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Interesting endgame studies books
keywords: Studies
Robert Pawlak
Monday, December 08, 2003

As some of you are probably aware, I have a soft spot for puzzle-format books, and I'm also a fan of the endgame study. Furthermore, I feel that the best chess books are those that can easily be taken on trips, and read when circumstances are favorable.


[covers]I originally got the first of these books from Chess Digest (then charging $10 USD per volume). At the time, I was a little dismayed at the cost, for what was essentially a 50 page book. But then Convekta started offering the rest of the books in the series for 1/3 the cost, and I decided to get all of them. Frankly, I was glad I did, because these have become some of my favorites. Each one discusses the studies of a particular endgame study composer. There is a short biography at the beginning of each book, followed by a selection of 100 problems, with four problems on each page. The graphics below show you what you can expect in terms of diagrams (I've only shown a couple, for technical reasons) and solutions.

[Rinck problems]


[Rinck solution]

So far, there have been six books released in the series. Leonid Kubbel, Alexey Troitzky, Richard Reti & Jindrich Fritz, Sam Loyd, Henry Rinck, and the Platov brothers have all been subjects. I don't know if other books are planned, but I hope that this is the case. When these were first offered, there was only a single three volume set.


I'm not sure about you, but I've seen various endgame study books recommended on the net. One of these is Kasparian's "Domination", which appears to be a classic. However, I have an extremely difficult time understanding many of Kasparian's studies. In fact, I believe him to be an alien from another planet, since some his studies are so incredibly rich, twisted, and complex. But I digress here. What I am trying to say is that these books are much more accessible than "Domination". While they probably don't make a good starting point for absolute beginner's, they are very good for those that have had at least a passing exposure to this type of chess problem.


I also like these books for more mundane, practical reasons. First of all, the paper is quite thick, and all the diagrams and solutions are well typeset and easy on the eyes. Each book is also only 4"x6", and quite thin, which means they easily go in most shirt pockets. Each also has a stiff cloth cover, which makes for durability.


To make a long story short, these books are an excellent idea for any endgame fan, and are especially great for those that travel.


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