In a world awash in educational chess content, knowing how to study the game most effectively can be challenging.
As the Perpetual Chess Podcast host, USCF Master Ben Johnson has spent hundreds of hours talking chess with many of the world’s top players and most accomplished trainers. In the popular Adult Improver Series, he has spoken with dozens of passionate amateurs who have elevated their games significantly while pursuing chess as a hobby.
Guests like former World Champion Viswanathan Anand and YouTube Stars IM Levy Rozman and GM Hikaru Nakamura have shared insights and told memorable stories. And Ben has learned just as much from the many dedicated amateurs who applied their considerable professional (non-chess) experience to their chess learning.
In Perpetual Chess Improvement, Ben looks for common ground and shared principles in all chess advice given on the podcast. Chess players do not always agree on the best improvement methods, so he even adjudicates a few disagreements! The book will show you the following:
– How to approach and study different aspects of the game, including openings, endgames, tactics, tournament games, and speed chess.
– How to find a chess coach and a like-minded chess community.
– How to properly utilize all the powerful chess study tools available.
– Instructive chess positions illustrate the topics discussed.
The guests shared a wealth of beautiful stories, and chess study advice on the Perpetual Chess Podcast. This book compiles the highlights and will help you make a holistic plan for your chess studies.
Ben Johnson is a USCF Master and accomplished chess coach. In 2016, he started the Perpetual Chess Podcast, the most successful chess podcast, with over five million downloads and streams in over a hundred different countries - and counting. Ben grew up in Philadelphia and lives in New Jersey with his family. Before dedicating his life to chess, he was a professional poker player and a stock trader.
In Play Like a Champion, Jennifer Shahade showcases the careers and sparkling tactics of some of the most talented and influential players to ever sit at the chessboard, from the first Women’s World Champion Vera Menchik and Grandmaster Hou Yifan to Phiona “Queen of Katwe” Mutesi. Learn the powerful moves of family chess dynasties including the Polgar and the Botez sisters.
Jennifer walks you through essential and inspiring examples of themes such as Double Attack, Removal of the Guard, and Clearance. You’ll get your turn to solve 700 puzzles from the games of more than one hundred pioneering chess champions. The positions are designed to help chess improvers (from beginner to master) to develop their tactical vision.
Solve the positions here, and you too will start to Play Like a Champion.
Jennifer Shahade is a two-time US Women’s Champion, an Olympic chess medalist, and the first female ever to win the US Junior Open. An award-winning writer, host, and speaker, Jennifer is known for making chess more fun and inclusive. She is also the author of Play Like a Girl!, Chess Queens, and Thinking Sideways (2025).
She lives in Philadelphia with her family.
CHESS INFORMANT’S 157th ADVENTURE
• In Memoriam – Remembering Aleksandar Matanovic
• Leitao – World Cup 2023 (Tournament Review)
• Shyam Sundar – This or that? – World Cup Edition
• Perunovic – Instructive positions from the World Cup
• Foisor – Women FIDE World Championship Match (Tournament Review)
• Gormally – British Chess Championship (Tournament Review)
• Moradiabadi – Biel Chess Festival (Tournament Review)
• Yochanan Afek – Prague Chess Festival (Tournament Review)
• Kotronias – The Classical Scotch 4...Bc5 (Theoretical Survey)
• Davies – The Sandipan Dutch (Theoretical Survey)
• Prusikin – The Exchange Slav Ideas (Instructive Lesson)
• Szabo – The King’s Indian Defence E91 (Theoretical Survey)
• Perelshteyn – The Hyper-Accelerated Dragon (Theoretical Survey)
• Petrov – World Championship Game Changers – part 7
• Rogers – The Japan 1978 Zonal Tournament (Roger’s Reminiscences)
• Griffin – Spassky-Portisch, Toluca Interzonal 1982 (From Informant Archives)
• Barak Gonen – Correspondence Chess
Traditional sections: games, combinations, endings, Tournament reviews, the best game from the preceding volume and the most important theoretical novelty from the preceding volume.
The periodical that pros use with pleasure is at the same time a must have publication for all serious chess students!
Born in Bakhmut, Ukraine, and brought up in Odessa, Boris Verlinsky (1888-1950) was the first holder of the grandmaster title in the Soviet Union, and he was consistently one of the top Soviet players in the 1920s.
He earned the master’s title at the 1924 Soviet Championship and won fourth prize at the 1925 Championship, defeating the tournament winner Bogoljubov along the way. Verlinsky then crushed Capablanca at the 1925 Moscow International Tournament, where he finished twelfth equal with Rubinstein and Spielmann, both of whom he also beat. He won the Soviet Championship in 1929, for which he was awarded the grandmaster title, and came third in 1931 despite poor health. Verlinsky played in five Soviet Championship finals in total. He also won a number of other major Tsarist and Soviet-era tournaments, including the Southern Russia Championship, Odessa Championship, Ukrainian Championship, Moscow Championship and others. Moreover, he achieved all this despite being profoundly deaf.
According to the Chessmetrics website, Verlinsky’s highest world ranking was #15 in 1926, and that year he achieved his highest rating of 2627.
Verlinsky possessed a sharp attacking style. As Grandmaster Dmitry Kryakvin highlights in his foreword, “I think that this great attacking player was way ahead of his time, and in his best years he played spectacular, beautiful, dynamic and modern chess more characteristic of the famous players of the second half of the twentieth century. As you study Verlinsky’s brilliant victories, you think of the masterpieces of Mikhail Tal, Leonid Stein, Viktor Kupreichik, Alexei Shirov, and other modern successors of the ‘Fire-On-Board’ dynasty.”
Ukrainian historian and former world champion at composing chess studies Sergei Tkachenko presents a comprehensive biography of this unique player. This book analyzes 130 games and fragments, in which opponents include Capablanca, Alekhine, Botvinnik, Bronstein, Bogoljubov, Spielmann and other stars. The games are frequently annotated by Verlinsky or his opponents and contemporaries, and they have all been reviewed using modern engines by grandmasters or international masters especially for this work.
Available via subscription
British Chess Magazine (October 2023)
The October issue of BCM is brimming with insightful comments, opinions, and analysis, along with tournament reports. BCM's GM Alex Colovic delves into one of the most significant questions in chess: How to handle winning and losing? Additionally, in a separate article, Colovic examines the role and place of intuition in chess and whether it always proves effective. Dive into our special reports from the World and European senior championships, where England delivers a remarkable performance in both events! In this issue, you can also find the concluding part of BCM's exclusive interview with Henrik Carlen, where he discusses how his son influenced the world of chess and how he will be remembered. Furthermore, Milan Dinic explores the ascent of China as a chess powerhouse, from its tentative steps in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution to becoming a dominant force on the global chess stage. All this and more awaits you in the October issue of BCM!
Rook endgames are the most important to study, because they are the type of endgame you will face most often over the board. Working on rook endgames gives the biggest bang for your buck.
World-class grandmaster Sam Shankland explains technical rook endgames in a way that is clearer, better organized, more concise, and easier to understand than any previous work. After learning the vital set positions, the reader is offered lots of rules and guidelines to correctly assess any theoretical rook endgame they have not yet memorized.
Theoretical Rook Endgames is the ideal guide to a vital topic in chess. After reading this book, you will know which positions must be memorized, and which positions are best handled by considering general principles.
The sister volume – Conceptual Rook Endgames by Jacob Aagaard – shows how the theoretical knowledge shown in the present book is used in advanced practical play.
GM Sam Shankland is the 2018 US Champion, 2016 Olympiad gold medal winner for teams and 2014 individual gold medal winner. He has played Board 1 for the US in the World Team Championship and competed with the best players in the world in Wijk aan Zee, St. Louis, Prague and elsewhere.
Rook endgames are the most frequently recurring endgames and also one of the most exciting areas of chess, with mind bending tactical opportunities and dizzying nuances available. They have unsurprisingly been a big topic in endgame literature, with a heavy focus on the set theoretical positions and their logic and fixed conclusions (see the excellent Theoretical Rook Endgames by GM Sam Shankland, published as a sister volume to this book as the peak example of this).
Conceptual Rook Endgames goes in a different direction. Focused on two dozen major concepts, the book explains the mechanisms of rook endgames in a novel way, by building foundations with simple examples, which can be seen in the most complicated examples as well. Rook endgames will remain rich and surprising, as they are for the greats, but armed with this book, your comprehension of them will skyrocket.
Grandmaster Jacob Aagaard is the most talented chess writer of his generation. He won the British Championship in 2007, but is mostly known for his multi-award winning books and his work with students that have won club, country, state, national, continental and world championships, as well as Olympiad golds (board and overall), the World Cup and Candidates tournament.
This second-volume workbook in Davorin Kuljasevic's How to Study Chess on Your Own series is optimized for chess players with an Elo rating between 1500 and 1800 but is helpful for anyone between 1200 and 2000. The astounding success of his How to Study Chess on Your Own made clear that thousands of chess players want to improve their game and like to work on their training at least partially by themselves.
Kuljasevic has used his coaching experience to identify the typical mistakes of club players and create a broad and exciting training schedule to address them. Tasks like these will challenge you:
- Solve visualization puzzles
- Find the best middlegame move - and find a hidden tactic
- Evaluate a critical piece-trade decision
- Analyze a practical endgame position
With these exercises and tools, any chess student can start training immediately.
Davorin Kuljasevic is an International Grandmaster born in Croatia. He graduated from Texas Tech University and is an experienced coach. His bestselling book Beyond Material: Ignore the Face Value of Your Pieces was a finalist for the Boleslavsky-Averbakh Award, the best book prize of FIDE, the International Chess Federation.
Originally published at the beginning of the 20th century as part of a series for beginners on all phases of the chess game, this little book contains samples of all types of endgames that beginners or inexperienced players will greatly benefit from studying.
With 124 well-chosen positions, the author illustrates the fundamental knowledge of chess endgames that all players should master.
The material has been reexamined and lightly edited by FIDE Master Carsten Hansen.
Improve Your Chess Now is a modern chess classic and one of the most inspiring chess improvement manuals. Adult improvers frequently name this book as one of their primary sources in the popular Perpetual Chess Podcast of Ben Johnson.
The author is an American grandmaster now living in Norway. With infectious enthusiasm, Tisdall covers a wide range of topics, including visualization and calculation, pattern recognition, the psychological aspects of chess, the art of defence and the wisdom of blindfold chess – all still relevant more than 25 years later.
The 1997 classic is reprinted with a modern design and a new foreword by the author.
Jonathan Tisdall (1958 in Buffalo, New York) is an American-Norwegian Grandmaster and experienced international journalist, covering many World Championship matches, and is a regular contributor to New In Chess magazine.
Every winter, the world's strongest chess players and most promising chess prodigies travel to a small seaside village in the Netherlands to immerse themselves for two weeks in chess and chess only. Usually, the World Champion is there, vying for victory. Garry Kasparov won three times, Vishy Anand won five times, and Magnus Carlsen won a record eight times.
The tournament is a gift of the local steel company to their neighbours, the shops, restaurants and B&Bs, and the global community of chess lovers. Hundreds of amateur chess players come to Wijk aan Zee and play in the same hall as the elite grandmasters. Fans all around the world can follow the games with expert commentary during the online live broadcasts.
In 2023, the Tata Steel Chess tournament celebrates its 85th edition. This book captures the uniqueness of the festival in 160 pages. It tells the stories of the winners, the amateurs and their favourite restaurants. Dozens of pictures highlight how photogenic the event is. And, of course, the book includes magnificent chess games annotated by the winners. Wijk aan Zee and the Tata Steel Chess Tournament bring out the best in chess...
Erwin l'Ami is a Dutch Grandmaster and a regular participant in Wijk aan Zee.
Peter Doggers is Chess.com's Director of News and Events.
Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam is editor-in-chief of New In Chess magazine.
Peter Boel is the managing editor of New In Chess books.
Endgame Labyrinths presents the reader with 1002 challenging studies selected and truncated, with their usefulness for the practical player in mind. It is common for studies to be extended by less interesting manoeuvres or by incomprehensible sequences, before the main themes come into play. The studies in this book have been pruned to leave the reader with 1002 clear and solvable challenges.
A few years of extensive selection, analysis, reselection, reanalysis and refining have gone into putting together the study book for the practical player with the most value ever.
Steffen Nielsen is the reigning World Champion in endgame composition. His creativity and aesthetics in his compositions have had a massive influence on modern competition. He is a strong club player, with a good understanding of the difficulties practical players face over the board. Steffen is also a life-long supporter of the football club AaB, which is less successful...
GM Jacob Aagaard is one of the leading chess writers and trainers of his generation. His students have played successfully at all levels and continue to do so. His books are used all over the world, by top players and amateurs alike.
"Absolute Gold" – GM Anish Giri