Dan Heisman, A Parent's Guide to Chess, Milford, CT: Russell Enterprises, 2002
Dan Heisman, Everyone's 2nd Chessbook, Davenport, IA:Thinkers' Press, 2000
Josh Waitzkin, The Art of Learning,  Simon & Schuster, 2008

Beginning Chess Books:

Bobby Fischer, Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess (Dr. Kirshner's favorite)
Robert Snyder, Chess For Juniors (out of print--available on
Murray Chandler, How To Beat Your Dad At Chess
Fred Reinfeld, How To Force Checkmate
Bruce Pandolfini, Let's Play Chess
Bruce Pandolfini, Beginning Chess
A.J. Gillam, Simple Chess Tactics
Laszlo Polgar, Chess:5334 Problems
A.J. Gillam, Simple Checkmates
A.J. Gillam, Improve Your Chess
A.J. Gillam, Your Move
Lev Alburt, Comprehensive Chess Course
The Simon & Schuster Pocket Book of Chess

Intermediate Chess Books:

Murray Chandler, Chess Tactics for Kids
Susan Polgar, Chess Tactics for Champions
Susan Polgar, A World Champion's Guide to Chess: Step by Step Instruction
Bruce Pandolfini, Chess Openings: Traps and Zaps #1
Bruce Pandolfini, Chess Openings: Traps and Zaps #2
Irving Chernev, Practical Chess Endings
Jeremy Silman, Essential Chess Endings Explained
George Koltanowski, Checkmate!
Bruce Pandolfini, Chessercizes!
Bruce Pandolfini, More Chessercizes!
Seirawan, Tactics
Purdy, The Search for Chess Perfection
Max Euwe, Chess Master vs. Chess Amateur
Evans, New Ideas in Chess

More Advanced Books:

Irving Chernev, Invitation to Chess

Fred Reinfeld, 1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate
Fred Reinfeld, 1001 Winning Sacrifices and Combinations
Reuben Fine, Ideas Behind the Chess Openings
Reuben Fine, The Middle Game in Chess
Richard Reti, Masters of The Chess Board
Bruce Pandolfini, Weapons of Chess
Irving Chernev, Winning Chess
Irving Chernev, The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played.
Bill Wall, 700 Opening Traps
Bruce Pandolfini, Power Mates
Josh Waitzkin, Attacking Chess
Jose Raul Capablanca, A Primer of Chess (Richard Shorman recommends this book especially for girls)
Renaud and Kahn, Art of Checkmate
Lev Alburt, Chess Training Pocket Book
Lev Alburt, Just the Facts
Alekhine, My Best Games of Chess
Nunn's Chess Openings


Susan Polgar,, Breaking Through: How the Polgar Sisters Changed the Game of Chess
Xie Jun, Chess Champion from China
Eric Schiller, Whiz Kids Teach Chess
Searching for Bobby Fischer
(the video)

Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess
Maurice Ashley Teaches Chess
ChessMaster: GrandMaster Edition

Special Order
For Windows
Chess Mentor, (about$80)

ChessBase University, (about $70) 1-800-524-3527
Tasc Chess, ($59.95) order W487 from US Chess, 1-800-388-5464
For Mac
Think Like a King Chess Workouts Series, W211,W212, W213 W214 from US Chess, 1-800-388-5464($14.95 each)
Your First Lessons in Chess,($17.95) order W210 from US Chess, 1-800-388-5464

q 1.“Starting Chess” by Harriet Castor, Usborne, 1999, 32 pages, algebraic notation (AN), has pictures, color; less than half is text. Explains all moves, notation, gives some puzzles. Highly recommended for children who are just starting chess and can read, albeit with the help of parents. $4.95.

q 2. “ The Kids’ Book of Chess” by Harvey Kidder, Workman, 1990, 93 pages. Notation is not used. Three dimensional pictures of positions on the chess board showing basic moves (no en-passant, no draw rules; calls rooks “castles”). Has little fairy tales with pictures. The plus for this book is that it comes wrapped with a chess set, reasonably priced, but not for long-term use.

q 3. “Chess for Children” by Nottingham, Wade & Lawrence, Sterling, 1996, 126 pages, 8”x 10” format, AN, color on cover only; photographs and stories about chess players, plain and three-dimensional diagrams. A comprehensive introduction with all rules and moves, great for an independent reader to self-start. Definitely recommended. $9.95.

q 4. “Winning Chess Tactics & Strategies” by Nottingham, Lawrence & Wade, Sterling, 2000, 127 pages, similar to and extending the fundamentals covered in “Chess for Children.” My copy was poorly edited, and I have seen better books on the same subject. $10.95.

q 5. “Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess” by Bobby Fischer, Margulies, & Mosenfelder, Bantam Books, 1966 (originally), 179 pages reading conventionally, 333 pages total, reading upside down for the second half. After a basic introduction to moves and rules, there are mostly only black and white 2-dimensional diagrams of checkmate problems. Good target practice for beginners to more advanced students. Pocketbook, paperback format. $7.95.

q 6. “Beginner’s Chess Course” by Heyken, Sterling. Looks OK for starting players, but I do not own a copy yet, cannot offer a full description. $13.95.

q 7. “Starting out in Chess” by B. Jacobs, Everyman, $12.95. Available in bookstores, but I have not examined in detail.

q 8. “Chess, 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games” by Laszlo Polgar, Tess Press, 1994, 1104 pages in 6”x9” paperback format, figurine algebraic notation (FAN). No color, hardly any text, mostly just 2-dimensional diagrams with checkmate and combinational problems. Moves, rules, 600 miniature games. Good practice book for the advancing player, especially at the price of $9.95. (The large hardback is over $24.00)

q 9 “Learn Chess in a Weekend” by Ken Whyld, Knopf, 1999, 95 pages, AN, 5.75”x 8.75” hard-cover, nicely done, true-color 3D chessboard diagrams, takes one from fundamentals to tactics and strategy in 12 hours. Parents can learn to play too, as they help their children with some of the vocabulary. The best starting book for my money. $16.00.

q 10. “The Simon & Schuster Pocket Book of Chess” by Raymond Keene, Alladdin, 1988, 5”x 7.5”, 192 pages, lots of color. Rules, moves, phases of the game, champions, tournament tips, glossary, perhaps more reading than a young beginner would like. Some inaccuracies (but one will find them in most books). AN. Good book to have at $9.99.

q 11. “Chess for Juniors” by Robert M. Snyder, McKay, 1991, 5”x8”, 237 pages, paperback, written by an accomplished chess coach, whose students have proven the value of his teaching. Although it starts with the very basics, the format is for the more advanced reader. I have come across a number of copies in used-book stores and given a few away to deserving students. $14.00.

q 12. “How to Beat Your Dad at Chess” by Murray Chandler, Gambit, 1998, 7”x9”, hardback, 127 pages, black & white 2D diagrams illustrating “50 deadly checkmates.” Highly recommended for the tournament player who, having been fed the basics, is ready to learn valuable tricks on his/her own. $14.95.

q 13. “More Chessersizes: Checkmate!” by Bruce Pandolfini, Fireside, 1991, 5.5”x8.5”, 202-page paperback with black & white 2D diagrams (300 of them) of 2- to 7-move checkmate problems (answers at the end). This is a must for checkmate pattern recognition for the advancing player. Pandolfini is a recognized teacher and author of over a 100,000 books in print (14 are in my library), but not all have been meticulously edited or printed (which again seems to be the case with many prolific writers, except the likes of John Nunn, but that is another story.). (If one catches the printing errors, “Pandolfini’s Endgame Course” is another good book for the advancing player.) $11.00.

q 14. “303 Tricky Chess Tactics” by Wilson & Alberston, Cardoza, 1999, 5.5”x8.5” paperback, 192 pages, tactical-problems, mostly in two 2D diagrams per page, answers at the back of the book. Tactics are a must for advanced players. A good book to practice and remember many tactical patterns. $12.95.

q 15. “A Primer of Chess” by former world champion Jose Capablanca, Cadogan, 1995 FAN reprint of the 1935 edition, 5.75”x8.25” 149-page paperback. This could serve as a required textbook for a class that would not have a problem reading at high-school level. This book was written 13 years after Capa’s “Chess Fundamentals,” some of which is repeated here. I believe, I have seen this book on the shelves now at about $10.

q 16. “Learn Chess” by John Nunn, Gambit, 2000, 5”x8” 192-page paperback, FAN, a good book for the serious student, from the beginning through all phases of the game. A large number of exercises with answers at the back. Grandmaster Dr. Nunn is one of the best contemporary writers of chess books in my opinion. This is another book that could serve as a text for older students. $9.95.

q 17. “The Mammoth Book of Chess” by Graham Burgess, Carroll & Graf, 1997, 5”x 7.75” 537-page paperback, FAN, with a wealth of information about all aspects of the game. It is not for stark beginners, but it is certainly worth the price. The 168 pages about openings and traps (like the “Oh, my God!” trap on page 122) alone may be worth half of it. $10.95.