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100 Endgames You Must Know: Vital Lessons for Every Chess Player Improved and Expanded Paperback – July 15, 2008

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100 Endgames You Must Know: Vital Lessons for Every Chess Player Improved and Expanded + Silman's Complete Endgame Course: From Beginner To Master + FCO: Fundamental Chess Openings
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"De la Villa does the job quite well. He emphasizes the practical and prefers understanding to memorization." --John Donaldson

"We all admired '100 Endgames' for its clarity and practical value." --Danny King & Ronan Bennett, The Guardian

Review

"The material is well chosen and the presentation is excellent (..) The greatest strength of the book: breaking things down into well-worded chunks of easily digestible information."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: New In Chess,Csi; 2nd Edition edition (July 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9056912445
  • ISBN-13: 978-9056912444
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.7 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Shapiro on April 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
As a USCF "A" player who peaked at expert, the importance of expertise in the ending is something about which I am well aware. This book has 100 endings that are among the more common ones that will be encountered in tournament play, rather than an encyclopedic effort of limited value to the practical player.

In round two of the U.S. Amateur East tournament in February, I played with king and knight against king and rook against a 2150-plus player. The result was a draw (the only game in which I have ever been able to declare a draw as a result of the 50 move rule). Simply put, this draw was entirely the result of the knowledge I gained of this ending from this superb book.

I am now in the process of re-reading the book. Clearly there are other important endgames and endgame textbooks. "Schematic thinking", which is covered in Shereshevsky's book is not covered here. Some of the endings will already be familiar to experts, A-players, and B-players. However, overall, to find such a well written book that immediately produces results as a consequence of giving the reader an understanding of these endings is extraordinary.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By T. Collins on August 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book covers the most essential--and frequently seen--basic endgames that a chessplayer should know for tournmanet play. Also known as "basic positions", "theoretical endings", or "exact endings", these positions have at most only 1 or 2 pawns on either side (or both). A list of these positions can also be found in the book GM-RAM by Rashid Ziyatdinov, although there is no comment or instruction on how to play them. Which is why the present book fills a much needed void.

Essentially the author covers the most common scenarios for each type of endgame with these basic positions. His explanations and comments are clear, informative, and extremely useful. I do wish he had included a few more examples in some of the categories, but apparently they were deemed not common enough to be included. For example, in the group rook v. minor piece, he only covers the pawnless versions, and rook & pawn v. bishop. Most books also include rook & pawn v. bishop & pawn. Still, the book is definitely worth buying.

For those readers like myself you wish to supplement his coverage, I recommend some of the books listed in his excellent, annotated bibliography. This book will definitely aid the average chessplayer in securing that much desired win instead settling for a draw!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By T. D. Allsopp on August 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some endgame books assume too much prior knowledge and lack important detail, while others are excessively comprehensive and can become both overwhelming and boring. This book manages to strike the right balance, focussing on a number of key positions judged by the author as important for both practical and theoretical reasons. It is generally well written and the ideas are presented in a clear and concise manner. The focus of the book is to teach you the principles of good endgame play, not merely to memorize a series of positions. It is this emphasis on understanding that puts this book well ahead of other endgame tomes.

Not only have the positions been well selected, but they are logically structured so that the reader can build a deep comprehension by studying problems that increase in difficulty. Also of great value are the two tests that are included. The first is a basic test at the start of the book that gives a clear indication of current endgame strength - I'm sure many will be surprised by the results. The book also concludes with another test to see if you have really absorbed the ideas and principles. The use of these tests, along with the overall arrangement and presentation of the material, makes it clear that the author has thought about the process of training and cares about the reader being able to develop practical skills and apply theory to real world problems.

My only criticism is that the book has been translated and there are occasionally a few convoluted sentences and odd phrasing. Generally it is a very good translation, but now and again some of the writing is a bit unclear and requires extra work to make sense of.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jurgen Lawrenz on August 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
Curiously for me the author mentions having made his first study of rook endings with Smyslov and Levenfish, which is a less than happy memory (dating back in my case to about 1965!) I share with him. As I am a glutton for endgame books, I have every worthwhile text written in the last 80 years in either English or German. It never made me an authority on the ending, but books about them are another matter!
This is far and away the best endgame book I have ever come across - at least for a player of a certain strength. I suppose international masters would not look at it; but below that grade it is an ideal companion to your competitive struggles. It delivers what every other book only promises - full explanatory text that fosters an understanding; and understanding eases memorisation. I think the author has hit the nail on the head with giving recognition to this under-estimated aspect of study. Contrasting it with another "100 endings" book, the one written by John Nunn, this one scores higher in this respect. Nunn is a glutton for analysis; but I venture to say that analysis is perfectly useless if you cannot marshal an input of ideas! Analysis promotes the illusion that if only you work hard enough, you'll find a way. Wrong tack! That might have done for Tarrasch and his cronies, who believed fervently in the "best move" concept and were thoroughly debunked by Lasker. Ideas and understanding are the short-cuts to finding not only the best (if there is one), but the most effective move; and this applies to the ending as much as to the middle game.
This is best illustrated in this book in the discussion of K+B+N vs K. I remember reading Tarrasch and memorising his "W" manoeuvre once the King is on the back rank.
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