Steve Giddins has chosen 50 supremely instructive games - some old, some new, and including many that few readers will have seen before. He has annotated these games in detail from a modern perspective, explaining the useful lessons that can be learnt from them, while avoiding the harmful dogma that characterized many older works of this type. Topics include: Attacking the King, Defence, Piece Power, and Endgame Themes. Each game is followed by a recap of the main lessons to be learned.

Giddins writes in a highly accessible down-to-earth style that appeals to club players seeking to improve their understanding of practical chess. His knowledge of Russian-language chess literature has enabled him to find many excellent examples that have not appeared in previous western literature.

Steve Giddins is a FIDE Master from England who plays regularly in international events and has frequently contributed to the British Chess Magazine. He has gained a reputation as a writer who provides useful, no-nonsense advice on topics of genuine practical importance. This is his third book for Gambit.

Gambit books by Steve Giddins: 101 Chess Opening Traps, 101 Chess Endgame Tips, How to Build Your Chess Opening Repertoire, 50 Essential Chess Lessons, 50 Ways to Win at Chess, 101 Chess Questions Answered.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"Really good books are truly worth more than their weight in gold! That's my feeling about masterpieces such as Steve Giddins' 2006 Gambit gem, 50 Essential Chess Lessons. All the ideas in the superb collection of games selected and annotated by Giddins were explained so lucidly that, even now, more than a year after I first read the book, the highly instructive concepts are still playing a very active role in my own chess thinking. For instance, I was especially impressed by White's skilful handling of the long-range bishop-pair in the clash Gulko-Kremenietsky (Moscow, 1983), which was the penultimate battle in Steve Giddins' chosen duels. Indeed, that particular encounter made such a deep impact on me that all the main points quickly came back to my aid when I needed their assistance in an endgame situation that arose very recently in Motwani-D.Floor, Dutch League 2007." - GM Paul Motwani, The Scotsman

"Giddins has written another excellent book ... It is a teaching text that uses 50 very well-selected complete games - not the usual suspects - to illustrate various kinds of positions from opening to endgame. Giddins gives descriptions of key ideas of the games, tips for how to play them, and what to look out for. Again, the book's effectiveness is based upon its very clear and easy-to-digest presentation. I reviewed this book at length on one of my radio shows and can highly recommend it for average-strength players." - IM John Watson, TWIC

"A really good effort from FM Giddins, who has already collected a lot of experience as a Trainer and Chess-Author." - Fernando Offermann, Berliner Schachverband

"Steve Giddins is gaining a reputation as a chess author mainly because of the clear manner in which he presents his thoughts and this book is another landmark in his oeuvre." - Bill Frost,

"The nice thing about this collection of games is that most of the games use the openings which are popular today (Sicilians, Kings Indians, and Nimzo-Indians for example), so most likely you will find at least a few games with openings you play. With 50 top quality lessons, for less than 50 cents each, this is an outstanding book!" - Andy May,

" excellent teaching book" - Schachmarkt

" easy, enjoyable read that at the same time helps a player improve" - Vanessa West, Chess Life

"Amid the recent flood of chess books, this one stands out as being one that can be heartily recommended to anyone seeking both entertainment and instruction on wide variety of chess topics in one volume. Would make a good present, say for a keen (and literate) junior." - Phil Adams,

"It is a book that I would recommend for any player rated above 1000 ELO through 2199 (So, if you're not a master, than you should be studying these games)." - Leopold Lacrimosa,

" instructional gem of a book that can probably help almost any player improve but will be especially useful to novices and intermediate because of the detailed annotation and the depth of the explanation. ... Highly recommended!" - Bill Whited,

"With 50 Essential Chess Lessons, Steve Giddins [has] taken inspiration from Irving Chernev's The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played and produced an excellent primer of positional play for the novice to intermediate player. His thoughtful selection and arrangement of games, and his clear and instructive annotations put this book at the top of the list of annotated collections for the developing player." - Richard Roseborough,

"I always enjoy the entertaining and instructive writings of FIDE Master Steve Giddins, and his latest Gambit book, "50 Essential Chess Lessons", is an absolute gem. The reader gets treated to a mouth-watering feast of fifty memorable games, each one annotated with great depth, clarity, and due attention to the most important lessons which should be learned from studying the material." - GM Paul Motwani, The Scotsman

"As with his previous, highly successful book How to Build Your Chess Opening Repertoire, Giddins writes in an accessible, down-to-earth style that should appeal to all players seeking to improve their understanding of practical chess. Steve Giddins, a frequent contributor to the British Chess Magazine, has written an admirably readable modern look at fifty highly instructive chess battles. Highly recommended!" - PHL Hughes, Chess Post

"This one is one of those books I wish I had 30-40 years ago. I would've become a master (if I had taken the time to study it)." - Bob Long,

"50 Essential Chess Lessons is a solid work with well chosen, but not so well known, examples that would be useful reading for most club and mid level tournament players. Recommended." - IM John Donaldson,

"Steve Giddins is gaining a reputation as a chess author mainly because of the clear manner in which he presents his thoughts and this book is another landmark in his oeuvre." - Bill Frost, Chess Devon

"The Bottom Line: Highly recommended for 1200-2000 players seeking for a game collection, especially those who would like to improve their understanding in middlegame pawn-structures. Giddins tried to update Chernev's Most Instructive Chess Games but he outdid his teacher. Rating: 9/10" - Chessbug,

"Eine wirklich gute Leistung von Fide-Meister Giddins, der schon viele Erfahrungen als Trainer und Schach-Autor gesammelt hat." - Fernando Offermann, Berliner Schachverband