A list of chess resources recommended by John Veech

Beginners (never played in tournaments, does not know / barely knows rules)

Comprehensive Chess Course Vol 1 by Lev Alburt
Styled after the famous Soviet chess school’s methods, this book contains everything a beginner needs to learn, including how all the pieces move and many of the fundamental strategies and tactics. It also comes with tons of puzzles and practice in order to reinforce lessons. Highly recommended.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chess by Patrick Wolff
This is another great choice for absolute beginners. It has really in-depth explanations and advice from the basics to more advanced concepts.

Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster (Software) by Viva Media
This is a great way to learn chess for younger students or those that may not be inclined to read/work in a workbook. Arcade style mini-games go over how the pieces move as well as more advanced concepts.

Intermediate (knows all rules, may or may not play in tournaments)

Comprehensive Chess Course Vol 2 by Lev Alburt
This expands on Vol 1 and starts to introduce tactics, openings, and other strategies. The two often can be purchased together at a discount.

Chess Tactics for Students by John Bain
This is a great introduction to the tactical themes that so often decide games. It comes in a workbook format that is easy to use and understand. It’s best to purchase this directly from the author at http://www.chessforstudents.com as it can be significantly more expensive on other sites.

Chesskid.com (Website)
This site is a great place for students to play online as it generally pairs them with equally matched opposition while keeping them safe online (The site does not allow students to contact strangers, but they can contact friends they know from school or tournaments with parental permission)

Advanced (knows all rules, plays in tournaments often)

Logical Chess Move by Move by Irving Chernev
This is a great collection of games for an advanced student as it provides commentary after every move. The games are carefully selected for high instructional value and tend to be very relevant to scholastic players. This is considered a classic for a reason!

The Chess Player’s Bible by James Eade
This book provides a great introduction to many different advanced chess concepts.  It’s great for visual learners because all pages have multiple diagrams.

Chesstempo.com (Website)
This website has tons of tactical exercises for all levels. The nice thing about it is that it tracks your performance and gives you different problems based on how proficient you are. For best results, create an account, go into preferences and change Tactics Problem Set to “Standard” and Difficulty to “Easy.”


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