Originally posted by patzer2007
Dvoretsky or Muller.
Jesus de la Villa: "100 Endgames You Must Know" ( New In Chess)
Excellent book, better and easier to study than Dvoretsky and Silman, because of the really cristal clear explanations.
Compare for instance the explanations of the checkmating with Bishop and Knight. Dvoretsky simply mentions the endgame and gives an example, while de la Villa explains in detail what to do and why.
The De la Villa book is the best for studying the practical endgame. The Dvoretsky book is more an encyclopedia ( ... so is Müller's by the way).
First study "100 Endgames You Must Know", then study Silman's "Complete Endgame Course" and if you want to study even more endgames and dive even deeper into them, buy Dvoretsky and Müller.
Beginners best start with Silman's book. He starts with the basic endings, such as queen vs king and rook vs king. More advanced players can skip the first chapters.