Grandmaster John Emms

A Gambit re-issue of this instructive endgame guide.

For all chess-players - from beginners to grandmasters, and whatever their style of play - one thing is certain: rook endings will arise in a great many of their games.

Yet it is precisely in this area of the game that many players give away hard-earned points, either through lack of knowledge or inadequate understanding. Most previous books on the subject have been extremely technical and theoretical, but this one is different. John Emms provides the essential specific knowledge and explains the key concepts that will enable readers to find the right plan in most common types of rook endings.

John Emms is one of England's strongest grandmasters, and an experienced trainer. He is also a skilful and versatile writer: he has several opening monographs and general guides to his credit, and authored the hugely popular work, The Ultimate Chess Puzzle Book.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

Gambit books by John Emms: The Most Amazing Chess Moves of All Time, Play the Open Games as Black, The Survival Guide to Rook Endings, The Ultimate Chess Puzzle Book.

"A very useful little book, which does what it says on the tin" - GM Jonathan Rowson, New-in-Chess

"If you work through this book you will surely increase your knowledge of rook endgames as well as surviving most of them." - Gerhard Josten, Rochade Europa

"The material is lucid and logically constructed and working with the book should be interesting and instructive" - Heinz Brunthaler, Rochade Europa

"...the book as a whole is relatively short, at about 160 pages. This, however, is a virtue, as any reader who has tried to wind his or her way through Reuben Fine's Basic Chess Endings could tell you. In The Survival Guide to Rook Endings, John Emms captures the essence of rook endgames and provides it to the reader, headache free." - Josh Specht,

"If you didn't purchase this book first time around then I think you missed out. Rook endgame knowledge is at the core of endgame theory. Many club players would save a huge amount of points by having the confidence to go into a rook endgame, especially when a pawn or two down." - Munroe Morrison, Open File

"It's not just full of theory but real positions that you will have 'owned' many times in your own games." - Carl Portman, Defence Focus

" is at hand here in the form of this well-written and thought out little volume." - Alan Sutton, En Passant

"...could bring you points in the near future!" - Martin Rieger,

"Affordable holiday reading" - Bab Wilders, Nederlands Dagblad

"GM Emms always writes very readable books and at no stage does he leave the reader in the dark. The material has been chosen for practical reasons so it is not encyclopaedic; nevertheless, there is still a very methodical approach when it comes to building up the reader's knowledge. … this is an impressive and well-written guide and one of the most accessible and practical endgame books around." - Sean Marsh,

"The reader who is aware of the techniques in this book is able to improve his or hers rook skills but above all you will learn to survive difficult positions. ... Compact but instructive written rook endgame book!" - John Elburg,

"The best practical book on rook and pawn endings in print" - IM Malcolm Pein, Chess Magazine

"Emms' book is certainly not a reference work although he goes through the material in a very systematic fashion. He offers lots of explanation, all the examples have been throughly computer-checked for accuracy and there is a quiz to test what the student has learned (there is also one on double rook endings at the very back of the book as well). Highly Recommended." - IM John Donaldson,