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  1. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    07 May '09 15:12
    Has anybody got a copy of Silman's mammoth effort on the endgame. If so i'd appreciate a review.

    I've been putting a lot of effort into other areas of the game and feel it's time i started to pay the ending some real attention!
    I don't intend to sit and devour a book like Silman's or Dvoretsky's for that matter. I just want something that really relays the basics well and that i can use as a reference in my CC games and to help analyse my OTB endings.
    I'll tell you straight away that i have struggled with Seirewan's winning chess endings which is supposed to be about as basic as it gets. I find lots of what he says plain confusing! so i don't know if there's any hope.

    If not Silman can anybody suggest some alternatives with a review if possible.
  2. 07 May '09 15:41
    I have both Silman and Dvoretsky and I found Silman quite a bit easier to follow. Silman segments his book by rating class so based on your level of play you can read up to the appropriate section. Dvoretsky is more of a reference manual, referring to it when you need a specific snippet of knowledge.

    I have finished Silman but still working Dovretsky. Both are excellent. You can never get too much endgame study! But of course, as with any phase of the game, practicing what you learn is much more important than just reading it. Even the most intuitive and easy K+P vs K endings can trip you up in actual play if you don't practice. This is the tedious part, reading is easy.
  3. 07 May '09 15:52
    I've had this book for some time. Silman's concept is interesting. He grades endgame basics based what you should know for your ELO rating level. This is of course arbitrary based on his own judgement. The book is an excellent technical reference and I will go to it for review if I misplay an ending. My experience, for what it's worth, is that plowing technical tombs such as this didn't do as much for my play as studying general endgame strategy. I put a great deal of stock in general understanding. Books such "Practical Endgame Play" (Flear), "Secrets of Chess Endgame Strategy" (L B Hansen), and "Endgame Strategy" (Shereshevsky) helped me the most.
  4. 07 May '09 15:52
    Originally posted by Talisman
    Has anybody got a copy of Silman's mammoth effort on the endgame. If so i'd appreciate a review.

    I've been putting a lot of effort into other areas of the game and feel it's time i started to pay the ending some real attention!
    I don't intend to sit and devour a book like Silman's or Dvoretsky's for that matter. I just want something that really relays ...[text shortened]... pe.

    If not Silman can anybody suggest some alternatives with a review if possible.
    If you had trouble with Seirawan's I would advise to read Capablanca's 'Chess Fundamentals',an inexpensve little book(10$ probaby less).Read it cover to cover or just do the endgame stuff.

    After that get Chernev's 'Capablanca's best chess endings'.Also not expensive (+-15$).I'll post an example of this one later today,if you like

    They're not reference books though.
  5. Standard member ivan2908
    SelfProclaimedTitler
    07 May '09 15:54
    Originally posted by Talisman
    Has anybody got a copy of Silman's mammoth effort on the endgame. If so i'd appreciate a review.

    I've been putting a lot of effort into other areas of the game and feel it's time i started to pay the ending some real attention!
    I don't intend to sit and devour a book like Silman's or Dvoretsky's for that matter. I just want something that really relays ...[text shortened]... pe.

    If not Silman can anybody suggest some alternatives with a review if possible.
    If you ask me it a wonderful book. Chapters are divided by rating sections (class E, D, C, B, A players, Experts, Masters) so you don't have to look at the all chapters before you reach the certain level. When you grasp and put in the practice all the knowledge contained in first five chapters (E-A, up to 2000 rating) you will be endgame freak, in the terms of amateur chess.

    To make things even better, the book is very fun to read and its easy to understand/process/put in action all the staff you've learnt. I highly recommend it.
  6. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    07 May '09 16:10
    Originally posted by dkurth
    I've had this book for some time. Silman's concept is interesting. He grades endgame basics based what you should know for your ELO rating level. This is of course arbitrary based on his own judgement. The book is an excellent technical reference and I will go to it for review if I misplay an ending. My experience, for what it's worth, is that plowing te ...[text shortened]... ame Strategy" (L B Hansen), and "Endgame Strategy" (Shereshevsky) helped me the most.
    Well thanks for that. I too have found general endgame strategy guides very helpful. In particular Grandmaster secret endings by Soltis. That one i did find very easy to understand and apart from trying to trudge through the seirewan book it's the only endgame reference i've ever read.
    I just feel it's time to take it up a level from general ideas into more specific stuff.
  7. Standard member Blackamp
    Death
    07 May '09 18:41 / 1 edit
    I have Silman's book, as well as Dvoretsky's and Fundamental Chess Endings. Of the three, Silman's is by far the easiest to learn endgame principles from and, as others have noted, he grades the material by level of difficulty, which is a real help. Dvoretsky has you looking at some quite advaqnced stuff very early on, and FCE, to be fair, wasn't intended as a textbook. I work through the Silman material first, then the related Dv and FCE material. If you only buy one endgame book, as they say, make it Silman's.

    I'm pretty sure it has improved my play, although i have also been studying other aspects of chess over the same period, so it is hard to pin down just how much improvement is due to this book.
  8. 08 May '09 06:09
    This is what S. Evan Kreider had to say about endgames in his terrific article, "Suggestions for Improving Your Play":

    The Endgame: It’s especially important that you not ignore the endgame; in fact, I'd say it ranks in importance right after tactics. Most amateurs avoid studying the endgame because they find it dull. That means you'll have a real advantage over them, and countless games are yours to win, if you understand basic endgame principles. I recommend that you read Pandolfini’s Endgame Course, and then Lev Alburt’s Just the Facts, and then re-read them once or twice a year. If you do that, you'll know and remember everything you'll need to know for 99% of the endgames you'll ever play, and you'll definitely know a heck of a lot more about the endgame than most amateur players. Once you’re ready for an advanced textbook, try Fundamental Chess Endings. Don't let the title fool you: it has plenty of advanced stuff! If you are looking for even more, you might go through Batsford Chess Endings and / or Fine's Basic Chess Endings and check out some of their respective discussions, though both books are probably better used as reference sources than instructional texts.

    I also highly recommend that you analyze the endings of each and every game you play. This will guarantee that you are spending your endgame-study time as efficiently as possible, since you'll necessarily spend more time on common endgames, and less time on rarer ones.
  9. Standard member Talisman
    Time traveller.
    08 May '09 08:45
    Originally posted by basso
    This is what S. Evan Kreider had to say about endgames in his terrific article, "Suggestions for Improving Your Play":

    The Endgame: It’s especially important that you not ignore the endgame; in fact, I'd say it ranks in importance right after tactics. Most amateurs avoid studying the endgame because they find it dull. That means you'll have a real advanta ...[text shortened]... e you'll necessarily spend more time on common endgames, and less time on rarer ones.
    I've just checked out some amazon reviews of both silman's work and Lev Alburt's. They both appear to get sterling reviews so i'll probabaly go with one of those. the lev alburt book looks spot on i have to say but no doubt Silman's effort is more comprehensive.
  10. 08 May '09 21:48
    I found Karsten Muller's DVD's on the endgames very entertaining and comprehensive. Starting from scratch till the 'what the hell is he talking about' levels. Total of 4 Chessbase DVD's.
  11. Standard member Blackamp
    Death
    08 May '09 22:04 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Outpost
    I found Karsten Muller's DVD's on the endgames very entertaining and comprehensive. Starting from scratch till the 'what the hell is he talking about' levels. Total of 4 Chessbase DVD's.
    on the topic of endgame dvds: the Nalimov tablebases (9 dvds), available from Chessbase, will allow your favourite Chessbase engine to play all 5-piece (including kings) endgames perfectly, and also 12 classes of six-piece endgames. good for training against endgame exercises such as those found in the books already mentioned. i find that playing through the positions against the engine makes for better learning than pushing pieces around on the board.

    EDIT: you don't have to install the whole lot if you don't have space - it takes up 43GB
  12. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    09 May '09 02:50
    Silman's book offers a good curriculum for mastering basic techniques, but if you muff an endgame and need a reference, his book falls short. For reference, Dvoretsky or Muller and Lamprecht is better.
  13. 09 May '09 20:37
    Ruben Fine's book on chess endings(Basic Chess Endings) is by far the best, most comprehensive and exhaustive volume on endings. Keres has a more basic book as well, "Practical Chess Endings".
  14. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    13 May '09 19:28
    I just got a copy of Silman's book, and a copy of "Understanding Chess Move By Move" by John Nunn from Chapter.ca - I'm in patzer heaven!!

    Both books are excellent, I have to say. Silman's in particular is thorough and humourous (my favourite diagram so far is from one of the K vs. K,Q,Q overkill mates, where the caption reads "Black's only companion is misery" ), and I'm learning a lot about basic endings I thought I had a fair handle on. Highly recommended!

    Nunn's book covers much different material, but his reputation as a grandmaster who can write for the beginner is well deserved. As promised, virtually every move is explained in detail (something I'm surprised that not mroe author's provide, considering every move should be doing something wonderful for your position according to Silman), with detailed analysis of variations provided where needed. Highly recommended as well!