on 25 July 2003
It really works, because the details of chess endings are presented clearly.
The chief help for me, a beginner, is the visual aid in the diagrams. There are stars to mark Key Squares, circles to mark critical squares, numbers to mark corresponding squares, different kind of "lines" drawn on the board to show you the advantageous positions (like the Troitsky line).
In the simple mates, King , bishop and knight v. King, the path of the knight is drawn on the board to make for accuracy; the three phases of the mate are explained in great detail, so you can follow its complexity well on your own board, and learn it (I took a day to learn to master this difficult mate).
It is a stimulating book, expounding master's knowledge in a clear way - I did not say "simple", because you will have to work at the examples; the examples are well explained.
There are plenty of exercises, with annotated extensive solutions, to challenge your acquired knowledge A good bibliography refers to classics like Averbakh's series of study on the endgame in five volumes in Russian and in six volumes in German!!
It even touches, although only fleetingly, on the theory of corresponding squares.More could have been written on this interesting visual approach, but space is limited.
The book is compiled with the aid of computer technology for accuracy, BUT, and it is a big but, this is a human book, not a dry manual. It is a fascinating study (albeit a study, and this implies work, the result of which you should see fairly quickly). Already from the few pages I have begun to study, I have seen myself thinking in a more combinational way.
Buy this book if you are a chess lover, it will help you. This is directed to beginners and intermediate players.You will not find it boring.
(Were you not to like such a comprehensive text, they mention another good reference. although more simplified, it is : "Essential Chess endings" by James Howell. B.T.Batsford, 1997 - the latter could serve as a summary of the book reviewed)
Get It! And become strong! It is worth the price!(Algebraic notation, of course)
on 13 March 2002
This is a great book. If you're interested in endgame study it's all here, clear and easy to understand.
If you're not into endgame study but want to improve your game (i.e. win more) this book will help you do that as well because you don't have to read everything. Your playing style may result in just a few types of endings, and you can easily find study material here specifically for the endgames you're likely to play. This also means this book can be useful for the whole of your chess playing life as your style changes.
This is an encyclopaedia of endgames and so has an enormous amount of endgame references, annotations and advice, with endgame exercises at the end of each chapter. There are 10 chapters on the different variations or endings, a chapter on endgame strategy and the last for further exercises. Diagrams for routes and calculations using common and key squares help to build strategies for play. Exercises are ranked 1 - 3 stars, giving you plenty to think about, with varying difficulty and there are half a life-time of examples to work through. Endgame examples range from the straightforward to the highly complex, each one a problem to understand and absorb, with helpful explanations to describe play and how to avoid pitfalls. Recommended.
on 4 December 2009
The headline says it all. This is a great book. It has really paid itself back in the form of many won endgames in tournaments. I am 1950 ELO and there is so much valuable material in this book for me, but I would say it would suit all levels of players.
The book is very clear and concise. There is a very good table of contents in the beginning of the book which is systematic and makes it easy to fint the relevant information you are looking for.
I particularly like the fact that the amount of page material on the different types of endgames relates directly to the probability of those endgames occuring. I.e. the biggest chapter is on rook endgames since they occur very frequently in practical play and so on with the other type of games.
What it all comes down to: This is the best modern 1-volume endgame book currently out there in my mind.
on 7 November 2003
This truly is a great buy. The book has precise explanation accompanied by enough diagrams to explain the key points. Endgames can be tricky, this book makes the endgame a piece of cake. Even begginers will find this book easy to understand, though i would accompany it with a endgame manual, since this book is mainly a reference. You dont have to read this book start to finish. Plunge into the type of endgame you want to study with the corresponding chapters.
If you buy one book for the endgame, make it this. Even for begginers, buy this, (since it will serve you well as you progress in chess)and if it seems over your head, get a begginers manual like Just the Fact;Endgame knowledge by Alburt.
Good luck with your chess.
on 17 March 2004
This book will certainly make a huge impact in your play. It is absolutely great to be able to trade pieces in the midlegame when you know that the ensuing endgame is won for you and your opponent does the same because he does not see this! It is also very valuable to know certain theoretically drawn positions in order to avoid them when you have the edge, or seek them when you don't.
This book has all that plus a LOT more, you will find every "commonly" reached endgame and a clear explanation (with plenty of variations) on the right way to play it. You should study this book no matter what your level of play is ad you will get a clear edge against your opponents that have not done so!
on 5 December 2013
I have a number of chess books but this one is all I've ever needed in terms of the endgame. It provides wide coverage of scenaria and, provided you put some work in it (I set up variations of the themes in Fritz and play them out), it will transform your game. Having said that, I've only read sections as there is A LOT of material here, and some of it (e.g. mating with Bishop and Knight) takes some practice. Fully recommended!