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100 Endgames You Must Know: Vital Lessons for Every Chess Player Paperback – 1 May 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: New in Chess; 2 Expanded edition (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9056912445
  • ISBN-13: 978-9056912444
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 1.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 320,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

If you really have no patience for endgames, at least read Jesus de la Villa's '100 Endgames You Must Know'. --Gary Walters Chess

The greatest strength of the book: breaking things down into well-worded chunks of easily digestible information. --Marsh Towers Chess Reviews

She said she had really enjoyed De la Villa's '100 Endgames You Must Know' and had made flashcards out of the 100 positions. One side of the card had the position, the solution was written out on the reverse, and she quizzed herself until she knew all 100. --Elisabeth Vicary, USCF Online, on a conversation with Alexandra Kosteniuk

The greatest strength of the book: breaking things down into well-worded chunks of easily digestible information. --Marsh Towers Chess Reviews

She said she had really enjoyed De la Villa's '100 Endgames You Must Know' and had made flashcards out of the 100 positions. One side of the card had the position, the solution was written out on the reverse, and she quizzed herself until she knew all 100. --Elisabeth Vicary, USCF Online, on a conversation with Alexandra Kosteniuk

The greatest strength of the book: breaking things down into well-worded chunks of easily digestible information. --Marsh Towers Chess Reviews

She said she had really enjoyed De la Villa's '100 Endgames You Must Know' and had made flashcards out of the 100 positions. One side of the card had the position, the solution was written out on the reverse, and she quizzed herself until she knew all 100. --Elisabeth Vicary, USCF Online, on a conversation with Alexandra Kosteniuk

About the Author

Jesus de la Villa is an International Grandmaster and a former Spanish chess champion. He is the author of numerous chess books and a highly acclaimed chess coach.

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Pensioner on 25 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
Most players tend to neglect the endgame for study as it can be a bit dry. But time limits have shortened, and the endgame has to be played fast. According to the author, a solid basic knowledge is vital.

The author presents and analyses 100 endgames that:
- show up most frequently in practice
- are easy to learn
- contain ideas and concepts useful in more difficult positions.

The book contains some guiding ideas at the beginning of each chapter, many diagrams, clear summaries of the most important themes, recommended exercises that will help you understand the material and tests, divided in two parts: basic and final.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Kudos to Mr. de la Villa!! 6 Aug 2008
By T. Collins - Published on Amazon.com
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!
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensible endgame book 13 April 2010
By Daniel Shapiro - Published on Amazon.com
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.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
One of the best 1 Aug 2010
By T. D. Allsopp - Published on Amazon.com
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. This, however, is a minor gripe, as the majority of the book is extremely good, and where the language occasionally falls down, the compelling logic and care taken with the selection of endgames compensates for any other shortcomings.

I believe players of all strengths would benefit from this book. This is without a doubt one of the best endgame books ever written.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
One Endgame Book You Must Own 16 Nov 2009
By John Bleau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Most players accumulate chess books like tribbles. But if you must own just one endgame book, this one is a very good candidate. A reference book like FUNDAMENTAL CHESS ENDINGS by Mueller & Lamprecht will contain all the positions in "100 Endgames..." plus very many others, but the didactic nature of this one and the fine selection by de la Villa will provide a sound footing for the improving player. Even very strong players I know have not mastered all the positions in this book, though they should.

De la Villa explains well and the material is laid out in such a way that with a modicum of effort, you will learn it. The selections are excellent. The pawnless Q vs R ending is not here, though, and since some R & pawn vs R endings lead to it, I would have included that one - either remove B+N vs lone K, or make it 101 Endgames You Must Know. But I quibble - this is a fine book.

If you go for a second endgame book, the above-mentioned FUNDAMENTAL CHESS ENDINGS would be a good choice as a reference manual. But start with this one.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2013 Third Edition: The One Endgame Book Every Club Player Should Own 25 Mar 2013
By Christopher J. Falter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I like to study endgames for both practical reasons (you score more points) and aesthetics (they're interesting!). The problem has been that too many resources are bland references (Muller's Fundamental Chess Endings, Fine's Basic Chess Endings), too dryly written, or don't cover enough of the essentials. De la Villa's book is exactly what I was looking for:

* The author, a strong GM, is a cheerful and patient writer whose prose is fun to read.
* He excels at explaining the subtle concepts in a practical and helpful way. He identifies the key rules of thumb you must remember and backs them up with just enough analysis, rather than proffering arcane rules that are hard to retain. For example, in the white queen versus black h-pawn ending, he points to g3 and e2 as critical squares for the white king--because if it reaches one of them, white can deliver checkmate after the h-pawn promotes. This is so much easier to remember than the "winning zone" approach other books take.
* The structure of the book facilitates learning. He starts with some general principles (what needs to be memorized and what can be calculated, for example), then provides two sets of lessons (10 basic and 90 more advanced) and tests (with 25 and 40 positions, respectively) in order to help the reader acquire the essential knowledge.

The new edition has several improvements over the previous edition (for which almost all the other Amazon reviews were written):

* The tests include several examples from very recent play. For example, de la Villa offers 2 rook endgames from the Anand v. Gelfand world championship match which were critical in the outcome. In the second one, Gelfand failed to prevent Anand from reaching the Vancura position, which allowed Anand to save the half-point and the championship.
* The author has corrected a few analysis errors that reviews of the previous edition had noted.
* I had no problem determining who was to move by a glance at the diagrams (it's always white unless otherwise noted immediately beneath the diagram).

As a strong club player rated approximately 1950 on the Free Internet Chess Server, I wondered if I would really learn much from a book that seemed dedicated to endgame fundamentals. When I took the book's first (basic) test of 25 positions, I was able to recognize whether white could win, draw or lose about 80% of the time. Unfortunately, I could not remember (or calculate) the variations I would have needed in a real game all too often, reducing my score to 60%. So yes, I need to work through these 100 endgames!

I only found one minor flaw: de la Villa does not discuss the opposition enough, and distant opposition hardly at all. This flaw is easily remedied by consulting the fine (and free) wikipedia article on the opposition, which you might consider as lesson #101.

The third edition has the right scope and detail for intermediate to strong club players; I would recommend it for everyone rated 1200 to 2000, and up to 2200 for experts who want a good review that will shore up any holes in knowledge. Beginners up to 1200 would benefit more from a book with narrower scope, such as the early chapters of Silman's fine endgame work.

The publisher provided a review copy of this book to me in exchange for my honest review. My ratings of the publisher's books have ranged from 3 stars to 5 stars.
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