it could be.
I'll play what I figure I half-way understand, and feel comfortable playing. If i want to find out more about some opening, I'll look for articles or games online. Besides that... there are nice people here who go out of their way to help me, and of course i appreciate that a lot! thanks.
51 ( +1 | -1 ) If you want you could combine openings books with NiC so that you can eliminate the drawbacks in both. In that way you get a general understanding of the opening through the book and you can stay up to date by means of the yearbook. Although I would like to reinforce what has been said earlier, try to study endgames first, than tactics and only after you feel you have a minimum knowledge of both start the study of openings in a serious maner. Until then you are just wasting your time.
57 ( +1 | -1 ) i believe learning the principles of openings will only get you so far. I know from experience several times i have just been killed in the opening because i didn't know enough theory. Now i have a knowledge of theory far beyond my rating, and find i often come out of the opening with decent positions. But if you really want to improve your openings i would subscribe to New In Chess yearbook, which comes out 4 times a year. But the yearbook wil give lowly rated players nothing as often it will be over their heads.
45 ( +1 | -1 ) I recommend Modern Chess Openings (14th edition), i got it the other week as my first book and what i like about it is as well as a good variety of openings it explains the concept or purpose behind each type so you can develop your own strategy and play though the opening understanding what you are doing rather than following blind. It doesnt explain in great depth however but i think its a great starting point.
56 ( +1 | -1 ) "Nunn's Chess Openings" is another good reference book.
"Basic Chess Openings" and "More Basic Chess Openings" by Gabor Kallai
From the foreword of the book:
"the book contains the main lines of each opening, taking into account modern fashion. The author explains every opening in detail and gives a diagram at the end of each section, sketching the plans for both sides in the middle game."
later it says the books will be most useful to players between the ratings of 1700 and 2300'
51 ( +1 | -1 ) Openings are good..Principle is good too. However, openings for the first 5 or 6 moves can be very helpful for the beginner who knows little and the intermediate who wants to learn something new. Memorizing or following an opening down through 12 or 15 moves can be detremental to your game as you wont really follow what is really going on and aren't really learning anything. Following a lengthy opening is like being a puppet for the author. At some point you need to learn more principle after your initial opening.
84 ( +1 | -1 ) My approachAs Pebbles mentioned"every book on the openings is outdated as soon as it is printed. " Admitting this I buy used books on openings...I might as well the theory will be outdated anyway. I pay close attention to the lines the author reccomends and extra special attention to the lines which have not been tried at the time of publication. Then, I look up these positions on the chessbase online database to see how GMs are playing these lines. I adopt these lines if they make sense to me. In this way my theory is current. What I need from a chess book is not lots of games but good annotation. My favorite opening book author is Joe Gallagher. I also enjoy the "easy guide to..."series. They make more of an effort to explain the ideas in the opening rather than simply a database dump.
54 ( +1 | -1 ) jstackSounds too complicated for me. I love good openings and sound opening principles, but my middle game needs helps now. I admit I have spent too much time on openings. I will be playing very well against an opponent and think I have him beat until about moves 15 to 20, and then all of a sudden I find myself down a knight (or something) and can't recover.
I know this isn't a middle game thread, but can you recommend a good middle game book? One with more principle then lines.
243 ( +1 | -1 ) Middle game books"The inner game of chess: how to calculate and win" by Andrew Soltis this is one of the first chess books I bought and found it very helpful. Soltis explanations are quite useful on guiding your thinking process. This is one of the few chess books I can say I read from cover to cover. . . Another good one is"pawn structure chess" by Andrew Soltis Soltis discusses the pawn structure of each opening and discussed the middle game plans associated with each plan. What I like about this book is he explains the principles in the chapter and at the end of each chapter he shows you complete games illustrating those principles. He emphasizes what kind of pawn breakthroughs each side should be looking for. . . "Understanding pawn play in chess" by Drazen Marovic I am currently about halfway through this book. The first chapter really changed the way I think about isolated pawn positions. I used to be afraid of the isolated pawn position. But, now I understand the isolated pawn can be an advantage if handled properly. The author also considers doubled pawns, passed pawns, and the connected isolated pawn couple. He explains what each side is trying to do. I get the impression from this book one thing that separates masters from amateurs is the understanding of pawn play.
I know of some more but these are probably the most useful and easiest to work through that I have read.
Well, I would like to add one more... "How to defend in chess" by Colin Crouch This is essentially a collection of annotated games of the great defensive chess players. I have only read a chapter or 2 but what I have read of it I really like. It starts out with a positional queen sacrifice played in 1834. Then it goes to Steintz and to Lasker, and Petrosian. I only made it through most of the chapter on Lasker. But there was a real treat When crouch was discussing the defensive technique of making the position as complicated as possible. Lasker-Napier 1904 Sicilian Dragon defence. I had no idea the sicilian dragon was that old of an opening. To me its worth having that book just for the annotation of that game. But the real strength of the book is that Crouch does not just give you the moves and explanations of the moves. He tells you about the players and the circumstances surrounding the match. Its very entertaining.
119 ( +1 | -1 ) Jstack ....Thanks for the Info;The books you mention sound pretty good. I may look into something by Gallagher. It also sounds like the Crouch book on defending may be of special interest to me. I've noticed many players do not realize either, that there are "stock" defensive techniques in the game, even as there are stock attacking motifs and tactical techniques. And myself, I don't know nearly enough defensive tech's & usually must resort completely to purely analytic approach during the great misfortune of needing to defend. In fact, as primarily a counter-attacker, don't consider I really even know how to defend as a skill. And do it only as a pure matter of survival. So it sounds like just what the doctor ordered. As an added incentive, I'm figuring it can only help my attacking ability to understand defensive techs better. And as you suggested, it Does sound entertaining as well. ........Re a middlegame book; people have been saying good things about the book by Vukovic, tho some have said it seems pretty advanced for them. Of course the middlegame book by Pachman was the standard for years. I liked Kotov's "Think Like a GM" very much.
65 ( +1 | -1 ) Kangoldenmancha ....It's not one book, but for decades the Informant(Informator) series was nearly indispensible to the serious corr. Chess, or upper lever OTB player. Especially the most recently published one. Informants are the updates to suppliment ECO. In this computerized, d-base oriented day I don't know if anything new has replaced then for importance. Also very valuable to me was any source of ICCF games, especially the USCCC tournaments. About which Alex Dunne or Allen Wright & Stephen Gerzadowicz have done some excellent annotative work, & also statistical compilation by the former regarding frequency of use and outcomes of different opening variations used in those events.
19 ( +1 | -1 ) Defensive techniqueThere is another good book on defence but I would not reccomend it for someone just starting out in middlegame studies. The ideas in it are more difficult to understand. "the art of defence" by Andrew Soltis