Thursday, June 09, 2005

The book arrived!

Today my new book Secrets of pawn endings arrived.
Written by Karsten Muller and Frank Lamprecht.
Published by Everyman Chess in 2000.
288 pages.

First impression.
The layout is very good and clear.
There is a lot of text and diagrams in every chapter with really clear explanations.
I like the explainatory diagrams with sectors, keysquares etc. very much because of their clarity.
Pawn endings are really a goal in itself for the writers. That is to say that, unlike Euwe for example, they didn't write the book because the had to. As a sort of obliged explanation of the basics while they actually want to tell us about rook endings. No, it is clear they really love pawn endings.
The approach of the writers is very practical. Unlike Euwe, who often felt himself obliged to write a lot of useless semi-scientific stuff, just for the sake of being complete.
What's written in this book is all very useful and practical.

What I do think though, is that you really have to be committed to pawn endings.
If you read this because you need it to understand rook endings, you will not come far.
I feel I have this commitment. And I think its not unreasonable to assume that until the end of this year I will have my hands full with it.

Every chapter has its exercises, 212 in total.
Today I worked tru chapter 1 and I'm busy with the exercises now.
A few hours per exercise is not uncommon. When my understanding grows, I think (hope) this will speed up.
I don't think I will ever need another book on the same subject.


006 Foreword by John Nunn
009 Preface
010 Introduction
011 Crash course
012 The Nunn Convention
013 Other Signs and Symbols
015 1 King and Pawn(s) vs King
023 Exercises
026 Solutions
028 2 King and Pawn vs King and Pawn
028 A) Pawns on the Same File
032 B) Pawns on Adjacent Files
034 Exercises
036 Solutions
038 3 Race of the Passed Pawns
038 A) Both Sides Queen a Pawn
040 B) Queen against Pawn(s)
043 C) Transition into a Pawn Ending
044 Exercises
046 Solutions
049 4 Small Number of Pawns
049 A) Blocked Pair of Pawns and a Passed Pawn
051 B) Protected Passed Pawn
052 C) Backward Pawn
054 D) Others
056 E) Doubled Pawns
058 Exercises
061 Solutions
065 5 Unique Features of the Rook's Pawn
065 A) Blocked Pair of Pawns and a Passed Pawn
066 A1) Bähr's Rule
069 A2) Bishop's Pawn and Rook's Pawn vs Rook's Pawn
071 B) Protected Passed Pawn
071 C) Others
074 D) Doubled Pawns
075 Exercises
077 Solutions
079 6 Fortresses, Stalemates and Underpromotion
079 A) Simple Fortresses
081 B) Direct Applications
082 C) Stalemates
085 D) Blockade
085 E) Underpromotion
088 Exercises
091 Solutions
094 7 Pawns on One Wing
094 A) Fixed Pawn-Structure
094 B) Flexible Pawn-Structure
096 C) Passive Defence
099 D) Active Defence/ Counter-attack
102 E) Extra Pawn
107 Exercises
110 Solutions
114 8 Passed Pawns
114 A) Preliminary Considerations
116 B) Battle between Different Passed Pawns
116 B1) Several Passed Pawns on Both Sides
118 B2) Protected Passed Pawn vs Two Passed Pawns
120 B3) Protected Passed Pawns vs One Passed Pawn
122 B4) Outside Passed Pawn
123 C) Passed Pawn vs Candidate
127 Exercises
130 Solutions
134 9 Breakthrough
134 A) Far-Advanced Pawns
136 B) Breakthrough of the Majority
138 C) Creation of Two Passed Pawns
138 D) Breakthrough Possibilities for The Defence
140 Exercises
142 Solutions
145 10 Pawns on Both Wings
145 A) Extra Pawn
149 B) Majority vs Central Passed Pawn
150 C) Spread Majorities
155 D) Even Distribution of Pawns
158 Exercises
160 Solutions
165 11 Fight for Tempi and Manoeuvres
165 A) Typical Manoeuvres with an Even Distribution of Pawns
169 B) "Don't Touch Me!"
171 C) King-March and Fight for Tempi
177 Exercises
180 Solutions
188 12 Corresponding Squares
188 A) Corresponding Squares in Former Examples
191 B) Bishop's Pawn and Rook's Pawn vs Rook's Pawn
193 C) Complicated Cases
196 Exercises
198 Solutions
204 13 Thinking Methods to Find the Right Move
204 A) The Method of Exclusion
205 B) The Opponent's Possibilities
207 C) Fighting Methods
211 D) Balance of Risks
212 E) Rules of Thumb
213 14 Complicated Cases
213 A) Out of Life
217 B) At the Highest Level
224 C) C.D. Analyses
230 Exercises
231 Solutions
236 15 Simplifications
236 A) Correctly Assessing Various Endgames
241 B) Good Technique
242 C) Combination
244 Exercises
248 Solutions
256 16 Exercises
256 A) Easy Exercises
258 B) Difficult Exercises
261 C) Judge the Position
263 Solutions
281 Sources
282 Index

Please a warm welcome for a new Knight Druss


  1. Sounds good. Maybe we should re-dub you as the "Pawn Master" or "Pawn Monster" - hehe =>

  2. In case you are still looking for openings that lead to an early endgame I found this handout from Exeter Chess Club. There's lots of other bits & pieces about endgames.

    Ruy Lopez exchange variation was covered more deeply in a separate page and it does look pretty convincing. This might be very dangerous at club level.

    - bahus

  3. Bahus,
    thx, I will have a close look at it. I intend to use the next half year to find out what openings are suitable for endgame play. My gambits (=1 pawn behind) don't seem to work for that.

  4. Nice to see your are working on pawn endgames. I also find endgames interesting, although I'll need to wait until I can start with it. Good luck with this new subject! =)

  5. Sounds like a very in-depth book. Let us know how it is!