Usually, chess books show moves like this: several-many moves, and then, explanation. Sometimes, however, I don't understand the meaning of some moves. It would be great if there was a book in which every move in the game is explained, or at least something like that.

Not only books are suitable. If you can take courses, studies on Lichess, articles, etc. that would also be great.

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    Do Euwes "Test yourself" series (and alike stuff e.g. in German chess periodicals) count? They only start somewhen after a critical position, though. Commented May 29, 2022 at 18:36

6 Answers 6


it would be great if there was a book where they explain every move in the game

There is such a book. It is called "Logical Chess Move by Move" written by Irving Chernev and published in 1957. 33 master level games are fully annotated with every move getting a comment. Every 1. e4, 1. d4, 1...e5, 1...d5, etc. gets an annotation. My copy was printed in 1972 and so uses descriptive notation but I'm sure this classic is still in print and with algebraic notation.

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    I wanted to read it once, but I stopped reading after I put the games into a lichess study and let Stockfish analyze the game. There is almost no game without errors. Of course, one can not expect any book from the pre-Stockfish era to be without errors, but the amount of wrong statements was just way too much for me. For example, best moves according to Stockfish have been declared the losing blunders (the real blunder came later in the games). I cannot recommend the book, even if I really liked the concept.
    – Hauptideal
    Commented May 29, 2022 at 15:49
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    @Haup- In the future, someone is going to read your post and laugh because their quantum computer will absolutely trash stockfish. The idea is to get better at chess not necessarily to play perfect chess. Most of the people on here are average players looking to beat other average players. You dont need to play perfectly to beat a 1500. Just because an engine tells you there's a mistake 30 moves out doesnt mean the basic idea is wrong. Humans think differently than engines. Humans tend to generalize There's nothing wrong with that. Generalizing allows you to understand a vast number of
    – Savage47
    Commented May 30, 2022 at 1:49
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    positions with very little memorization. Basically , you're saying if a book can't teach me to beat stockfish then its worthless. Do you really think thats true? Can't I learn from a book even if it doesn't teach me to play at a 3500 level? As an analogy, what you're saying would be like saying music books that teach basic chords and scales are worthless because they don't teach you to play perfect Mozart on day 1.
    – Savage47
    Commented May 30, 2022 at 1:57
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    @Savage47 Hauptideal isn't saying anything of the kind. They mentioned that sometimes an author wrongly claimed a move was a blunder when it was good. This is not the same as failing to alert the reader of a blunder "30 moves out". Whatever level of player the author pitches the book at, the reader deserves a book with no mistakes. There's no shame in using Stockfish to check for mistakes. That doesn't imply that the book can teach you to beat Stockfish.
    – Rosie F
    Commented May 31, 2022 at 6:14

You're looking for Understanding Chess Move by Move by John Nunn.

Every move is explained in detail. I cannot recommend Chernev's book for the reason I put in the comment below Brian Towers' answer.

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    "Every move is explained in detail". This is just false. From game 9 onwards comments stop appearing for White and Black's first move. By game 12 the first comment is for White's 4th move. Game 23, the first comment is for White's 5th move, game 24, Black's 6th move etc. I agree that for a player of my level that this is a far better book, but the OP wasn't asking for such a book. They were asking for a book in which every move was annotated. That just doesn't apply to this book!
    – Brian Towers
    Commented May 29, 2022 at 18:38
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    That is because he has commented on these moves in the previous games already. By game 3 he has covered 1. Nf3, 1. d4, and 1.e4. Game 9's 1.e4 c5 has already been covered in the game directly before and he states "For comments on the moves up to here, see Game 8.". So all moves are described, but he expects the reader to read the book in a linear fashion.
    – Hauptideal
    Commented May 29, 2022 at 19:59

Try Winning Chess Brilliancies by GM Yasser Seirawan. There are some sample pages here. It's of course not going to hold up to modern Stockfish analysis, but it still gives a selection of great games with GM-level analysis (including analysis from the players and other GMs).

  • A nice thing about this book (if one is seeking it) is that afaik literally every move is annotated. Commented Jun 11, 2022 at 9:04

There are a lot of books that follow that format:

  • Chernev-Logical Chess.

  • Weeramantry-Best Lessons of a Chess Coach. Written by Hikaru's trainer/step-dad.

  • Mednis-How To Play Good Opening Moves. Mostly focused on the first four or so moves but does give a very good and detailed explanation.

  • Any annotated games series especially if the author is also the player. Example: Fischer's memorable games.

  • I also believe the entire Move By Move series follows the same format although I don't own any of those books.

  • There are also several modern books that copy Chernev. I own some but don't recall the names off the top of my head. I'll edit this when I remember.


The other answers cover book resources fairly well, however the OP also mentioned that

Not only books are suitable. If you can take courses, studies on Lichess, articles, etc. that would also be great.

With this in mind, I immediately thought of decodechess.com. DecodeChess explains the why behind chess moves in rich, intuitive language. Having tried it before, I found it fairly impressive, and definitely useful for reading along with books that leave out some of the strategic explanations that might be more obvious to readers with a more complete understanding.

From the website:

Performing a chess analysis with DecodeChess promotes the understanding of concepts and ideas that make up any position or move, serving as an on-the-go AI chess tutor for aspiring players in the ELO ranges of up to 2000.

I believe there are options to upload games in PGN/FEN formats, as well as analyze live while playing against a computer.


Lessons with a Grandmaster: Enhance Your Chess Strategy And Psychology With Boris Gulko (Everyman Chess)

Check this out. Maybe it's what you are looking for.

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