The Best 10 Books of the 20th Century
I will take this one up front. No, there was no room on the list for Watson or Silman. But also, there was no room for Kasparov, Karpov, Kotov, Reti and so on.
John and I agreed our way to ten books and I have put them in order of quality, as I see it. It is certainly up for debate. Below I will give books that fell just outside the list.
One of the rules of the list is that the same writer cannot be repeated. Another rule is that the books should be relevant today.
1. Mikhail Tal: The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal
2. Bent Larsen: 50 Selected Games
3. Bobby Fischer: My 60 Memorable Games
4. John Nunn: Secret of Practical Chess
5. Isaak Lipnitsky: Questions of Modern Chess Theory
6. Mark Dvoretsky: Secrets of Chess Training (now School of Chess Excellence 1)
7. Alexander Alekhine: Best Games
8. Mikhail Botvinnik: Best Games
9. Aron Nimzowitsch: My System
10. David Bronstein: Zurich 1953
Other books we seriously considered were: Practical Chess Endings (Keres), Secrets of Pawn Endings (Mueller/Lambrecht), The Art of the Middlegame (Keres/Kotov), Simple Chess (Michael Stean), Endgame Strategy (Shereshevsky), Modern Ideas in Chess (Reti), Zurich 1953 (Najdorf), Three Matches (Kasparov), Karpov’s Best Games (written by Razuvaev, but published as if written by Karpov).