What is the simplest and "least memorization demanding" way or resource to study endgames?

I'm following a course on the essence (most important concepts) of Dvoretsky's endgame manual which covers thoroughly a large number of key positions in different types of endings (only pawns, rook and pawns etc...), but it is really A LOT of stuff. And I'm really worried I'd never remember all those key positions in a real game... Is there a resource or maybe simply a different way of studying endgames which focuses more on general ideas instead of trying to learn tons of key positions?

  • 2
    Chess in general is a ton of memorization. You not only have to memorize the actual position, but you also need to be able to understand when you have a position that can transpose into those memorized positions. I personally don't think there is any way around just committing it to memory. But, it's the weakest part of my game for sure. The strong players I've been coached by (2400 and 2650) both have amazing memories that I could never reproduce.
    – JP Alioto
    Commented Feb 29 at 23:24
  • The sheer scale of endgame content is a barrier to chess improvement. To some extent there is no way for a human to avoid effort, but like any area of human endeavour the Pareto principle (80-20) will apply. As usual with any question where judgement & experience will allow for multiple answers, chess.se moderators distort the issue by pretending that it’s “opinion-based” which I would associate more with say political views. It’s regrettable and I can only apologise for their actions
    – Laska
    Commented Mar 5 at 9:29
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    Thanks @Laska I really appreciate your understanding. I also tried to edit the question to avoid "opinions" as much as I could, but didn't manage to get the question reopened... It's a shame, some advice from expert chess players on how to organize my study of endgames would have been useful...
    – ela
    Commented Mar 6 at 23:59

2 Answers 2


I voted to close this question as it is highly opinion-based but there is a list on Reddit with book recommendations regarding several topics, including openings, middlegame theory, and endgames.

Might I suggest you take a look at Silman's complete endgame course? It orders the topics by USCF rating so you can focus on the endgame knowledge you need for your rating level (after finishing the chapters on the rating levels below you).

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    If you remove the complaining about “complaining”, then I would upvote your answer to this very practical question
    – Laska
    Commented Mar 5 at 9:34
  • @Laska: I agree that would make the answer better so I have changed my answer.
    – Tommiie
    Commented Mar 6 at 20:14

I know I'm going to get burned for this, but personally I would focus on openings first, and then once you find your opening repertoire that you enjoy playing, I would review my endgames and look for what kind of positions I enter, then focus my efforts on learning those endgames.

That said you'll always need to know the simple ones and personally I think Chess.com has great resources for that.

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