What are the Best Endgame Books?
Mar 19, 2014, 8:26 PM
At the Dan Heisman Learning Center we try to serve as a friendly local chess club for players from all over the world. So it isn't surprising that our Group Notes often feature interesting chess discussions like the one below.
What's your favorite Endgame Book / Author?
Here's how the conversation went today. I thought it was fascinating. What's your take?
Feel free to join the discussion in our group notes by clicking on Dan's picture below!
- Advice Needed: I'm a currently a high 1500's player (USCF) and have completed studying Silman's Endgame Course through the Class "A" chapter. I've gone over it several times in the past year and feel I've gotten what I can out of it. I don't want to go further into that book (Expert, Master chapters) because of my current rating level but am looking for follow on endgame study material that would re-enforce and/or complement
- what I've done in Silman's Endgame Course. Any pointers appreciated!
- You can't beat studying endgames (or any other part of chess) with a coach. The next best thing is probably playing common endgames with a friend or computer.
Chess Mentor has quite a few endgame studies
- Dan has some endgame book recommendations on his webpage. For example: Secrets of Grandmaster Endings – Andrew Soltis – "a gem of a book – covers most everything you need to know that is above the Averbach “Essential Knowledge” level"
- Another one... 100 Endgames You Must Know - de la Villa - "Every time I read this book I like it more. It's advanced, but seems to have its pulse on just what it claims"
- All these are Dan's comments --> Chess Endings: Essential Knowledge – Averbach – "This small book contains all the basics for chess endgames."
- How about going through games that reach the endgame and see if you can understand them more now?
- About endgame study: I would point out that Dan frequently talks about how a player loses in an endgame and then proclaims: "I need to study endgames more". And Dan's advice is that that isn't often true --- it's much more important to *think* during an endgame and calculate. The number of endgame positions that a player needs to know is relatively small --- the ability to correctly calculate is needed much more often.
- Good point....although (Smyslov-Levenfish) wrote a book on rook and pawn endgames, endgames that are often tricky and complex.
- Thanks, everyone. The Silman's Endgame Course thru the Class "A" chapter does seem to cover most of the practical endgame concepts one must know (at least that's Silman's claim). I like the idea of looking for endgames I've lost in my games and replaying them now against the computer. Will do that.
- But, I was really curious if anyone else has complete Silman's Endgame Course at least through the Class "A" chapter and what they studied after that, for instance one of the books on Dan's Endgame list sounds good--just not sure which would be the logical next step.
- @RandomJeff, yes, I agree that now that I have some of the knowledge it is now about practicing correctly analyzing lots of endgame positions, as most endgames require fairly precise (or very precise) moves.
- @Larceny, just completed chess.com first EndGame Class for 1200-1500 level players. This college course like study did have a followup book recommendation...Mikhail Shereshevsky's "EndGame Strategy".
- @Chess4him: What is your evaluation for the said text book, is it good, simple and clear...?
- I study Mikhail Shereshevsky's Endgame Strategy ongoing. Its as clear as any endgame book is going to be. Probably better than most. It was recommended by several players to me prior to diving into it. I also live and die by Dan's advice as RandomJeff pointed out earlier. Calculate and think. I can often arrive at the same conclusions as Shereshevsky just by thinking it through.
- @Paladin, I feel in love with the book at the first chapter. Shereshevsky pulls your desires and emotions into the EndGame by describing a fierce chess game battle right away. I have never heard a chess game described so eloquently and passionately. The first four paragraphs will set the tone for a very deep level of endgame study. And deep it is...
- I very much agree that Shereshevsky's Endgame Strategy is outstanding. It seems to focus more on the strategy and ideas of endgames that occur in everyday play.
- An other vote for Shereshevsky's endgame book, I recommend it to all my students.
Of course the Averbakh endgame series of 8 books is incredible....King and Pawn, Rook, Bishop, Knight, Bishop vs. Knight, Queen, Queen vs. Rook/Minor piece, and Rook vs. Minor piece. My copies date to the 70's and are in English Descriptive notation. Pergamon combined volumes in the 1980's in Algebraic. If you know Russian, try the originals!
This link below contains links to used copies of all or nearly all of the Averbakh endgame series in English --
Thanks all for the suggestions! Looks like I'll be picking up Shereshevsky's Endgame Strategy book.
Why not join us and have a friendly, supportive local Chess Club you can call your own? Just click below!!