"In order to improve your game," said the great Capablanca, "you must study the endgame before anything else; for whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middlegame and the opening must be studied in relation to the endgame." There is no doubt that Capa was right, and how better to study the endgame than to study his. Originally printed in 1978, Dover has re-printed Irving Chernev's Capablanca's Best Chess Endings.
Here are the 60 complete games in Chernev's book as well as my notes to game #60. Keep in mind as you play through these games that Capablanca was often more concerned about where his pieces belonged than what move to play next. 'tis useful advice!
A Guide to Chess Endings, Max Euwe, David Hooper. Clear and thorough coverage of most encountered endgame situations, written for adults.
Tactical Chess Endings, John Nunn. This book is my personal endgame favorite. Serious players will marvel at the complxity of these examples, most of which are taken from real Master games. This should not be your first endgame book, but don't miss it if you are getting serious about your chess.
Endgame Virtuoso, Vasily Smyslov. 100s of endgame examples all taken from Smyslov's own games. The former world champion places the examples in chapters according to endgame type, from pawn endgames through queenings, with more than half the book devoted to 32 illustrative games.
If the best way to master chess is to play through games, it can also be said that the best way to master the endgame is to play through them. But it sure is nice to have a guide. M. Shereshevsky's Endgame Strategy provides a wonderful collection of real life examples organized in thematic chapters with titles such as: "Do not hurry!" and "The principle of the two weaknesses." Here are all of the games in the book
The tactics of Endgames, Jeno Ben. The authors brings alive the subtlety and beauty of the endgame. A thematic approach is the plus. Old-fashioned diagrams and descriptive notation are the negative.
Exchanging to Win in the Endgame, Gennady Nesis. The key is not just the endgame itself, but knowing when to simplify to a favorable endgame. This book focuses on the transition from the middlegame to the endgame, and when to exchange within the endgame.
Winning Endgame Technique, Alexander Beliavsky and Adrian Mikhalchishin. Two leading grandmasters pick wonderful examples of pawn, bishop, and rook endgames. There are three challenging quizzes to test your knowledge. For advanced players.
Endgame Artillery, Alex Angos. One of my ten favorite books, a prize for the advanced player. I bought this in California and read it for the first time on the plane ride back. Great examples of Queen and Rook endgames, with many surprises throughout.
Fundamental Chess Endings, Karsten Muller, Frank Lamprecht, John Nunn. For the ambitious player, here's a comprehensive one volume endgame encyclopedia, an impressive endgame reference.
C.J.S.Purdy on the Chess Endgame, Ralph Tykodi (compiler). Purdy, a World Correspondence Champion, was a prolific Austrialian writer on chess. He is well known for an understandable, comprehensive style. Here, a compendium of his writings on the endgame.