I'm probably around class B/C USCF (~1850-1950 on this site), and my current weakness is endgames. I can lose a won or drawn game without even knowing what I did wrong. Usually, my games end because of a blunder on one side, and so an endgame is hardly ever reached.
I know very general endgame principles, and have a very loose grasp on things like the oppostion/lucena position/trebuchet, opposite color bishops is a draw, etc., but all in all I'm a just plain crappy endgame player.
I'm looking for an intermediate-level endgame book: nothing horribly exhaustive or filled with different lines, but a readable endgame book. I've heard good things about Silman's Complete Endgames Course (and I like his writing style), and I've also heard Dvoretsky's name tossed around.
i have Silman's Endgame book and I think it is excellent. he breaks it down by rating level. he recommends mastering up to your level and then go up one level.
GM Fine's Basic Chess Endings is a really good one volume reference work, which I highly recommend in addition to any other book(s) you get. Look around for a used copy at amazon or ebay, if you can deal with EN you can probably get it cheap. (GM Benko updated it to AN BTW)
Practical Chess Endings by GM Keres and/or A Guide to Chess Endings by GM Euwe are both readable and good "how-to" books on endgames, as opposed to BCE, which is basically a one-vol endgame encyclopedia.
Silman's Endgame book. Definitely the way to go. Starts from the ground up. A complete course. Essential reading IMO.
Godspawn what Averbakh book(s) are you referring to? He put out several which I have and they are all OP and way too technical and expensive for anyone below Master level (maybe IM level even) unless you're the type of person who likes reading dictionaries and almanacs from cover-to-cover -in other words basically Averbakh's books are reference works not learning manuals. I've also heard they've been found chock full of errors by PCs but to me that's not a problem when I read chess books I usually read them via Fritz in order to detect typos and blunders.
+1 for Silman's.
Yep Silman is easy to digest and reuben fines book is the encyclopedia....also chessok.com has some good endgame programs.gl
Silman's Endgame course is ok, I found it a bit dull.
However, based on my experience, the difficulties i have faced with endings is not so much driven by an ability to play theoretical endings, but instead with 'strategic endings' i.e lots of pieces and pawns still on the board.
If this rings true for you, i would suggest some of the following:
Its getting very difficult to find now, but i would strongly suggest Howell's 'essential chess endings'.
Other books options that are worth looking at are: Nunn's understanding chess endgames, Muller how to play chess endgames, and Secrets of Chess Endgame Strategy by Hansen. Another book i have heard good things aboutn is one by Soltis - somehting like GM secrets - Endings.
One piece i would strongly advise is that when going over games and you come across the phrase 'the rest is all technique' this is when to spend the most time studying/ playing over the game.
Dvoretsky is great, i think its heresy to say anythinge else these days, but perhaps for when you are feeling a bit stronger....they are quite hardcore.
Silmans book is directed more toward the new player...like purdy he tries to speak in terms all will understand...I am also a fan of Dvoretskys' endgame manual and shereshevkys endgame strategy but again chessok.com endgame programs and crt 4.0(peshka) are great and easy to use...I threw in crt 4.0 its a tactics program very popular with the club players:-))
"Silmans book is directed more toward the new player...like purdy he tries to speak in terms all will understand.."
Vicious, Silman's book is directed to the new player, the intermediate player, the expert player and the master player.
Are you sure we're talking about the same book ?
Also, speaking in terms all will understand is something all writers should strive for.
Silman has raved about purdy and the way he taught chess, and your right he takes you through all levels and the material is presented in a way thats easier to digest than reuben fine.sorry for the confusion.When i am giving advice to a new player looking for an endgame book,Siman is at the top of my list.