Review of The Chess Bible by Vishnu Warrier


Thinkers Publishing’s The Chess Bible – Most Instructive Tips, Axioms, One-Liners & Mantras by Vishnu Warrier was published in 2022. Warrier is a tech consultant who loves chess. He wakes up at 4 a.m. each day to study chess before beginning his tech consulting workday.

The Chess Bible by Vishnu Warrier

Texan Author

According to his interview on the Perpetual Chess Podcast, Vishnu Warrier moved to Plano with his wife and 19-month-old son in November 2022. Warrier has lived in Texas before, as I taught chess alongside him at a 2016 summer chess camp at Greenhill School. Also in 2016, along with National Master Chris Toolin, Warrier opened the North Texas Chess Academy.

In 2022, the North Texas Chess Academy changed its name to Texas Chess Center Carrollton, with the unified company owned by David Gaston, Jarred Tetzlaff, and Toolin.

1,000 days to Grandmaster

Warrier keeps a daily diary of his training. On the Perpetual Chess Podcast, Warrier said that, in three years, he plans to turn his diary into his second book tentatively titled 1,000 days to Grandmaster.

As of January 2023, Warrier’s US Chess rating is 2039. To find it, look for “Warrier, Krishnan” on the site. Warrier does not explain why he uses “Vishnu” rather than “Krishnan” as his first name.

Production Values

The Chess Bible – Most Instructive Tips, Axioms, One-Liners & Mantras is a great looking book. Each page has plenty of white space. The book’s numerous chess diagrams are easy on the eyes.It is 384 pages long. A 21-page preview is available at the publisher’s website.

The book needs more proofreading. Here are two examples. On page 9, there is a quote attributed to Confucius in 1885. But Confucius lived from 551-479 BCE. On page 16, in Warrier versus Grandmaster Ilya Nyzhnyk, move 22 for White is given as 22. Qh5 but it should be 22. Qh4. The white Q was on f2, where it can move to h4 but not to h5.

Chess Sayings

When Warrier was rated 1000, he followed the advice of his coach, Al Walker. Walker asked Warrier to read Pandolfini’s 64 commandments of chess, found in The ABCs of Chess, before each tournament game. Warrier thinks reading the commandments helped him rise to a 1500-rated player. Warrier intends The Chess Bible – Most Instructive Tips, Axioms, One-Liners & Mantras as an expansion of Pandolfini’s commandments.

Several of Warrier’s “axioms, one-lines, and mantras,” which I’ll shorten to “sayings,” quote Pandolfini. Other sayings quote grandmasters including Jose Raul Capablanca, Ben Finegold, Aron Nimzowitsch, and Daniel King. Warrier quotes players who are not grandmasters too, such as number 154: “Don’t sacrifice without good reason. ‘You don’t get style points in chess’ – Chris Toolin.”

Some of Warrier’s sayings are familiar rules of thumb, such as the catchy “Passed Pawns must be pushed.” Other sayings seem true, but are less catchy, such as “Generally, if you have fianchettoed your king’s bishop to g2 or g7 and castled kingside, you do not want to exchange that bishop off as that would weaken some critical squares near your king.”

Each saying is illustrated with an annotated fragment, taken from classic games as well as from modern chess games. Only a handful of fragments are from studies rather than from actual chess games, which may appeal to tournament players.

WIM Alexey Root, PhD

Alexey Root is a Woman International Master and the 1989 U.S. Women's chess champion. Her peak US Chess rating was 2260. She has a PhD in education from UCLA. You can find her books on chess on

One Response

  1. Hans Tholstrup
    Hans Tholstrup at

    Thanks for this mention. Sounds worth checking.

    You may also like Soltis’s book – Wisest things ever said about Chess.

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