Item description for Secrets of Pawn Endings by Karsten Muller, Frank Lamprecht, Marc Becker & John Nunn...
Endgames with just kings and pawns are the most basic type of ending. Without an understanding of them it is impossible to master more complicated endings. This book provides a thorough course in pawn endings, from the simple to the highly complex. Many interesting and beautiful positions are included, and there are test positions for the reader to solve. The authors follow the rigorously logical conventions introduced by John Nunn in his famous series of endgame manuals. This has necessitated a phenomenal amount of new analysis of theoretical positions to assess precisely the merits of each and every move.
This is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the most fundamental type of endgame, including puzzle positions to test the reader's understanding. It makes use of the new computer software specifically geared to solving pawn endings. In addition, it's logically organized in a user-friendly fashion.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Secrets of Pawn Endings?
An awesome pawn end game book May 20, 2008
Despite being a novice player and owning other excellent end game books, in this book there is much material that is not out of my intellectual reach. It feels like I will be learning from this book for decades to come!! The accuracy and clarity of the text with the numerous diagrams makes the book excellent to even the weaker players. Doubtless this book has even material useful to grandmasters. Enjoy reading it, I do.
the works Feb 24, 2006
This book starts with the basic concepts of King and Pawn against King, gives a thorough tour of the situations arising with progressively more pawns, and ends with general advice about finding plans in complicated situations. The whole exposition is given in clear, logical prose supported by valuable and well-diagrammed game analyses and exercises. The authors do not shirk giving clear explanations of the basics, while there is enough advanced material to give food for thought, I suspect, to much stronger players. In short I was delighted with this book, and strongly recommend it.
Putting phase in chess. Oct 20, 2005
This is a rather difficult book for us, C-players, to follow. The positions have only two types of pieces, Kings and Pawns. In order to win, some Ps must reach the 6th or 7th to demonstrate to us that game is decided. The King- and Pawn-moves are single squares; therefore to achieve this goal the game must take many moves. This makes the variations of many (sometimes dozen of) moves deep. Unless we have the visual ability like the masters or grandmasters do, we need a chessboard or program to follow the moves incrementally. To study and understand these deep analyses, the authors recommend us, average players, to use chessboard and play them through. I think this is good for even masters and GMs. For us, amateurs, with 10 percent of its knowledge we could hold ground fairly against our opponents. I need at least one year or so to go through all the details the book provides. I just caught three major mistakes that I wrongly believed all these years. 1) Two isolated P's separated by 1 file against a King are an automatic win. Wrong. 2) Two connected passed P's with the rear P blocked by enemy lone P is an automatic win. Wrong. 3) In pawn ending with two P's each, the outside passed P wins always. Wrong. Above are three of many simple rules I often aim for when reaching the pure P endings. Diagrams 8.01D, 4.07 and 3.12 from this book debunks my beliefs. What is missing with my simple rules? The King-position. In the pure pawn endings, the K-position is the single most important factor. The list on the Crash Course page is very helpful. There are about 40 different themes. So far I could recognize and understand 3 or 4 of them, but not 100% certainty, unless I have to carefully and quietly study the book. This book is worth 5 stars. Hope I could use what it offers in real games. At C-class, our games are often over during the middle-games by blunders. The fewer pieces on our endgames are, the stronger (or more equal) are we. Good luck to all.
Perfection Aug 18, 2004
I'm a class C player interested in seriously improving my game. My first endgame book was by Yasser Seirawan, Winning Chess Endings. I didn't really get enough out of the book's section on pawn endings. Due to this I decided to purchase this boook and I was amazed at what I could learn and how quickly. I believe this is the easiest to understand book on any aspect of chess theory I have ever read.
To get the most out of this book I highly recommend playing through the positions against a strong chess engine (Fritz, for example). Evaluate the test positions in your head and if you get any incorrect play through the positions against the engine.
I rarely reach endgames in my play, but I'm sure that I am able to correctly evaluate if I should trade off into an ending or not when I am faced with the choice.
Secrets of Good Books Dec 29, 2003
Ok, endgame books are mostly raw facts and calculation. Accuracy is more important than writing ability. If you purchased this book, there is no doubt what you expected to take from it.
When I found the first typo on the first page of chapter one I thought I made a bad purchase. I don't care about excuses...poor editing, hard to translate from German, or anything else.
As I continued to read I found the book to be better than I had expected. Once I got used to the codes and symbols, the book was very enjoyable. The exercises were outstanding. They hammered home the critical ideas without wasting your time on exercises that would never occur in an actual game. And yes the book was very accurate. I learned a few new ways to quickly evaluate complex positions. The order of the exercises was perfect. Each exercise built on the previous exercises as they flowed smoothly through the book. You can not spend too much time with a book like this.
After living and playing in Germany for the past two years I am amazed at the strength of German players and their passion for the game. They are absolutely crazy about chess. I find chess everywhere I go in this country. These two authors are a direct reflection of chess in Germany today. I will look for more of their books.