50 Essential Chess Lessons is representative of the kind of book that beginning and intermediate chess players need to improve their game. 50 years ago, this market was addressed very well by the late Irving Chernev.
In an era when chess books were relatively rare and highly individualistic, authors like Fred Reinfield and Irving Chernev worked on making chess accessible to people who wanted to learn to play the game and to people who wanted to learn to play the game better. To a large extent, this web site is dedicated to serving that market although we do review books and have articles aimed at stronger players as well. In 50 Essential Chess Lessons, Steve Giddins has anthologized games from as far back as 1912 and as recently 2002.
He then divided them into various sections such as “Attacking the King” , “Defense” , “Piece Power”, and so on, and then heavily annotated them to explain to the reader exactly what is going on in each stage of the game.
The result is an instructional gem of a book that can probably help almost any player improve but will be especially useful but will be especially useful to novices and intermediate because of the detailed annotation and the depth of the explanation. The result is a masterful 21st Century version of Chernev’s “The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played”. Highly recommended!