I presume I am being overly paranoid regarding this, and I definitely don't intend to turn away from older books at all, but were there any developments opening-wise, middlegame-wise, or endgame-wise during the decade that books from before would overlook or fail to cover?

  • 2
    Of course there have been developments in the intervening 10 years. But any book worth its salt will be untouched by these developments aside from opening books. May 6, 2021 at 0:06
  • You refer to AlphaZero, right? But even AlphaZero did not set all theory tumbling. When it showed something, then that dynamic compensation is even more important than previously thought. Read "Game Changer" by Sadler/Regan to learn...that it didn't really change the game ;-) May 6, 2021 at 8:23
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    You might be surprised at how little the endgame theory has changed. Pretty much everything which you can find in Averbakh or Portisch-Sarkozy still holds (and is not going to change).
    – sleepy
    May 6, 2021 at 14:34
  • Related? Chessmaster: Modern version of lectures?
    – BCLC
    Sep 1, 2021 at 21:36

1 Answer 1


Given that you are even asking this question, I am going to be a bit presumptuous and guess you are, like me, not a highly rated (elo > 2000) player.

For chess books that are not about opening theory, I would not worry too much about the age of the book. Sure, the occasional study or evaluation has been adjusted based on computer engines, but these are surprisingly rare and inconsequential for most of us. Endgame theory has changed little in the last 50 years and that which has is mostly relevant only to very highly rated players. If Bobby Fischer were to teleport from 1972 to today, he would still be a very good chess player and he learned from books which are considered ancient today.

Opening theory does change more frequently but even then, this is mostly of concern to highly rated players looking to extract tiny advantages from deeply memorized computer lines. If your intention is to simply get a feel for a specific opening and its common variations, I think anything reputable from the last 20 years will be helpful, although you should probably complement this by looking at up to date chess databases to make sure popular variations are covered. Which you should do anyway even with a new book.


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