This is about the 8th time that I look at endgames. It seems that the time is finally ripe now.
- My first attempt to get better at endgames was when I picked up an endgame book by Euwe. Euwe is one of those terrible endgame authors who wanted to give his book a whiff of science, I assume. Which meant that he tried to be complete in his writings. Well, sort of. The result is that his book started with 8 chapters with endgames that you get only once in a lifetime, if you are lucky. An author must protect you from wasting your time. As novice you look for guidance, not for completeness, of course. The idea of an encyclopedia is totally wrong for a novice in endgames.
- It took me about a half year of daily study to get an idea where to start with endgame study. That I count as my second attempt.
- The third attempt was based on my discovery that all endgames were judged by the underlying pawnending. So I started with SOPE of Muller and Lamprecht. That seemed to work well for some time untill I collided with the habit of those authors to put in lots of beautiful endgame compositions into their exercises with positions you will not even get once in 10 lifetimes. That is so silly in an endgame book when you are a novice and looking for guidance. I had to stop that spilling of my time in disgust.
- The fourth attempt was papa Polgars endgame brick which suffered from the same flaw.
- An endgame CD with 2400 exercises of Convekta: same waste of time
- Sixth attempt was PCT. Darn you, Gregoriev! Darn you silly endgame authors!
- My seventh attempt was Lars Bo Hansen's SOCES. Now that was a revelation! Finally a book that guides you in stead of being encyclopedic and wasting my time with beautiful studies! I had to stop that study though since my positional middlegame skills were so poor that I never reached an endgame that wasn't lost anyhow.