Chess Endgame Software Buyer's Guide
The chess endgame is the one phase of the game that nearly everyone hates to study but most players are bad at playing. I don't think that's an accident - one leads to the other.
Every Chess Player Should Study Endgames
No exceptions, no matter how strong a player you might be. I've known Class A players who excel at tactics (and thus win most of their games in the middlegame) but who couldn't play an endgame for beans; if a Class D player could survive into an endgame against 'em, the D player would win every time.
Unfortunately, there's not a lot of available chess training material regarding endgames. That's because a chess writer can bang out a book or CD on an opening about ten times faster than he can write an endgame book or CD. And it's also a question of economics: opening training materials sell far more copies than endgame tutorials. As I said, almost everyone hates to study endgames.
Chess Endgames For Beginners
There's a very special training DVD available on the endgame, special because it's suitable for any untitled chess player (that is, any player below the Expert rating classification). It's called Chess Endgames 1: Basic Knowledge for Beginners and contains material for everyone on it: novices the whole way up through Class A. It covers all of the common endgames as well as a few oddball cases that might crop up along the way. If you learn this material (and learn it well), you'll be unstoppable in the endgame.
Another great trainer for endgames is Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual. This is from his best selling book which is now in it's fourth printing. Russian International Master Mark Dvoretsky is perhaps the most respected chess instructor in the world today. His latest work, Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual, is sure to become a classic on one of the most difficult and subtle phases in chess. It covers all the most important positions required for endgame mastery, from elementary king-and-pawn endings to complex rook or queen endgames that have baffled even top grandmasters.
Chess Endgames For Intermediate and Advanced Players
Your next step after the Endgames for Experts DVD. Rustam Kasimdzhanov analyzes the type of practical endgames which tournament players encounter on a daily basis. We are talking here about endgames which are still full of life, endgames which in the final analysis must be played out over the board. Using selected games of his own, he shows the importance of understanding positional factors such as an advantage in space, piece activity, pawn weaknesses, strong and weak squares, pawn majorities, passed pawns, etc.
Don't overlook the 14 volumes series on endgame: Chess Endgames by Karsten Mueller. The advanced DVDs study piece endings such as Rook and Knight, Rook and Bishop and Double Rooks. This series will show you the very important aspects "coordination" and "harmony of the pieces" can be studied well in those chess endgames and help to improve the practical play.
This Chess Endgame Training page will show you the endgame software which ChessCentral offers.