As an avid chessplayer I have both read and collected several chess endgame books during the years. Some endgame books have been more entertaining than others, the somewhat dry theoretical books have gathered more dust than the books containing either endgame puzzles or endgames actually played on board. Nevertheless I have compiled a small list of books that I enjoyed reading, or found having a good practical value.
This book supposedly is the only book one would ever need – at least until the rating hits 2000+. I like the idea of the book and I think it actually works quite well, some of the endgames like Bishop/Knight against pawn may be of little value since its more about calculating but nevertheless there are there and have some value. For the pragmatic player that just want to play – get this one read it a couple of times and just play.
As a sidenote this book is also available on Chessable which is a good way to train it, although I personally like to have the position setup on a real board. Magnus Carlsen took the 100 endgames test which can be seen here, and also have some complaints about the winning moves but for the mere mortals like the rest of us it could be the only book needed.
Now that you have learned the most important endgames(at least the endgames that will happen most of the times) it is time to practice and Van Perlo’s Endgame tactics is perfect for that. It contains a 1300+ examples with real over the board endgame tactics that makes endgames more fun and entertaining – or at least more fun to study. All endgames are indexed into different pieces and themes, so its really a joy to read and practice with this one. The book both got the Chess Cafe book of the year award and the ECF book of the year.
This book is highly recommended.
And in the end 3 more books that I have enjoyed, these will both will help you understand certain endgame concepts but are also entertaining to read.
This is for instructive play of endgames by Capablanca
Strategic endgames illustrated.
For looking up that annoying endgame that one just lost.