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I know some people have asked about general good books or middle game books. But I read someone said that the best way to start learning chess is by studying endgames, so I ask: What are some good endgame books and why?

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I have four endgame books I value:

1. Basic Chess Endings by Reuben Fine (1941, 573 pages)

This is the basic endgame encyclopedia which I always referred to in my earlier days after I misplayed an endgame. If you can't find the endgame you are interested in in this book you are unlikely to find it anywhere. There is some explanation of ideas but not in great detail.

2. Understanding Chess Endgames by John Nunn (2009, 231 pages)

This covers 100 key endgame ideas which Nunn thinks are most important. Nunn was one of the first writers to make extensive use of computers in his work and consequently his analysis is always top quality. He explains difficult concepts well.

3. Amateur to IM by Jonathan Hawkins (2012, 369 pages)

Ostensibly this is about how Hawkins, who learned the game at age 8, went from being a club level player in his late teens to an IM a few years later. He puts it all down to learning endgames. The first part is given over to explaining how to think and plan in the endgame along with some easier (but not that easy) endgames. The second part covers the endgames Hawkins thinks are essential. Part three covers difficult master level endgames like KRB vs KR, the minority attack in Karlsbad structures and KR+3 kingside pawns vs KR+3 kingside pawns + 'a' pawn.

4. Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics by GC van Perlo (2006, 607 pages)

To lighten up endgame study this is a book with over 1300 endgame tactical problems because we all love tactics.

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  • The Silman Complete Endgame course is a nice one as well!
    – IT M
    Commented Jul 19, 2023 at 12:24
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Silman's Complete Endgame Course, Jeremy Silman

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To beginners, to average players, and to about every player, I would recommend Paul Keres' Practical chess endings, you will love it.

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