Review: Practical Endgame Play – Mastering the Basics
The best sellers seem to be books on openings, but most chess teachers advise becoming competent in endgame play before devoting too much time to opening strategies.
Practical Endgame Play is a bit lean when it comes to bare pawn endings, but excellent for the very common rook endings. My review is now online at ChessCafe; here is a brief snippet of the book taken from the author's coverage of rook endings in which White is a pawn up (specifically an a-pawn):
When the rook of the superior side is behind its passed pawn, the position is usually won. The winning method for White can be described via the following mini-plans, which constitute the correct way to achieve victory:
i. White will centralize his king, threatening to transfer it to the queenside and then advance the a-pawn in co-operation with the rook.
ii. The black king will have to prevent the above-mentioned plan by hurrying over to the queenside itself. This will, however, allow the white king to penetrate on the kingside.
iii. At the appropriate moment, the white rook will abandon the a-pawn and will move towards the kingside. The co-operating duo of king and rook will ensure material gain on the kingside in exchange for the loss of the a-pawn. From that point on, the win will be simple.
My review is also permanently archived here.
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