Which book is better for a 1700-1800 player?

  • Pawn Power in Chess by Hans Kmoch (originally Die Kunst der Bauernführung, 1956)
  • Pawn Structure Chess by Andrew Soltis
  • Chess Structures: A Grandmaster Guide by Mauricio Flores Rios, or
  • The Power Of Pawns by Jörg Hickl.
  • Havent read the others, but the Soltis book is decent
    – M.M
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 0:22
  • I advise against all of these books. It is much more stimulating to read John Watson's books on strategy. Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 9:27
  • I don't know about the others, but Chess Structures is really good for 1700-1800 level.
    – limits
    Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 3:57
  • An NM that I know recommended Rio's guide p
    – Jimmy360
    Commented Jul 9, 2016 at 12:21

2 Answers 2


I would take a look at The Art of the Middle Game by Keres and Kotov. It is the only book I know of which devotes serious attention to pawn structure in a way that goes beyond opening development.

If you liked My System you might also check out Chess Praxis (also by Nimzowitch). It isn't on pawn structure specifically, but details Nimzowitch's theory of Prophylaxis, covering pawn structure in the process of doing so. It's a good follow up to My System.

As to the books in your question I've heard great things about Pawn Power in Chess, but haven't read it myself so can only report second hand.


If you are talking about strategy and positional play (pawn structures included) why don't you try one or both of

  • Aron Nimzowitsch. My System (originally in German: Mein System), 1925,
  • Mark Dvoretsky. Strategic Play. School of Excellence: 3. Olms, 2002, 3rd ed 2008. ISBN 978-3-283-00418-7

These books have been tested by time. The best chess players were reading them when they were at your level.

Moreover, it's better to start with 'classic' materials and then move to something that truly suits your taste, like maybe one of those books you mentioned.

  • I've read My System already
    – Jimmy360
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 19:18
  • It was very good
    – Jimmy360
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 23:18
  • Then I'd try the other suggestion. Well, in any case, it seems that you've read at least several useful books, so, I guess, you could make a good decision on the next one yourself... Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 2:54

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