276 ( +1 | -1 ) Tactical books!Hi shadowbane0117 ! At your level tactical mastery is key. Virtually all the games between players below roughly 1800ish (and most games in the higher ranks too!) are decided by tactical errors, i.e. someone overlooks something and loses a piece or gets checkmated. I look overgams between guys rated under 1500 and I am usually amazed at the simple tactical oversights that go on... someone has a nice forced maein towo and plays something else, the opponent ALSO doesn't notice the threat and fails to make a move which defends, then the guy with the mate in 2 overlooks it again!! Or the same situation happens when there is a fairly simple tactical trick which wins material and one or both players overlook it.
Many players will try to push you to study advanced positional chess or opening theory, but I fell that positional chess is best learned by experience and one only needs to pick up a nice book on positional strategy when the basic tactics and chess endgame ideas have been grasped first. The reason being that advanced positional strategies are completely useless in the hands of a player without adept skill in both tactics and endgames.
And so I would first recommend a simple book on tactcial ideas and combinations...don't go for a book titled TACTICS FOR THE ADVANCED ATTACKER, or some such stuff, that will likely be a study of extremely sharp positions where even Grandmasters can have a difficult time figuring out what is going on. All you need is a basic book. I am not sure of any specific titles, but any introduction to tactics will be perfect for you, or even a basic combination puzzle book wil be be great to help sharpen your calculation skills and help you rise a few hundred rating points.... Next after you have got a comfortable understanding of the tactical patterns of the game, Iwould recommend a basic study of chess endings. First you should study basic pawn endings, starting with King+pawn vs. King. Once you have grasped the ideas of this ending, you ceasily move up to more pawns on the board, and then you may want to study Rook+Pawn vs. rook. This is a little advance but it hapopens all the time in real games and it helps to at least have a basic idea of how each side can try to accomplish a draw or a win.
Any basic endgame boo will do for this. I have agrwta little book which did wonders for my endgame technique called PRACTICAL CHESS ENDINGS by Irving Chernev.
Good luck...whatever you do, PLAY ALOT, and study tactics FIRST.
69 ( +1 | -1 ) Well, I respect superblunder's opinion, though I don't believe beginning players should focus only on tactics. I tend to see chess know-how as wholistic, because (for example) a lot of the time there's nothing to exploit tactically, and knowing which side of the board to attack on is just as important as understanding pins. The book that did it for me was Silman's "The Amateur's Mind." Silman has his students say out loud what their reasons are for the moves they make, and then systematically exposes their misunderstandings and wishful thinking patterns. If you still hang pieces with regularity, however, then a book of exercises like superblunder reccomends may be a very good supplement.
92 ( +1 | -1 ) I agree with anaxagoras, and so does Bruce Pandolfini. I think "The Amateur's Mind" by Silman may be a little too advanced for you right now but books like "A Guide to Good Chess" by C.J.S. Purdy or "Pandolfini's Ultimate Guide to Chess" by Bruce Pandolfini would be an excellent place to start. I also think superblunder is right it is essential to master tactical chess and then basic endgames. You will need to know a minimum about chess opening just enough to get you safely into the middle game, You will also need to know a minimum am out of Positional theory, just enough to guide you as to pawn structure and piece placement. Endgame theory "is" positional chess in it's purest form!
Dan Heisman is a master and specializes in coaching players at your level he has a very useful chess site at: www.chessville.com/
23 ( +1 | -1 ) a good book"the inner game of chess" by andrew soltis is a book about how to calculate variations. It was one of the first books I bought when I started taking chess seriously. It was the book I got the most out of when I first started studying.
70 ( +1 | -1 ) shadowbaneMaybe your confused with all these recommendations. There are no super books that will help you more than others. It's all about personal learning style. In general - verbally orientated books are good for starters. At a level of 1100 - 1400 you need a good book on the endgame and especially tactics - These will help you gain skills which wont really fade away. Comprehensive Chess Course Volume 1 and 2 by Lev Alburt is a fantastic series which covers both the endgame and middlegame with emphasis on tactics. You can take a peek inside the book at www.amazon.com when you search for it. Find out which book suits you.
I agree that you can learn a lot of endgames, to get a feeling for the quality of the pieces. In these two books you can learn everything you need to know about chess - which doesn't mean you are not going to make any blunders in the future. But those you are even doing as a Super-Grandmaster ! On the other side if you don't know some of the secrets of the game you are never going to play a good game.