Note: Each student must purchase a text for Math 177, but due to the wide variety of interests and levels of experience among class members, your professor feels that no single text could satisfy the needs of all his students. Below is a listing of only a very few of the books and authors which are available.

To find your text, visit a larger store selling either new or used books. You must have a text by our third meeting, so search for opportunities to visit Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis, Chicago, or perhaps smaller towns such as Janesville. Look at several books; older books may use "Descriptive Notation" rather than the more modern "Algebraic Notation" for writing chess moves. If you have any doubt as to whether or not your choice will be acceptable to your professor, save the store receipt, and be prepared to exchange it for another.

Some web-savvy former students have bought texts from the internet bookseller at URL "" without trouble, and recently, used books are also available on line. As a general rule, however, Prof McFarland would recommend caution buying goods via the internet.

Your choice:
[1] should NOT be a library book (you must own your text).
[2] may be new or used: a former chess student might sell his/her text. Ask in your dorm.
[3] You must be willing to write your name in ink somewhere in the book.

Below is only a very small sample of suitable texts.

Horowitz, Chess for Beginners, $9
Robertie, William ; Beginning Chess Play, Simon & Schuster, $9.95
Robertie, William ; Winning Chess Tactics, Simon & Schuster, $9.95
Barden, Leonard ; An Intro. to Chess Moves and Tactics, $3.95
Pritchard, David; Beginning Chess
Reinfeld, Fred; The Complete Chess-Player
Reinfeld, Fred; Beginner's Guide to Winning Chess
Reinfeld, Fred; Chess in a nutshell
Reinfeld, Fred; Complete Book of Chess Openings
Reinfeld, Fred; Improving your Chess
Reinfeld, Fred; Winning Chess Openings
Golombek; The Game of Chess

* Fischer, Robert; Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess (least expensive)

Reinfeld, Fred; The Middle Game in Chess
Euwe, Max; and Hooper; A Guide to Chess Endings ($6.95)
Fine, Reuben; Basic Chess Endings
Fine, Reuben; Practical Chess Openings
Pandolfini, Bruce; Chess Openings / Traps and Zaps
Pandolfini, Bruce; Power Mates ($14)
Seirawan; Play Winning Chess ($9.95)
Seirawan; Winning Chess Strategies ($9.95)
Short, Nigel; Chess Basics ($11.95)

* (edited by various people, available through the U.S.C.F)
Modern Chess Openings (MCO) (expensive but useful)

Capablanca, Jos; Capablanca's 1OO Best Games
Capablanca, Jos; Chess Fundamentals, Cromwell Press (England), $15.95
Fischer, Robert; My 6O Memorable Games
Nimzovich, Aron; (Praxis of) My System
Silman, Jeremy; How to Re-Assess your Chess $17.95
Suba, M.; Dynamic Chess Strategy

Coles; Battles Royal of the Chess board
Lasker, Emmanuel; How to play Chess
Keene, R.; Chess

* These are the best 2 choices for a beginner who seriously wanted to become a better chess player.

This page last updated
24 July 2007