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Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:42 am
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Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
 Post subject: eBook - e for ending
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 12:41 am 
I like endgames. Recently I got the opportunity to lay my hands on the eBook (or shoudl I say dBook?)
Chess Endings for Beginners,
adapted from the classic by Blake as a book you can use in every ChessBase program (CB, Fritz etc.).
I'll come back on that book shortly, just to have an opinion about stone old chessbooks still having enormous value (Mein System, anyone?).

BTW I immediately exported the whole bunch of ending positions in the database to a PGN file and put it on my handheld as well. Mobile training is a great way to do something while you commute; when sitting in an "important" business meeting, or going to the retro week in the cinema with your girlfriend to see "Gone with the wind" (why does it take that fart so long to return?) or "The Sound of Music" ( what a staggering time it needs to be heard).
But that's the category "free advice from someone who thinks "Seinfeld" is a long seat on the counch already".

(and BTW 2: fellow Soup Nazi's, there are some free eBooks for download there as well, like the fact-and-figure classic by Bill Wall, but that aside)


Being a patzer I'm always delighted if I can show some actual knowledge about chess, and as my opening repertoire contains understanding 1. e4-and-a-bit-more, I quickly turn to a part of the game fellow patzers have little knowlegde about (in general, that is) the endgame, so I can outsmart a lot of them.

Here we go. Mr. Jeroen himself teaches endgame lessaons. Could the GM's please look the other way and put their fingers in their ears? Thanks, all I need is my two minutes of fame and glory before my bubble bursts.

black to move, what to play, what result?

In the endgame it's obligatory to calculate quite precisely. However, and excerise in humility can be playing all moves from say above start position.

In the endgame it's very likely to arrive at a variation where you want to push your opponent away from a position he holds - zugzwang is a nice way to do that, or giving up the opposition. You have to calculate the number of moves you have quite precisely, and that can be tedious work.

It's however possible to make some calculations with the help of a few basic rules. Think about the king square and a pawn heading for promotion, or about opposition rules.

The above example is a variation on a theme I once studied quite intensively. There's a basic rule - no, wrong, a "general rule of thumb", that makes it easier to see what the assessment there is for the above situation.

I composed it from the top of my head (which has a chessboard on it to make things easier) gave an assessment myself, and to my surprise I was right. This general rule of thumb doesn't work in every position, (in those situations _other_ rules of thumb apply, say rules from a higher order....) but in a lot of them as well.

What is it - win for white, black or a draw? And what should black do?

-spoiler below-


It's clear that the first king to give up the defense/attack is the king to lose in the end. So those flank pawns have to advance to one another. Who is the one that has the last pawn move that forces the opposite king away?

It's a win for black. And he /she (we're politically very correct here) should _only_ play 1...a5, the rest of the moves are a win for white.

Magic? No, as my assessment was not "I'm sure" but "Taking into account these two rules of thumb:
- the side with the most pawns on their original position generally has the advantage;
- if playing in these positions, if possible, always move the already advanced pawns before you start moving the pawn on their original fields,

I guess black is better and he/she should play a5."

I happen to be right, and no surprise about that rule of thumb because of course a pawn in the start position can always out"tempo" his counterpart on another field. That's right, yes, it's about choosing between advancing one or two fields. I doesn't replace calculation, but it helps you with locating the right solution - if there is one.

Well, as a patzer I have been able to play out some endgames succesfully just by following this rule of thumb. It drastically lowers the number of position with pawns and kings where you say "Omygawd, what pawn to play? What move to make?"


And that's where I return to my original story about that eBook - duh - dBook.
It's great to learn such basic tricks, and it's even greater to know such a position by heart. And it isn't that bad at all if you have a _dozen_ examples to exercise on.

That's why I chose for that eBook by Blake, even at the venerable age of 102 years (the book, not me or Blake). Well worth a visit to the electronic library here I would say, and in a handy format.

If you got some time to spare, click here.

Don't blame me if you start winning endgames.

ps. BTW3 - finally, here in The Netherlands, they started with "Star Trek Enterprise". More than a year behind, but after all, what's a year between warped friends....

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