Among the first books ever published was the 1474 translation of the Game and Playe of the Chesse. Over the next 400 years, significant chess books would appear, but the overwhelming number of titles on the subject appeared in the 20th century and continue unabated.
By 2003, over 35,000 volumes on chess in a variety of languages had been published, with approximately 14,000 English language works published from 1960 onward.
For the librarian, collector, or chess enthusiast, the immediate task comes in finding which of these many volumes are worthwhile. This work provides an objective and informative look at some of the best chess books published in the period 1901 through 2000?and gives numerous examples of the games, with diagrams that appear in them. Inclusion criteria were popularity, longevity, critical acclaim, influence, definitiveness, historical importance, authorship and reputation.
All were published in English (or use figurine notation). Each entry includes bibliographic details followed by a description of the book, with information on the author or authors, why the book is important, and background information on the publication.