Created Thursday 07 December 2017
This ebook is a follow up to endgame ebooks 'Bishop endgames - Do the opposites Attract' and 'Rook and Knight Endgames - Strategy and Tactics'. The idea behind this series is the approach that Nimzowitsch called 'a radioactive method' - selecting a rather narrow topic, and by learning a lot about it, improve one's overall understanding of chess.
This book is dedicated to rook endgames, but the goal is to provide a more broad illustration for how a chess player should go about studying any type of endgame. The steps that I found effective and that a lot of other chess players and coaches recommend are as follows:
- Identify and understand most common general principles guiding a specific type of endgames
- Find a few important theoretical positions that should be well studied and memorized
- Study your own games related to this type of endgames
Elaborating on the last point, the path between short term memory and long term memorization lies via the part of the brain responsible for emotions, so we best remember ideas that stem from our own tournament practice. For that reason your own games should be the trigger for studying endgame theory, with the steps above serving as a blueprint. This book will walk you through these steps for endgames with rook and connected two pawns vs. rook and one pawn where the pawns on different flanks. In the summer of 2000, the author had two endgames with this material balance against national masters in the same tournament, which led to study these endgames in great detail, turning into a great learning experience. Reviewing the analysis many years later with the use of the latest computer software - has also produced new discoveries.