Reviews - What do customers think about Chess Endings Made Simple : How to Approach the Endgame with Confidence?
A pleasant surprise - concentrates on basic principles Feb 21, 2006
How often do you find phrases like "made simple" in the title of a book, only to find yourself out of your depth after a few pages? Well, you can rest assured. this book really does stick to the simple things. It tackles the end game in terms of concepts and plans, concentrating on basic principles, which can be applied in a practical way to our own endgame.
After an opening chapter on pawnless endings, we have a chapter on King and Pawn endings, a long section on Rook and Pawn endings, the most common type of ending encountered in practical play, followed by chapters on Knight endings, Bishop endings, Bishop and Knight endings, and Queen endings.
The second part of the book consists of 100 exercises, all taken from practical play, to test to what extent the reader can apply the knowledge gained in the first part. What is surprising is the number of times really simple endings occur in practical play. The 100 positions include a great many taken from GM games. I was pleasantly surprised at how often, after only a few seconds thought, I was able to find the winning/drawing line simply by applying my newly acquired knowledge. But even more astounding was the number of times a GM or very strong player had failed to find the right method. Food for thought here!
There have been many books on the ending written over the years, including a good number in the present millennium, but in terms of value for money I reckon that this one takes some beating. It is yet another example of my oft repeated dictum that GMs are not the best people to write for less able players.
This review first appeared in the magazine En Passant.
For those of us that need help in the endgame Jul 2, 2004
How good is it when the author takes time to write conceptually what's going on, place a diagram with arrows, circles and whatever aids are needed to clarify his point and then explain clearly what is it that he wants to do with the position? And how great is it when after five moves the author shows you what happened afterwards with another diagram and repeats the process of analyzing the position and showing you how to play it? I used to think that Concise Chess Endgames was the best way to start to study the endgame but I was wrong... This is the book! This is the book to start studying endgames! I consider that the author must be a superb teacher because he uses all resources available to him to teach. Why can't books on such an arid topic as the endgame be as illustrative as this one?