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Southpaw Jim
25-02-2006, 06:14 PM
Can anyone suggest some good endgame books for a relative beginner, ie me?

I've read a couple of books on tactics, know the first 5-10 moves of a couple of openings, and most of my games last 20-40 moves. I don't play competitive OTB, so I'm not rated. My endgame knowledge is... non-existent. I started reading through Reassess Your Chess - I'd never come across terms like 'opposition' before, and whilst I understood Silman's explanation I thought it would be a good idea to read something devoted to endgame knowledge and skills before getting stuck into Silman's book :hmm:

I'm looking for something that is pitched at 1000-1500. I got Fine's Basic Chess Endings out of the library and nearly fell asleep just looking at it... :eek: it was also readily apparent that it was pitched at 1700+ :doh:

I've seen positive comments about Fundamental Chess, I'm guessing that it also is pitched above my abilities atm. Any recommendations? Pandolfini's book? Anything else?

qpawn
25-02-2006, 06:24 PM
Edmar Mednis and Averbakh have written some good endgame books. Mednis I found interesting: when you should exchange queens in to the endgame, whether to enter a technically drawn ending that is very hard to defend etc.

But no books on the level of "opposition" come to mind: a comment on the obsession chess writers have with the 35th move of the Gonzo backward opening. :D

eclectic
25-02-2006, 07:07 PM
it... :eek: it was also readily apparent that it was pitched at 1700+ :doh:

forget about the number!!

on reports and reviews i have seen fundamental chess endings would seem a good investment

why not purchase it and go through it patiently?

i'm sure you would be well rewarded

Davidflude
25-02-2006, 08:47 PM
Fine makes it all so boring. Fundamental chess endings makes it seem interesting.

According to legend Fine wrote his book in a weekend.

Denis_Jessop
25-02-2006, 10:28 PM
Fine makes it all so boring. Fundamental chess endings makes it seem interesting.

According to legend Fine wrote his book in a weekend.

Fine's book is essentially a reference work not one to read so as to learn about how to play endings.

For a modest player Averbakh's very slim "Chess Endings - Essential Knowledge" is not a bad start. He also wrote some much more complex works on the endings. Another one that I quite like is "Practical Chess Endings" by Paul Keres but my copy is in descriptive notation and I don't know if it is still in print. Going up the scale a bit is "Fundamental Chess Endings" by Karsten Muller and Frank Lamprecht (Gambit 2001). It's sub-titled "A new endgame encyclopaedia for the 21st Century" and so is a bit like Fine but finer. I believe the daddy of them all was Chiron's work of which Cecil Purdy used to speak in "Chess World" - something like 3 volumes that would probably put you to sleep much faster than Fine - but I have never seen it so I don't know.

Finally if you want something really esoteric and practically useless try Marcel Duchamp's "Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled" 1932. Duchamp said of it "the end games in which it works would interest no chess player. That's the funny part".

DJ

Carl Gorka
26-02-2006, 12:06 AM
Capablanca's Best Chess Endings by Irving Chernev is a great book. Chernev looks at whole games by one of the greatest endgame players of all time and explains the ideas of the endgames, rather than presenting theoretical models. This book is good for players of all strengths from beginners to experts, and a good general coverage of a number of different practical endgames is covered.

Carl Gorka
26-02-2006, 12:09 AM
Edmar Mednis and Averbakh have written some good endgame books. Mednis I found interesting: when you should exchange queens in to the endgame, whether to enter a technically drawn ending that is very hard to defend etc.

But no books on the level of "opposition" come to mind: a comment on the obsession chess writers have with the 35th move of the Gonzo backward opening. :D

Agree about Mednis. He writes books on the endgame essentially geared at the practical side of things. Most of us don't need to know the winning zones in K+Q vs K+ c/f-pawn endings.

Carl Gorka
26-02-2006, 12:12 AM
Concerning Fundamental Chess Endings, it is a really great book, but to see if it is for you, then check out Karsten Muller's articles at Chess Cafe first

http://www.chesscafe.com/

If you like some of these articles, then go for the book.

Bereaved
26-02-2006, 01:45 AM
Hi, Eurotrash,

Firstly, I would suggest: Endgame Strategy by Shereshevsky ( was Pergamon, probably Cadogan now), which teaches how to think about endgames and shows practical examples with good explanation.

Secondly, Endgame Virtuoso, By Smyslov ( Cadogan ) is also good, and in a similar style to the above.

Thirdly, Practical Chess Endings by Keres (Batsford, algebraic)is a very thorough work, but may not be best to start with.

Fourthly, there are theme books such as Exchanging to win in the endgame by Nesis ( Batsford ), Analysing the endgame by Jonathon Speelman( Batsford), and rarer early works such as Exploring the Endgame by Peter Griffiths (A & C Black, London ) which may be of interest.

Finally, Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual ( I am unsure of the publisher) impressed me when I saw a copy the other day; but seemed quite dry as well.

Hope this has been of some help,

Take care and God Bless, Macavity

PS I am sure there are at least a few other excellent books on endings, after all, there are bucket loads of chess books in total, would be surprised had I heard of them all!!

Southpaw Jim
27-02-2006, 09:31 PM
Thanks all, I've gotten borrowed copies of Shereshevsky and Chernev's books, which I'll probably follow up with Fundamental Chess Endings.

Cheers,

ET.

FireGarden
30-07-2006, 08:04 PM
I recommend "Essential Chess Endings" by James Howell. Gives you all the important cliches. But it doesn't have complete games, so you don't see GMs aiming for an ending.

"Winning Edngame Strategy" by Beliavsky and Mikhalchishin gives a lot of endgames where GMs got it wrong. A lot of fun! But not easy. I put the positions into the computer and try to win without first reading the analysis. It can take a few tries! (A problem here is the diagrams don't tell you who is to move, so I had to go through with a pencil and mark it myself. If I had a good enough memory to memorize the first moves that quickly, I'd be smiling!)

BTW Not sure the title is well-chosen -- they don't discuss any real general strategy.

MichaelBaron
30-07-2006, 08:25 PM
I recommend "Essential Chess Endings" by James Howell. Gives you all the important cliches. But it doesn't have complete games, so you don't see GMs aiming for an ending.

"Winning Edngame Strategy" by Beliavsky and Mikhalchishin gives a lot of endgames where GMs got it wrong. A lot of fun! But not easy. I put the positions into the computer and try to win without first reading the analysis. It can take a few tries! (A problem here is the diagrams don't tell you who is to move, so I had to go through with a pencil and mark it myself. If I had a good enough memory to memorize the first moves that quickly, I'd be smiling!)

BTW Not sure the title is well-chosen -- they don't discuss any real general strategy.

Both books are good. However, pls not that the first one is for club level C grade players while the second one has been written with 1800+ players in mind

Sutek
31-07-2006, 02:39 PM
I remember reading a old review somewhere on the net that claimed Fine had just copied B.Winkleman's Modern Chess Endings which was published about 1930.

As I have never been able to get hold of this book I have always wondered if this was true.
I guess the book has been out of print for decades.

Does anyone have this book?

ElevatorEscapee
31-07-2006, 08:02 PM
Fine's or Winkleman's? ;)

Anywho, an easily readable endgame book for those who do not wish to tackle an encyclopaedic tome is 'Pandolfini's Endgame Course'.

Each page (or two) has a single position, plus a description of what should occur, and sometimes what might occur if a player goes wrong.

The author, Bruce Pandolfini makes a couple of mistakes, but I personally found that this enhanced my enjoyment of the book rather than dectracting from it. (ie... Finding the mistakes is more fun than learning the endgames! :lol: )

MichaelBaron
01-08-2006, 12:00 AM
Fine's or Winkleman's? ;)

Anywho, an easily readable endgame book for those who do not wish to tackle an encyclopaedic tome is 'Pandolfini's Endgame Course'.

Each page (or two) has a single position, plus a description of what should occur, and sometimes what might occur if a player goes wrong.

The author, Bruce Pandolfini makes a couple of mistakes, but I personally found that this enhanced my enjoyment of the book rather than dectracting from it. (ie... Finding the mistakes is more fun than learning the endgames! :lol: )


Sorry, I find it hard to compare Pandolfini with the great authors discussed in the previous postings.

I think his books are suitable for beginners only (1600-1700 and below) while other endgames books can be useful for a wider audience.

But again, if you just want to learn the basics, his endgame course should be good enough

ER
01-08-2006, 01:45 AM
Can anyone suggest some good endgame books for a relative beginner, ie me?
I've read a couple of books on tactics, know the first 5-10 moves of a couple of openings, and most of my games last 20-40 moves. I don't play competitive OTB, so I'm not rated. My endgame knowledge is... non-existent. I started reading through Reassess Your Chess - I'd never come across terms like 'opposition' before, and whilst I understood Silman's explanation I thought it would be a good idea to read something devoted to endgame knowledge and skills before getting stuck into Silman's book :hmm:

I'm looking for something that is pitched at 1000-1500. I got Fine's Basic Chess Endings out of the library and nearly fell asleep just looking at it... :eek: it was also readily apparent that it was pitched at 1700+ :doh:

I've seen positive comments about Fundamental Chess, I'm guessing that it also is pitched above my abilities atm. Any recommendations? Pandolfini's book? Anything else?

Before you go and buy any books, do a search in the net for endgame websites. They are free and contain very interesting material for all levels. I have found Exeter Chess Club's and Chess Cafe's websites very useful. Find something simple, like basic King and Pawn, Rook and Pawn endings and don't go ahead before you understand as much as you can. The trick with Endgames is that they look boring but they are not. FIDE Master Bill Jordan suggests that endgame study is very important since it helps you grasp ideas about Chess in general. Twenty hours of studying opening lines will result in trying to remember variations that you might never meet in OTB chess. Twenty hours of endgame study, will teach you things that you will definitely sooner or later meet while playing and that you will NEVER forget.
I don't think I am a stronger player than you are, however, studying endgames since I returned to playing chess after a very long time has helped me to win or draw games from players much higher rated than myself.
So go ahead, love your endgames and enjoy them.
Best wishes and cheers!

ER
01-08-2006, 01:48 AM
How come this entry appeared three times? :confused:

FireGarden
01-08-2006, 07:58 AM
heaviestknight,

How come this entry appeared three times?

It means you owe everybody a drink!


Twenty hours of endgame study, will teach you things that you will definitely sooner or later meet while playing and that you will NEVER forget.

There's a chance of understanding them. That's why you'll remember them. I still haven't found an opening I understand. I just use general principles! Develop, attack, win/lose, start again! :)


Before you go and buy any books, do a search in the net for endgame websites.

As well as the internet, you can just search a database (Chessbase is good at that -- there's a free version), then play it out against a computer. Sure, the computer isn't always an endgame expert. But it will point out a lot.

ER
01-08-2006, 08:11 PM
heaviestknight,


It means you owe everybody a drink!



There's a chance of understanding them. That's why you'll remember them. I still haven't found an opening I understand. I just use general principles! Develop, attack, win/lose, start again! :)



As well as the internet, you can just search a database (Chessbase is good at that -- there's a free version), then play it out against a computer. Sure, the computer isn't always an endgame expert. But it will point out a lot.

Yep, I agree about the drinks! How about coming to the MCC after the allegro this Saturday and we all make a visit to the local pub? :-)

FireGarden
01-08-2006, 11:29 PM
If MCC is the Melbourne Chess Club, then I have a long, long way to go! :D

Igor_Goldenberg
02-08-2006, 10:39 AM
Hi, Eurotrash,

Firstly, I would suggest: Endgame Strategy by Shereshevsky ( was Pergamon, probably Cadogan now), which teaches how to think about endgames and shows practical examples with good explanation.



It's an exellent book. I re-read it quite often (especially after misplaying endgame:) - it tells me what I should've done).