To give an example: previous year it took me 6 weeks to find out where to start.
I would expect there were lots of books out there that could help me to cut down on this time consuming process. A book that saves me 6 weeks research by just telling me where to start and why.
But I haven't found any appropriate books yet.
SOPE is a good reference work, but it does little to cut down on the efforts.
Especially the habit to treat the exceptions without giving the general principles is wide spread among endgame authors. In such cases I have to work my way back.
First I have to realize that the given example is an exception.
Then I have to analyze it. After that I have to generalize it. Then I can formulate the general idea behind it, often only to find something trivial that could be explained to me in a few well chosen sentences.
This process costs me days, every time again.
Take for instance the pathetic case in the following diagram:
White to move
If it is for showing the beauty of endgame compositions it is great of course.
But to use it in a book that is supposed to learn me the basics of pawn endgames it is simply bizar. It took me hours to solve, and another few hours to find out that I'm not going to get this on the board within a lifetime.
I just don't get the stupidity of the authors to waste my time with such nonsensical cases.
You can compare it with struggling to learn the basics of arithmatic and that they throw in a few integral equations "to show you the beauty of mathematics."
BTW to save your time the answer is 1. Kg7!!@#$%
Because I have no feeling for endgames, I have to investigate everything.
Only after this research I can say if it was worth the effort.
In most of the cases it is not.
But I'm obliged to continue the research, because no author tells me the shortcuts.
Other authors only tell me possible shortcuts, like the Lucena position for instance, without relating it to the whole. So I learn tids and bits without a relating framework. Hence I cannot tell if it is important what they are trying to tell me.
With a big chance to learn something I will probably not use within a lifetime.
Like K+B+N vs K for instance.
To find the right direction I have read a lot of books the past year. To very little avail.
John Watson - Secrets of modern chess strategy.
I don't know what is secret about a written book. He makes a painstaking effort to proof that in modern chess general rules often are broken in specific positions by mere calculation. It's a good book, it doesn't improve my chess though.
John Nunn - Understanding chess move by move. I don't see a way to apply the things I learn here in my own games. It's a good book, it doesn't improve my chess though.
Yasser Seirawan - Winning chess strategies. Most positional subjects he treats are already common knowledge. He has a few interesting chapters on pawn play, which I already incorporated in my play. Improved my chess a little indeed.
Max Euwe - Theoretical and practical endgames. Makes all the errors of endgame books I allready mentioned. I use it as reference. Sort of.
John Nunn - Secrets of rook endings. Excellent reference work. But a lot has to be done before it helps my endgame play. And I mean a lot.
Alexander Kotov - Think like a grandmaster. Good that someone tries to write from a different angle. It's a good book, it doesn't improve my chess though.
Baburin - winning pawn structures. I haven't formed an opinion yet.
Capablanca - Chess fundamentals. I read only a few pages, but I'm already enthousiast. Finally someone who separates the important from the irrelevant!
I had read a lot ABOUT him, and based on that I actually had drawn the conclusion that he was of no use to me.
Wrong! He has a very comprehensible way of writing. And I look forward to read more from him. I wouldn't be surprised if it would boost my chess.
|Titel of chapter||#repeated |
|Chapter 1||Kp vs K||4 |
|Chapter 2||Kp vs Kp||4 |
|Chapter 3||Race of the passed pawns||3 |
|Chapter 4 ||Small number of pawns ||1 |
|Chapter 5 ||Unique features rook's pawn ||1 |
|Chapter 6 ||Fortresses, stalemates, underpromotion ||1 |
I'm busy with chapter 4 from SOPE now.