The endgame in chess is the most complicated part of the game. Something a beginner doesn’t quite know yet. After playing a thousand games or so on chess.com and realizing that it’s the endgame that cost you the game. You can play a perfect opening and middlegame, but one inaccuracy or blunder in the endgame could ruin a perfect game.
Also worth noting, look at the world champion, Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen is arguably the goat of chess, but he is hands down the best endgame player of all time. It’s no coincidence he’s also the reigning world champion.
These books will teach you the fundamentals, principles, and strategies of endgames. Remember, don’t just read them and then never look at them again. Read one section, practice what you just read for 100 games. Then read another section. This will be much more efficient in terms of learning and remembering what you read. Read, then practice, rinse and repeat.
These books will teach you how to transition from the middlegame to the endgame with an advantage over your opponent. Achieving a favorable position in the endgame is crucial to ensure a victory.
These are the top chess endgame books that will have the most impact in your endings. All of these are tried, true, and have gone through extensive testing throughout the years by thousands of players.
- Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual
- 100 Endgames You Must Know
- Silman’s Complete Endgame Course
- Fundamental Chess Endings
- Secrets Of Pawn Endings
1. Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual
By Mark Dvoretsky
This book mentioned in any conversation about the best endgame books.
Published in 2003, Dvorestky’s Endgame Manual has impressed countless players with it’s in-depth knowledge on endings. It covers all types of endgame positions and strategies. If I had to pick just one book, this would be it.
Here’s what’s inside this endgame manual.
Examples From The Best Games In History
The author carefully selected examples from some of the best games in history for each concept laid out in the book so that you have the best context for learning. They are also explained in simple, yet detailed descriptions.
Some of the examples are quite difficult and complicated due to the complexity of chess endings, which is why there are plenty of visuals to best help you learn the concepts being explained.
Most readers benefit from analyzing each example one by one until progressing throughout the book.
Elaborated With Diagrams And Board Positions
As already mentioned, this book is considered one of the best because each concept has visuals of each lesson. This includes diagrams and the actual chess board with positions.
Concepts such as the key squares and piece maneuvering are defined with plenty of examples derived from the games of endgame masters. This will also help your skills in chess overall, specifically your calculation skill.
If you want to master your endgame skills and also understand the endgame at it’s core, this book will benefit you.
2. 100 Endgames You Must Know: Vital Lessons For Every Chess Player
By Jesus De La Villa
This is one of the first books mentioned in chess player gossip about endgames. Grandmasters know the majority, if not all 100 of these endgames. Jesus De La Villa published this masterpiece in 2008.
This book will not only teach, while showing you, concepts, principles, and strategy, but will also increase your endgame knowledge.
The author focuses on the basic and the advanced structures and positions in endgames.
Why 100 Endgames Is On The List
True Chess Masterpiece
100 Endgames You Must Know is thought of as a masterpiece in terms of chess publishing. While you’re a beginner, novice, or even a master level player, you will learn a lot about endgames in this book.
Not only is it beneficial for beginners, but you will learn more advanced level endgame skills and tricks that will give you an advantage in every endgame you play in afterward.
Every endgame position displayed in the book has been thoroughly explained by the author in a straightforward, yet precise manner.
Gain Deeper Knowledge
To master anything, especially chess, is to gain deeper knowledge by learning and implementing from multiple dimensions. In 100 Endgames, each endgame is explained including every combination in the position.
Each type of ending is displayed in the list at least once, the common endings more than once, and is explained in detail.
This book is essential in order to improve your endgame skills and understand the core concepts of endings.
3. Silman’s Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner To Master
By Jeremy Silman
Silman’s Complete Endgame Course is an epic piece of literature in chess. Jeremy Silman has written and published multiple chess books that are all excellent. This one is no different. Published in 2006, Jeremy has not disappointed his readers with this endgame course with it’s 500 pages of endgame lessons.
This is required reading for chess players looking to really improve their endgame to the next level of skill. The concepts of endings are covered in these pages from beginner levels, to more advanced ending positions that are extremely complicated to learn on your own.
Divided Sections On The Basis of Rating Level
One of the best aspects of this book is the format. Silman divided the book into different sections based on the player elo level. The concepts and ideas were written for the specific rating bracket of the player, from lower ratings (even unrated), to intermediate, to higher ratings all the way up to 2300.
Start at the beginning and work your way through as you progress and as your rating increases.
Outstanding Work With Lot of Examples
The author included plenty of examples derived from past games of the top players so you can understand why the player played each move.
There are also many exercises, including puzzles, so that you can practice the ideas and strategies being explained. That way, you can start practicing the lessons in your own games right after.
4. Fundamental Chess Endings
By Karsten Muller and Frank Lamprecht
Fundamental Chess Endings was written for players who want to get the fundamentals of endgames down. They say 80% of results from fundamentals. If that’s the case, which it is, then grasping the fundamentals of endings is essential for every player. Even the top players practice the basics on a consistant basis so they don’t forget them.
If you want to master the basics of chess endings, this book is one of the first ones to read through.
5. Secrets of Pawn Endings
By Karsten Muller and Frank Lamprecht
Secrets of Pawn Endings is an in-depth guide on king-pawn endings. King-pawn endgames are one of the most common endgames in the game. Since they are frequently reached on the board, learning how to play them will give you a massive advantage over your opponent.
After going through many endgame books, these five will have the most impact on your ending skills. Each of these books have an abundance of diagrams, positions, and concepts that help the reader better comprehend the concepts. You’ll learn the rules, principles, and strategies of endings after going through these.