Chess books written by Aagaard, Dvoretsky and Kasparov are suitable books for master level players. I have recently discovered the book Perfect Your Chess by Volokitin & Grabinsky which is similar in vein. What other chess books are suitable for master level players?

I use the term master level players to refer to players who are at a level equivalent to 2200+ FIDE rating. Books suggested should:

  • be suitable for a general master level player.
  • contain sufficient material that will stimulate a master level player.
  • be useful in the training of a master level player.
  • I'm not sure how good a fit this question is, but in any case, as there are tons and tons of such books that are potential answers and this could turn into a big list, I'm going to make this a community wiki question.
    – ETD
    Mar 31, 2015 at 17:23
  • I doubt there are tons and tons of books for master level players. That's not a very lucrative target audience. Especially Workbooks for Elo 2300+ players are quite rare, I only know about the Dvoretzky stuff, Aagaards new series and "Perfect your chess". Mar 31, 2015 at 17:51
  • @BlindKungFuMaster, since the OP didn't rule out e.g. games collections, of which there are many that are well-suited to master-level players, I believe there are indeed a great many potential answers to this question. Not to mention opening tomes that might be of use to masters.
    – ETD
    Mar 31, 2015 at 18:28
  • @ETD, Game collections where the games are not thoroughly analysed and annotated are not suitable for master level players. In this regard I can compare Kasparov's My Great Predecessors to Bronstein's Zurich 1953. I have also found that most opening books are either specific and thorough, or diverse and not thorough, which is not suitable to a general master level player.
    – user7131
    Apr 1, 2015 at 7:59
  • Another question is what you regard as "master level" player. There is often a confusion because the USCF awards "master" titles to basically every decent club player. Apr 1, 2015 at 13:09

2 Answers 2



Questions of Modern Chess Theory by Isaac Lipnitsky - a Soviet classic. Gets into the ideas behind opening theory in general.

For specific opening lines - the Grandmaster Repertoire series tends to be quite good.


Dvoretksy's Analytical Manual - I didn't get too far through it but it is an incredible workout.


Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual, of course. If you learn everything in this book you will have endgame knowledge that far surpasses most masters.

Practical Rook Endings - Korchnoi. Quite expensive in this listing but I found one for $15 a few years ago.

Most books by John Nunn.


Any well-regarded selection of annotated games from a GM is immensely helpful. Keres, Tal and Shirov's collections are great, to name a few.

  • Thanks for your response. I think that Questions of Modern Chess Theory is a great book and it is accessible by a large range of chess players. I have found it useful in other parts of chess and not only in opening theory. Practical Rook Ending's seemed promising and I should look at it again.
    – user7131
    Apr 1, 2015 at 20:04

A few other good books targeting stronger players:

(1) Imagination in Chess by Paata Gaprindashvili (master-level tactics problems)

(2) How to Play Chess Endgames by Karsten Muller and Wolfgan Pajeken (a book about endgame technique, as opposed to endgame theory)

(3) Learn from the Legends by Mihail Marin (a study of world champions' play in position-types in which they were particularly strong);

(4) A Practical Guide to Rook Endgames by Nikolay Minev (lots of instructive material).

By the way, unless you are a rook endgame specialist and have mastered all the rook endgame material in Dvoretsky and the Minev book you should probably avoid Korchnoi's rook endgame book mentioned above, because Korchnoi's book is aimed at a really high level (more like 2400+ rather than 2200+).

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