The 100 endgames you need to know by Jesús de la Villa


When we talk about endgames everyone can remember a former world champion who based his whole game on this phase of the game, however, for mortals, learning endgames involves learning from many games, but there is always a book to save our lives, this is The 100 endgames you need to know by Jesus de la Villa.

This is a really good book for anyone who wants to improve in this aspect of the game, it is designed for all levels and it is really necessary to reach a good level, that is why this review will help you to decide for it in terms of endgame books.

Who is Jesús de la Villa?

Jesús de la Villa is a Spanish Grandmaster known for being a commentator and trainer.

His most outstanding achievements were the victory in the 1987 Zonal and his participation in the Interzonal of the same year. He also won the Spanish Championship in 1985 and 1988, as well as the Spanish Team Championship in 1991, which led him to be part of the Spanish Olympic Team in 1988 and Moscow 1994.

But he is undoubtedly recognized for being an excellent coach, theoretician and writer.

Jesus de la Villa, the king of endgames.

What is the 100 finals you need to know?

This book as its name suggests, is necessary to learn endgames, endgames that may seem basic, but where in reality there are many tricks and tactics that anyone can miss, this is very instructive for a person who has from 1500 ELO to a player of 2100 ELO points who has never studied endgames.

The best of all is that it is a book of global endgames, that is to say, you can find from rook endgames to bishops of different colors or more intricate endgames such as queen against rook and pawn.

The book shows you a system to understand why each move is made, and so you can learn how to win the game with any of the colors or how to make a draw.

Characteristics of the book

As in other reviews this is one of the sections that can describe what a book is in simple and precise words, in this case we have the following characteristics.

  • Difficulty: Easy.
  • Notation: Algebraic.
  • Focus: Finals.

IMPORTANT: This book is ideal to initiate a person in the world of chess, and so that he/she can understand the endgames, it is very important to remember that decades ago children were taught to play chess from the endgames backwards, that is to say endgames, middlegame and then opening.

Endgames are often difficult to understand, but a player who can recognize a winning endgame in an equal position is sure to have many positive results in competitive tournaments.

Endgames, Jesus De la Villa.
Jesus de la Villa winning the Memorial P. Knörr by his endgames.

Strengths of The 100 Endgames to Know

The benefits that The 100 Endgames You Need to Know can bring to a player are practically infinite, but here are some of them so that you can decide to read it.

  • It is focused for all levels.
  • The reading of the book is pleasant and raises theoretical concepts in the endgames that are necessary to play to win a game.
  • The index of the book shows the amount of basic endgames that exist and are necessary to learn them move by move.

Disadvantages of The 100 Endgames You Need to Know

This is a book that brings with it many benefits, however, it is important to mention some of its disadvantages, as it would not be a fair review without naming the points that can be improved or that other books already include regarding endgames.

  • The 100 Endings You Need to Know has been reprinted numerous times (so it is important to acquire the most up-to-date one).
  • The book does not mention through which opening or defense such endgames are reached.
  • It is quite lengthy, this can be tiring or even make the reader bored.

IMPORTANT: This is only my opinion, because there are really few things that can be criticized about a book that has contributed and helped millions of chess players throughout the world, since it has been translated into many languages because its information is very valuable and this only further supports the opinion that this is a book you should read.

Strategically or tactically is a book that will help you grow?

This is a book that strategically will help you to transform your playing style into a more positional one and where you will learn to appreciate pawns, small advantages both in the short and long term and where you can learn to value a position in an endgame properly.

Strategically it will also teach you to accept an endgame where you are inferior and can take advantage of all your resources to obtain a draw, or even accept an endgame where your only outcome is to win or draw, which would already be a winning endgame. Identifying this type of endgame is important for any player who wants to become a tournament player.

Endgames, all you need to know.
Jesus de la Villa, is a estrategic player.

In the tactical topics, it will help you not to get hung up on some trick that may seem very easy to identify, but in many games anyone misses it, that is why it is a book that can be reread a couple of times and based on this you will notice how your chess level increases considerably, since the endgames are one of the phases that many players do not study, and currently all focus on the openings or middlegame.

Other books by Jesús de la Villa

Jesús de la Villa is recognized for this excellent book, however, he has numerous copies of which you can get a lot of benefit if you dedicate some time to them and understand the positions and patterns that GM Jesús de la Villa wants to teach us:

  • Dismantling the Sicilian

Publisher: New in Chess

  • Chess course, level 1

Publisher: Editora Social y Cultural

  • The Trompowsky Attack

Publisher: Evajedrez

In general, The 100 Endgames You Need to Know will help you to grow as a chess player, besides you will have a reading for several weeks where you will be enriched by one of the best theoreticians and trainers of the last times. If you liked this article, check our blog with more interesting chess novelties!

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