142 ( +1 | -1 ) Studying EndgamesSome of you might recall me asking for analysis on an endgame I had just drawn -- incorrectly, as it turned out, as I could have won.
Well, I was certainly unsatisfied with my endgame skills, so I decided to work on them a bit. I got myself "Practical Chess Endings" by Irving Chernev and started going through it. It is probably not the best endgame book in the sense that there aren't many big words and rules in it, it is just 300 endgame studies with (so I think) clear and concise explanations by Mr Chernev; that's great with me, though, since I've always liked to learn concepts on my own. The studies range from very simple pawn promotion scenarios to complex positions with multiple pieces. Also, many of the studies are astounding in that when you first look at them, it seems impossible for white to win, and then the solution is truly beautiful. Endgames no longer seem dull to me at all!
Anyway, I think my endgame did improve. I quite like the one I just finished at board #748289, I was down a rook for two pieces, but a passed pawn saved me the game. I guess both of us didn't play perfectly, but hey, when you win it was probably good enough.
I'm not quite sure where I'm going here, it's either "buy that book, it's nice (and cheap, BTW)" or "work on your weaknesses, it pays off", so I'll stop here. Hmmm.
73 ( +1 | -1 ) Work on your weaknessesWork on your weaknesses is definitively a very good recomendation.
People usually prefer to work at what they are good at, as they have 'more fun'. But, that way, your weaknesses are still there! If you want to improve your chess, you have to study your weaknesses.
Chernev's books, by some strange reason, have a bad reputation in some circles. Strangely enough, if you ask really good players (IM, GM) about them, they say they are really good for you. So, Iampatzerman (I hope there is no one with this name here! It is just an invented name) rated 1600 disses Chernev, but Gmman 2550 says it is very good for people at that level. Who do you trust?
94 ( +1 | -1 ) clemensA good book for someone just starting to study endgames is "Just the Facts!" by Lev Alburt and Kikolay Krogius
a really execellent endgame book is "Fundamental Chess Endings" by Karsten Muller and Frank Lamprecht
It can be used both a primer and encyclopaedia.
Regarding Chernev's books some of them were considered good in their day but have since been eclipsed by newer and better books. and I don't know of any GM's and IM's telling people to rush out and buy his books but if you are picking them up secondhand or the Dover reprints then your getting them cheap and you can learn something from any chess book.
by the way here is the only Chernev game I have in my database
Balint,J - Chernev,I [A18] USA-ch prel New York, 1938
27 ( +1 | -1 ) endgame cd'sDon't forget computer cd's! There's one that I have called "Chess Endgame Training" by Convekta. See Convekta.com. It's like the CT arts disk for tactics only this runs the gamut of endgames. I think it's pretty neat and you can focus in on your particular weakness.