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Fundamental Chess Endings [Paperback]

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Item description for Fundamental Chess Endings by Karsten Muller & Frank Lamprecht...

In a major event in chess publishing, two German endgame experts have produced a masterly one-volume encyclopedia that covers all major endgames. This is the first truly modern one-volume endgame encyclopedia. It makes full use of endgame tablebases; where previous authors could only make educated guesses, Muller and Lamprecht have often been able to state the definitive truth, or get much closer to it. New time-controls involve competitive games being played to finish in one session, so it is especially important that chess players understand the key endgame principles this book provides comprehensive assistance for any players wishing to study the endgame. In addition to a feast of detailed analysis, the authors emphasize the practical side of endgame play, describing rules of thumb, principles and thinking methods. "Fundamental Chess Endings" is both the ideal endgame reference work, and a book that can profitably and enjoyably be read from start to finish.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   416
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6.75" Height: 10"
Weight:   1.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2001
Publisher   Gambit Publications
ISBN  1901983536  
ISBN13  9781901983531  

Availability  0 units.

More About Karsten Muller & Frank Lamprecht

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Muller is a young grandmaster from Germany, who competes regularly in the Bundesliga and in international events. He finished third in the German Championship in 1996.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > Board Games > Chess
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Fundamental Chess Endings?

Very, very good  Feb 25, 2008
Do you really want to learn the very core of chess endgames? Then just buy this book (and read it)!
The endgame bible  Sep 18, 2007
This is one-volume encyclopaedia covering all endgame techniques. An advanced chess book for players rated over 2000. I would not recommend this endgame book for players rated below 2000. The problem for those players is that it is not easy to find the endgame elements and techniques a player rated below 2000 should focus on and exclude the rest. I miss a clearer index of the instructive examples (this is almost given as a footnote on the last page). It is not easy to lookup different standard position and techniques in this book. Examples are Triangulation, Vancura position, etc. Even the simple technique - opposition, has no chapter name, so have to go to the chapter "2.1 King + Pawn (s) vs King" to find it. But of course, this is an award winning book, so if you want an advanced "all-in-one" endgame book, this is the book for you.
Encyclopedic but not user-friendly  Aug 27, 2007
Many of the other reviews have argued that Karsten and Muller have created a single-volume endgame book that has all the key points of the endgame.

This may be so, but I have tried to sit down and use it for study only to be disappointed. The material is fairly well organized, but it is too dense to work with. This is the sort of endgame book that gives endgame books a bad name. It is full of information but is dry as dust.

I recommend Dvoretsky's "Endgame Manual" instead for almost all players. That book uses two colors of font to highlight important positions. "Fundamental Chess Endings uses almost the same style as "Basic Chess Endings" (written by Reuben Fine 19 1941) and feels as dusty.

If you have the money and desire, get both books. But you will probably use Dvoretsky's book more.
This book is surely a handsome gift for a chess player.  Mar 11, 2005
Chess Endings are very important, as Lasker, Capablanca and modern chess teachers say.
At my small local club, we are all at class C and sub-class B. They are very good tactical players, and prefer to play the middle-games where there are still many pieces left. Player A is the best tactician there, has been the number one for three straight years. (My tactics are not as good as most of theirs. Luckily, I learn a few tips from Chernev's writing.)
a) One day (I witnessed), player A obtained a position in Rook Ending, and each side had a Rook. He got four Pawns on the K-side, his opponent (player B) had 2 on the Q-side; the Kings were on the rear of their own Pawns. So far so good. Player B had his K on second rank, while player A had his K on the back-rank! Player A kept giving useless checks and ignored advancing his un-opposed Pawns. Player B cleverly advanced his K and Pawns at every opportunity. To our horror, player B got his Pawn and R to the seventh and his K was right behind them. And we know the rest of the story.
b) Weeks later same player A won a Knight for a Pawn from me in the opening. After that, he just moves aimlessly with the goal to win on the clock, while I used my active Rook to win another Pawn. Only then he tried to trade off our last Rooks, which I quickly calculated and complied. Besides his centralized Knight, he had one Pawn on c-file; I had 3 Ps on h-, c- and b-files (all of mine had reached mid-field). His K was on his own third, while mine was at fourth rank. I saw that I could at least have a draw. Because his K was unable to defend both sides simultaneously, I could force him to trade off his last P. To my surprise, he let my b-Pawn become connected passed pawn. And after my K entered his K-side, the game was over. He had to let go his Knight for my h-pawn.
c) Another time I visited a cross-town chess club. In a tournament, an expert playing white had Bishop and 2 Pawns versus his sub-1700 opponent who had lone R. All white pieces had reached or passed mid-field with his Pawns on g5 and h6. It was about the adjournment time. The tournament director, also a chess master, came by to observe the game during the black piece player considered his sealed move. I waited for the master to study the position for 20-30 seconds, and then I pulled him aside and whispered to him that the game was a draw. He said, "No, white is winning." I then answered that all black had to do was to give check to white K via the back-rank and trade his R for white g-Pawn (white could not block the check by his B!); white was left with the wrong colored B! That was the first and only time I could show-off my "computing prowess" to a master, ;-). The story didn't end here. While the sub-1700 player was working out his sealed move, the expert said, "It doesn't take much longer, let's play a few more moves." I think, the expert felt regrettable for saying that so he immediately corrected, "Let's get together over the weekend and finish our game." Now isn't it something? I just learned a lesson on how a chess player should treat an inferior opponent!

Three examples above show that endgame experience can be really important and fun. Now let us go back to the book FCE. This book is masterwork. The cover is beautifully designed. The book is reasonable size and light. It is larger than The Amateur's Mind both in size and content, but is more comfortable to handle. The content table in front and the table of database on the back provide two quick ways to search for the positions of interest. The analysis is professionally deep. The explanation of each chapter and section is very clear and easy to follow. The font, the diagrams, and layout are very handsome. This book doesn't have as much examples as Fine's BCE, but the critical positions are all here, and the analysis is much deeper and more accurate. Almost all the positions are from actual games so they are very realistic. For correspondent games, I often search this book for the endgames like Q + Ps, R + Ps, Minor Piece endings. Before I have FCE, I used BCE mainly, but BCE doesn't have enough diagrams and is dated. It may take me at least 5 complete years to study this book; and Fine, at least 10 years. This book is classic (I hope the paper and spine will last long for at least 20 years), I don't mind to have an extra copy to write the experimental notes.
Ten stars  Feb 6, 2005
If you are looking for the definitive one-volume endgame manual, this is the book, make no mistake. FCE is sensational. Somehow the authors have achieved the almost super-human feat of writing a monumental reference work that is at the same time instructive and readable. As well as explaining the techniques and principles of thousands of endgames, the authors have even gone to the trouble of inserting numberous tests and puzzles. It is obvious they really care about the reader assimilating the material.
As the project was meticulously checked by computer program, and the typesetter was John Nunn, it is safe to say the quality of analysis and assessments is as close to perfection as is possible. The book belongs in the library of anyone who takes chess seriously.

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