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10 Best Books About Chess in the Philippines 2023 | Bobby Fischer, Nick de Firmian and More

Chess is an underrated sport mainly because not a lot of people understand it. There are rules and positions you need to know, and attempting to learn them can sometimes be confusing. That is why reading books on chess can help you understand it better — whether you are looking for a new hobby or wanting to brush up on your skills. 


Chess books are not only informative but are also entertaining. Apart from containing chess concepts and strategies, they also tell the stories of impressive figures in chess that recount their trials, triumphs, and more. To help you narrow down your options, we’ve provided a list of our top 10 picks as well as a buying guide below. 

Last updated 10/18/2023
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Table of Contents

How to Choose a Book About Chess - Buying Guide

There are a lot of chess books to choose from, and you can select one according to your skill level as well as the subcategory of the title. Take a look at our buying guide below to see how. 

1

Decide Whether You Want a Physical Book or an E-book

Books either come in a physical copy or an electronic one, also known as E-books. You might like the feeling of holding an actual book, or perhaps, you're the type who prefers to go paperless. So, selecting the right one for you will pretty much depend on your preference.

Go for Physical Books if You Want a More Personal Feel

Go for Physical Books if You Want a More Personal Feel

Even with the rise of paperless technology, there is something special about reading from a printed book. For one, you actually feel that you are holding a book, which some people prefer.


You can manually highlight important phrases, write down notes, and personalize the book according to your preference, unlike digital copies. And most consider the acquisition of printed books to be a lifetime investment as much as it is a hobby.


However, printed books can get worn out after several years. They also take up space, which can be a challenge if you have a small living space and you’re the type who can easily get through a book in one sitting. 

Purchase E-books if You Value Convenience

Purchase E-books if You Value Convenience

Digital books offer convenience, as they can be stored on your tablet or phone. Thus, you can take them anywhere for on-the-go reading. You can even customize the font style and size and also highlight pages without compromising the quality of the book.


Moreover, E-readers allow you to store all sorts of books in one device, which lets you save space, considering you have an entire library at your disposal in a single gadget.


However, some people find it difficult to read using electronic devices, given the glare they emit. And in terms of price point, E-books pretty much cost the same as their physical counterpart, so there isn’t really much of a difference.

2

Consider Your Chess Skill Level

Consider Your Chess Skill Level

You might be overwhelmed with the endless number of choices available but a good trick to help you narrow down your options is to consider your skill level in chess. After all, nothing is more frustrating than cracking open a book only to find out its contents are either too advanced for your skill level or contain things you already know.


That said, you could find books geared towards beginners, intermediate, and advanced chess players. You could also check the table of contents to see if it is worth reading or not.


More often than not, when you search for a book on the Internet, you could see snippets of the novel without having to purchase the entire thing. So, this is also something to take note of to help you make a decision.

3

Select the Genre of the Chess Book

If you think that chess books are just compilations of instructions on how to play chess, then you’re missing out! Chess books can be classified into different categories or genres. You could choose from titles which talk about tactics and strategies, the basics of chess, and even biographies of chess players.

Get to Know the Basics Through Classic Chess Books

Get to Know the Basics Through Classic Chess Books

If you're interested in chess but don't have the faintest idea on how to play, then we suggest familiarizing yourself with the basics first. Classic chess books describe the chess pieces and their functions, basic chess moves, reaching checkmate, openings and endings, and more. 


This should give you a good grasp of how to play the game. Basically, these books cover the fundamental concepts of chess in a general manner without going too in-depth, so you are not out of your element. 

Learn From the Best by Reading Biographical Chess Books

Learn From the Best by Reading Biographical Chess Books

Besides the different plays and strategies, chess is also about the players who made them. That said, you could read biographical books about famous chess players and Grandmasters, which is the highest title given to a chess player.


This allows you to gain a bit of insight into their playing style as well as how their mind works during the game. And for larger-than-life figures, you would also get to know the person beyond the board.

Bring Out Your A-Game With Books on Strategies and Tactics

Bring Out Your A-Game With Books on Strategies and Tactics

Chess can be divided into three parts—the opening or the initial play, the middlegame, and the endgame when there are few pieces left on the board. And these stages have their own corresponding strategies and tactics. 


In this regard, you could focus on chess books depicting different techniques you could apply to these stages to improve your game. These books usually contain different patterns and positions that you could replicate or simulate to sharpen your skills.

Replay and Marvel at Chess Game Collections

Replay and Marvel at Chess Game Collections

Know the saying "we take inspiration from our past"? Well, there is nothing like reading about notable chess matches throughout history. And what better way to know more about them than to read books that recount these events?


Just like video recordings of sporting events, chess events are also recorded and published as books. This will help you visualize the matches and let you be exposed to more possible scenarios that could help broaden your perspective. 

Be Inspired by Reading Fictional Novels About Chess

Be Inspired by Reading Fictional Novels About Chess

In case you want a light read to take a break from all the seriousness, you can read fictional novels about chess. Though they're not the most historically accurate or realistic, these books depict chess in a way that makes it relatable to the readers because they humanize the game. 

4

Read Book Reviews to Help You Decide

Read Book Reviews to Help You Decide

In the event you’re still undecided about which chess book to get, you can always read book reviews to help you come to a decision. This gives you an idea of what the book will be like and whether it is something you can enjoy reading. 


One way of doing that is to simply look up the book online, and you will be able to see even short reviews about it. You can also scroll through websites such as Goodreads as well as those dedicated to chess, like ChessCafe to get more information about the book. 

Was the Buying Guide helpful?

10 Best Books About Chess to Buy Online

The products we introduce below were carefully curated by the mybest team, from the best-sellers of E-commerce sites like Lazada, and using the points mentioned in our detailed and thoroughly researched buying guide.
Popularity
Products
Image
Price
Click to purchase
Key features
Details
Format
Category/Genre
Suitable for
Number of Pages
1

Bobby Fischer, Donn Mosenfelder, Stuart Margulies

Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess

Bobby Fischer, Donn Mosenfelder, Stuart Margulies Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess 1枚目

From ₱449.1

Mid

Learn Chess From One of the Greatest Players of All Time

Paperback

Classic Chess Book

Beginners

352

2

Nick de Firmian

Modern Chess Openings15th Edition

Nick de Firmian Modern Chess Openings 1枚目

From ₱1,677

High

Master the Art of Chess Openings

Paperback

Strategies and Tactics

Intermediate Players

768

3

Levy Rozman

How to Win at Chess: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners and Beyond

Levy Rozman How to Win at Chess: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners and Beyond 1枚目

From ₱519.87

Mid

A Fun and Practical Guide for New Chess Players

Hardcover, eBook

Strategies and Tactics

Beginners

272

4

Mikhail Tal

The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal

Mikhail Tal The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal 1枚目

From ₱377.56

Low Mid

Take a Peek Into the Life of a Grandmaster

eBook

Biographical

All Levels of Players

496

5

Andre Schulz

The Big Book of World Chess Championships: 46 Title Fights - from Steinitz to Carlsen

Andre Schulz The Big Book of World Chess Championships: 46 Title Fights - from Steinitz to Carlsen 1枚目

From ₱670.89

Mid

Relive the Best Matches in Chess History

eBook

Game Collections

All Levels of Players

352

6

José Raúl Capablanca

Chess Fundamentals: Theory, Strategy and Principles of Chess

José Raúl Capablanca Chess Fundamentals: Theory, Strategy and Principles of Chess 1枚目

From ₱29.88

Low

Learn the Basics from a Former World Champion

eBook

Classic Chess Book

Beginners

117

7

Walter Tevis

The Queen's Gambit

Walter Tevis The Queen's Gambit 1枚目

From ₱885.4

High Mid

An Artistic Approach to the World of Chess

Paperback, Audiobook

Fiction

All Levels of Players

256

8

Wolfgang Pajeken, Karsten Müller

How to Play Chess Endgames: A Comprehensive Guide

Wolfgang Pajeken, Karsten Müller How to Play Chess Endgames: A Comprehensive Guide 1枚目

From ₱495

Mid

A Collection of Endgame Tactics to Help You Win the Game

Paperback

Strategies and Tactics

Advanced Players

352

9

Aron Nimzowitsch

My System & Chess Praxis: His Landmark Classics in One Edition

Aron Nimzowitsch My System & Chess Praxis: His Landmark Classics in One Edition 1枚目

From ₱931.89

High Mid

Applies Classic Chess Theories Into Practice

eBook

Game Collections

All Levels of Players

576

10

Alexander Kotov

Think Like a Grandmaster

Alexander Kotov Think Like a Grandmaster 1枚目

From ₱501.84

Mid

Presents Concepts That Will Improve Your Analytical Skills

eBook

Strategies and Tactics

Intermediate and Advanced Players

192

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No.1

Bobby Fischer, Donn Mosenfelder, Stuart MarguliesBobby Fischer Teaches Chess

Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
From ₱449.1
Mid
Reference price
From ₱449.1
Mid

Learn Chess From One of the Greatest Players of All Time

If you want to improve your chess skills, don't miss the chance to learn from one of the all-time chess legends—Bobby Fischer. Chess moves are all about tactics for Fischer, and that's exactly what he teaches. This book contains a series of exercises and puzzles that apply his teachings.

As such, whether you're just starting out in chess or you're an expert looking for a refresher, this book is for you! Moreover, it covers the basic concepts in chess, making it ideal for those still new to the game. It also follows a question-and-answer format that assesses the readers' understanding of the concepts discussed.

FormatPaperback
Category/GenreClassic Chess Book
Suitable forBeginners
Number of Pages352
Was this Ranking helpful?
No.2

Nick de FirmianModern Chess Openings15th Edition

Reference price
From ₱1,677
High

Master the Art of Chess Openings

While many players focus on the middlegame and endgame, it's crucial not to overlook the importance of the opening. The opening allows you to plan your strategy and avoid early losses. This book draws from chess theories, helping you explore various chess openings and their corresponding counterstrategies.

It also guides you through understanding your opponent's possible moves. This enables you to anticipate their strategic goals rather than perceiving their moves as random. Furthermore, this book is highly regarded for its clear explanations, which make complex concepts more approachable for readers.

FormatPaperback
Category/GenreStrategies and Tactics
Suitable forIntermediate Players
Number of Pages768
No.3

Levy RozmanHow to Win at Chess: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners and Beyond

Reference price
From ₱519.87
Mid

A Fun and Practical Guide for New Chess Players

Are you looking to learn chess but don't know where to begin? If so, this book is tailored for you! "How to Win at Chess" is a guide designed specifically for novices with limited knowledge of the sport. In addition to covering the basics, it provides instruction on important moves and strategies to give you the upper hand.

The book is written by Levy Rozman, an International Master and well-known chess YouTuber, under the name GothamChess. Unlike most instructional chess books, this one offers a fun and refreshing guide with clever insights to keep you engaged and entertained. Its primary aim is to make learning chess an enjoyable experience.
FormatHardcover, eBook
Category/GenreStrategies and Tactics
Suitable forBeginners
Number of Pages272
No.4

Mikhail TalThe Life and Games of Mikhail Tal

Reference price
From ₱377.56
Low Mid
Reference price
From ₱377.56
Low Mid

Take a Peek Into the Life of a Grandmaster

This autobiography by Grandmaster Mikhail Tal, known for his attacking prowess in chess, is an engaging read suitable for chess enthusiasts of all levels. It showcases his most famous games and techniques, complemented by anecdotal stories and interviews. With its combination of educational and biographical elements, this book is both informative and inspiring.

Moreover, readers will gain insights into his thought process during games. This perspective is valuable and appreciated by all chess players, especially his fans. Beyond Tal's chess career, the book also delves into his life and struggles, making it all the more relatable.

FormateBook
Category/GenreBiographical
Suitable forAll Levels of Players
Number of Pages496
No.5

Andre SchulzThe Big Book of World Chess Championships: 46 Title Fights - from Steinitz to Carlsen

The Big Book of World Chess Championships: 46 Title Fights - from Steinitz to Carlsen Image 1
Source:kobo.com
Reference price
From ₱670.89
Mid
Reference price
From ₱670.89
Mid

Relive the Best Matches in Chess History

Chess boasts a long and captivating history, marked by tournaments and grandmasters who have shaped the sport into what it is today. This book chronicles 46 memorable title fights, spanning from Steinitz to Carlsen. For each championship, it selects one defining game and explains the moves in a way that players of all levels can appreciate.

The book also delves into the historical development of chess, including shifts in the rules of the game, prizes, and more. Among the champions featured in this book are Capablanca, Tal, Karpov, Kasparov, and Fischer. Whether you're eager to grasp these players' winning strategies or simply relive their title wins, this book is worth checking out!
FormateBook
Category/GenreGame Collections
Suitable forAll Levels of Players
Number of Pages352
No.6

José Raúl CapablancaChess Fundamentals: Theory, Strategy and Principles of Chess

Reference price
From ₱29.88
Low

Learn the Basics from a Former World Champion

Playing chess is intricate and multifaceted, involving various aspects and skills. This book breaks down the fundamental ideas of chess, covering a wide range of logic and principles. It includes topics from game openings to middle games to end games. There are also illustrations of real games to further enhance your understanding of these concepts.

Former world chess champion José Raúl Capablanca wrote this instructional manual during the year he won his first championship title. Although this book was published over a century ago, it remains relevant and popular among enthusiasts. The reason for its lasting appeal lies in the enduring wisdom that the author personally employed in his games.
FormateBook
Category/GenreClassic Chess Book
Suitable forBeginners
Number of Pages117
No.7

Walter TevisThe Queen's Gambit

The Queen's Gambit Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
From ₱885.4
High Mid
Reference price
From ₱885.4
High Mid

An Artistic Approach to the World of Chess

Did you know that the Netflix show, "The Queen's Gambit," was originally a novel? It tells the story of an 8-year-old orphan girl and chess prodigy, Beth Harmon. Her journey to becoming a grandmaster begins in an orphanage basement and reaches its peak at the Moscow International tournament.

The novel also portrays her struggles with drugs and alcohol, which she uses to cope with her traumatic past and present loneliness. It has received praise for its accurate depiction of chess, particularly for how the Russians play the game. Additionally, it proves that chess can be an enjoyable pursuit as well. If you need a little boost, give this book a read!

FormatPaperback, Audiobook
Category/GenreFiction
Suitable forAll Levels of Players
Number of Pages256
No.8

Wolfgang Pajeken, Karsten MüllerHow to Play Chess Endgames: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Play Chess Endgames: A Comprehensive Guide Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
From ₱495
Mid
Reference price
From ₱495
Mid

A Collection of Endgame Tactics to Help You Win the Game

Endgame strategies can be both helpful and challenging, even for advanced players. This comprehensive guide is dedicated to teaching you how to calculate moves that will provide a competitive edge in all your matches. It covers all aspects of endgames, focusing on thinking methods and creating difficulties for your opponents.

The topics covered in this book include schematic thinking, prophylaxis, preventing counterplay, the bishop-pair in the endgame, and domination. In addition to detailed explanations, there are over 200 exercises for readers, each with full solutions provided. As such, this book offers valuable insights to elevate your game and achieve success in your chess matches.
FormatPaperback
Category/GenreStrategies and Tactics
Suitable forAdvanced Players
Number of Pages352
No.9

Aron NimzowitschMy System & Chess Praxis: His Landmark Classics in One Edition

My System & Chess Praxis: His Landmark Classics in One Edition Image 1
Source:kobo.com
Reference price
From ₱931.89
High Mid
Reference price
From ₱931.89
High Mid

Applies Classic Chess Theories Into Practice

If you're struggling to grasp the principles of chess, Nimzowitsch's teachings might provide clarity. "My System & Chess Praxis" combines two of his landmark works on chess. "My System" elaborates on his theories and insights into different aspects of the game. The sequel, "My Praxis," demonstrates the application of these theories in his games.

Over the years, this book has received praise and gained a reputation as one of the most influential chess books of all time. For this reason, Nimzowitsch offers a practical guide for players of all levels. For readers seeking a more personal perspective and writing style, this is the one to get!
FormateBook
Category/GenreGame Collections
Suitable forAll Levels of Players
Number of Pages576
No.10

Alexander KotovThink Like a Grandmaster

Think Like a Grandmaster Image 1
Source:kobo.com
Reference price
From ₱501.84
Mid
Reference price
From ₱501.84
Mid

Presents Concepts That Will Improve Your Analytical Skills

Playing chess begins with the right mindset, and that's exactly what Alexander Kotov's book is here to help you with—thinking like a grandmaster. His book teaches you how to streamline your thought process while playing chess. As a result, you'll have a more organized approach to the game.

Kotov covers concepts like the analysis tree and when and how to analyze your opponent's moves. However, this book leans more toward theory than practical application, which might be challenging for beginners. Nonetheless, it's an interesting read if you aim to enhance your discipline and focus in the game.

FormateBook
Category/GenreStrategies and Tactics
Suitable forIntermediate and Advanced Players
Number of Pages192

Looking for More Books to Read?

Even if everything is accessible on the internet, you can’t go wrong with books! Reading books lets you have a hobby that’s beyond browsing your social media accounts. What’s more is that you can learn a lot from them. Whether you want to learn a new language or master a new hobby, check out our top picks below! 

Author: J. Cuizon

Editor and Re-editor: Aprille Jarcia, Katrina Balingit

How We hose and Ranked Our Product Recommendations

Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more


Top 5 Books About Chess

No. 1: Bobby Fischer, Donn Mosenfelder, Stuart MarguliesBobby Fischer Teaches Chess

No. 2: Nick de FirmianModern Chess Openings15th Edition

No. 3: Levy RozmanHow to Win at Chess: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners and Beyond

No. 4: Mikhail TalThe Life and Games of Mikhail Tal

No. 5: Andre SchulzThe Big Book of World Chess Championships: 46 Title Fights - from Steinitz to Carlsen

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