In their desire to preserve as much of the communityA[a¬a[s history as possible, authors John Nunn and Judith Nunn Alley searched for people across the country with family ties to Galax. Those who have willingly made their family photo albums available share in the act of preserving the history of this beautiful little town in the mountains of Southwest Virginia.
Reviews - What do customers think about Secrets of Rook Endings?
Execellent book! But how practical is it? Oct 13, 2005
Thanks to Dr. Ken Thompson's work, we have the standard 5-piece (also some of other simple) endgame database. Based on Dr. Thompson's database, Dr. John Nunn prepared a 3-volumn book-set that covers "almost all" 5-piece endings. Rook and Pawn versus Rook is the first of the set. Using the symmetric property, they are able to cut the workload to 25%. By writing from the white's point-of-view, who has material advantage, the work is cut by half; then by mirroring the Q-side and K-side, only work for the P on the Q-side is sufficient (another 50% reduction). The final positions are: a) white can promote the P (win), b) white wins black R (win), c) black can eliminate white P (draw) (and force trading R's.) The study starts with the P on the 7th rank to see if it's a win or draw. Then the P retreats one step to 6th rank, and continues all the way to 2nd rank. A few years ago, I know only one R and P ending (Lucena position) and about four general rules: 1) Rook on the seventh is worth one (or even two) P-sacrifice. 2) Active Rook is important in the endgame. 3) The side with material advantage has "more" chance to win if he can cuts off the defending K. 4) The defender should get his K in front of the P; otherwise he has "less" chance to draw. "More or less" are relative terms here. In this book, Dr. Nunn provides the "absolute truth" about this type of endings. His work in this book is outstanding (5 stars). I wonders who could remember most of the analysis he gives in the book. He mentions that even Kasparov might have trouble to play this with such precision. So, how practical is the book? I don't see how the average players can see the practicality of this book (I can't), except for the practical tips Nunn gives at the end of every section. That's a good place to start. If we want simpler study, then Averbakh's Essential Chess Endings is another good start. My C- and B-players don't care much for simple endings; they like to play with pieces. This is where I have a little edge on them. The analysis from Nunn's ending set provides a good means for post-mortem discussion.
If you really want to know Jun 18, 2002
This book is the absolute and final truth on rook and pawn vs. rook endgames. Another book will never need to be written. If you really want to know the truth on these endgames, then this is truly the book for you.
It's not as bad to read as a previous reviewer claimed. Of course, if you want to study rook endings more generally or less deeply, then this isn't the book for you. "Surviving Rook Endings" probably is--and it is a really good introduction. If you have any doubt, then you almost certainly want "Surviving" rather than this one.
Another authoritative book by Nunn May 13, 2001
I reccommend this book to any serious chessplayer. Nunn gives the low down on all rook versus rook plus pawn endings. Firstly, the information in this book is 100% accurate since a computer created the database. Any serious chessplayer would normally be looking for none other than the truth and in rook endings this is hard to come by. Secondly, Nunn demonstrates a fantastic concept known as reciprocal zugzwang. It turns out, assuming white is up the pawn, that in most positions, white to play wins while black to play draws. In a reciprocal zugzwang position, white to play draws and black to play loses. Hence, unlike normal zugzwang position where one color has a waiting move, reciprocal zugzwang positions offer neither color a waiting move (the easiest example you'll ever see is white- ka8 rb8 pa7 black- kc7 rc8). Lastly, the setup of this book is good too. Nunn starts with positions with the pawn of a7 and works his was to a2 (for obvious reasons). He then tackles b, c and d positions in the same way. To conclude, I did want to say that while this book contains all the information you'll ever need to know about this particular ending, the information will not seep into your brain from under your pillow. You will need to put in an obscene amount of time to get from cover to cover.
Useful Book for Players Apr 20, 2001
This book is often touted as being the final word on K+R+P vs. K+R. I agree with this contention but I have to say that this book is more than a reference work. The basic methods of play are elucidated here as in no other text. Even the famous "Rook Endings" by Smyslov and Levenfish devotes only 47 pages to K+R+P vs. K+R. Other books just give Lucena, Philidor and some general methods of play. Anyone playing a rook ending has to constantly keep in mind the possibility of simplification to a simpler rook ending. Consequently, the material covered by Nunn serves as the building block for a rigorous study of rook endings in general. The book offers unparalleled insight and understanding. John Nunn, in the three books he has written on endings, constantly strives to translate computer results into ideas and insights palatable to the human mind. Every student of the game should have this book on his shelf.
Objective truth is a rare thing indeed Apr 8, 2000
This book claims something no other chess book (that I have seen) does: total accuracy. Dr. Nunn prepared this book on Rook and Pawn endings with the help of Ken Thompson's endgame database, so that every position therein, and every solution given, is guaranteed to be 100% accurate. This book covers ONLY the subject of chess endgames with king, rook and a single pawn against king and rook, but this topic is much, much bigger than it may seem at first glance. While a computer can crank out solution after solution to endgame problems, only a strong human chess player like GM Nunn can take the resulting data and explain it in ways that make it useful to other humans who want to understand how to win (or avoid losing) these difficult endgames. Nunn has done an excellent job of explaining the whys and wherefores of each move (because frankly, the ONLY winning move in some of these positions is very counterintutive). I know that my endgame play will be stronger after working through the problems in this book and I recommend it to anyone who finds rook and pawn endings daunting.