Book Cover Of Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual 5th Edition by Mark Dvoretsky

A Review Of Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual 5th Edition by Mark Dvoretsky

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Table of Contents

The opening, middlegame, and endgame are the three stages of a chess game. Every stage has its difficulties, methods, and beauties. 

However, the ending is perhaps the most intriguing and enigmatic of them all. 

It’s the stage when the decisive fight is waged, where minute nuances may have a significant impact, and where the victory of checkmate or promotion is attained.

Many chess players ignore the endgame because they believe it to be too uninteresting, too challenging, or too unimportant. 

Their main emphasis is on learning opening lines by heart and striking throughout the middle game to avoid the endgame. 

However, this is a grave error since the endgame is an essential aspect of chess, and learning it will provide you with a significant advantage over your rivals.

For that reason, I thought to review this amazing guide written by Mark Dvoretsky and named “Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual 5th edition”.

With its comprehensive coverage of both theoretical and practical aspects of this intricate stage of the game, this great book is generally considered the definitive handbook on chess endgames. 

Mark Dvoretsky was one of the most renowned and significant chess instructors of all time, and he released the book first in 2003. 

The book has since undergone four rounds of revisions and updates, with Russell Enterprises publishing the most recent version in 2020.

Not only a reprint of the fourth edition, but it has undergone a thorough reworking with the addition of fresh research, insights, and comments from a range of sources. 

GM Karsten Müller, a well-known endgame specialist, and Dvoretsky’s close associate, made the change. 

Vladimir Kramnik, a former world champion, wrote a new introduction for the book, referring to it as “the Bible of all chess endgame publications.”

Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual

The fifth edition, updated by German grandmaster Karsten Muller and American grandmaster Alex Fishbein, has been praised for its instructional value and accuracy.

Before we go any further, who was Dvoretsky?

Who Was Mark Dvoretsky?

Mark was an International Master, writer, and chess educator from Russia. 1947 saw his birth, and 2016 saw his passing. 

He trained several of the world’s finest chess players, including Garry Kasparov, Viswanathan Anand, and Artur Yusupov. He was commonly considered one of the best chess trainers in the world. 

Along with this book, he authored other popular books on chess instruction such as:

  • Positional Play (Batsford Chess Library) 
  • Opening Preparation (Batsford Chess Library)
  • Technique for the Tournament Player 
  • Recognizing Your Opponent’s Resources: Developing Preventive Thinking 
  • Dvoretsky’s Analytical Manual: Practical Training for the Ambitious Chessplayer…and many more.

His distinctive and innovative teaching approach involved diagnosing each student individually and using a large database of chess situations to enhance their abilities.

Although my journey with this book was long, I found it to be rewarding. 

I focused on the endgame aspect of the game because I was struggling with it. 

After reading the book, I became quite proficient in the endgame that I was sometimes referred to as the “endgame tutor”. 

Because of my newfound knowledge, I marketed myself as such and successfully taught a group of chess students about the endgame in under three weeks. Their results proved the authenticity of the book.

That’s enough talk about myself. Let’s see what the book contains.

Each Chapter Summarised 

Sixteen (16) chapters make up the book, each of which focuses on a distinct kind of endgame, such as ones involving pawns, rooks, opposite-color bishops, etc. 

To be clear, it’s actually 15 chapters with the 16th chapter covering the solutions of the exercises presented in the book.

To make it simpler for the reader to study and navigate, the book employs a color-coding scheme to differentiate between reference information (black) and fundamental endgame knowledge (gray). 

The book also includes hundreds of exercises, illustrations, and real-game examples that highlight the main principles and concepts of each endgame.

Chapter 1 talks extensively about beautiful chess concepts in pawn endings. Concepts like Key squares, Steinitz’s rule, Rule of the Square, Shouldering, Zigzag, Zugzwang, Mined squares, Triangulation and so much more.

Chapter 2 shows the strength and limitations of a knight in stopping passed pawns.

Chapter 3 teaches the deflecting knight sacrifice concept, Botvinnik’s timely formula with knight endgames having pawns on the same side of the board.

Chapters 4-6 talk about bishop endings with the same colors, opposite colors, and a single fighting bishop against connected and disconnected pawns.

Chapter 7 is about bishop versus knight endings with different situations of the king’s position, and the dominance of either the bishop or knight.

Chapters 8-11 are focused on major possibilities and technical problems related to the complexity of rook endgames. E.g rook vs pawns, rook vs single minor piece, cutting the king off e.t.c

Chapter 12 teaches winning tactics and tricks that exist in queen endgames.

Chapter 13 showcases the tight battle between the lone queen and a single rook.

Chapters 14 and 15 talk about other material relations, the combination of different materials, and general endgame ideas a chess player should know.

There are exercises in this book as you advance in reading and studying this. 

Chapter 16 does justice by providing solutions to those exercises.

Who Needs This Book?

The intended audience for this book is intermediate and advanced players who want to sharpen their endgame knowledge and abilities rather than novices. 

Chess coaches and trainers will find this book very helpful in creating lessons and activities for their students. 

The book exposes the intricacy and beauty of chess endgames, making it both educational and entertaining to read.

Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual, 5th Edition is a must-have for every serious chess player who aspires to grasp the endgame. 

Positives Of This Book

The book has many positives that make it a valuable and enjoyable read for chess enthusiasts.

– The book is a masterpiece of research and insight, based on the work of one of the most respected and influential chess trainers of all time. 

The book covers all the essential theoretical and practical aspects of chess endgames, with hundreds of diagrams, exercises, and examples from real games.

– The book is revised and updated by GM Karsten Müller, a renowned endgame expert and a close collaborator of Dvoretsky. 

The fifth edition incorporates new analysis, discoveries, and feedback from various sources, as well as a new foreword by former world champion Vladimir Kramnik.

– The book uses a color-coding system to distinguish between basic endgame knowledge (gray) and reference material (black), making it easier for the reader to study and navigate. 

The book also has a clear and logical structure, with the chapters focusing on different types of endgames.

– The book is informative and enjoyable to read, as it reveals the beauty and depth of chess endgames. 

Major Drawbacks Of This Book 

The book is a highly acclaimed and authoritative work on chess endgames, but it also has some drawbacks that potential readers should be aware of.

– The book is not suitable for beginners, as it assumes a high level of chess knowledge and skill. 

The book is mainly aimed at intermediate and advanced players who want to deepen their endgame understanding and mastery.

– The book is very dense and technical, with a lot of variations and analysis. 

Some readers may find it hard to follow or digest the information, especially if they do not have a chess board or a computer program to check the moves.

– The book is not very entertaining or engaging, as it focuses on the theoretical and practical aspects of the endgame. 

Some readers may prefer a more lively or humorous style of writing or more examples from real games or historical anecdotes.

– The book is not so cheap, as it costs around $35 for the print edition and about $20 for the digital edition. 

Some readers may find it too expensive for their budget or may prefer to spend their money on other chess books or resources.

That’s all. Do well to let me know if this review was helpful.

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