Karsten Muller's 'Secret of Pawn Endings'...

Ziggy_Zugzwang

Phew. I must have spent around the last two years working slowly through this book. At that rate I may just work through my entire chess book collection by the time I'm 500 years old...

 

The main thing I've learnt is a certain humility with regard to pawn endings. Many are certainly not trivial. Many of the test positions are those that the masters have slipped up on. I recommend this book. I embarked on this journey because it seems that King and pawn endings seem to me to be the atoms of our science or like the bricks in a building. Just like chess generally, analysis is the order of the day, guided by certain familiarities.

 

I still don't understand or am able to implement the notion of 'corresponding squares', a key concept that few chess ending books have.

 

Some of the king maneuvers are astonishing. I'm thinking of incredible distant oppositions, the need for the king to be 'fleet footed' and either stop enemy pawns or support his own. The need for the move, including the useful idea that pawn on their own square often bequeath the owner the luxury of enforcing zugzwang by 'losing a move'. Outside candidates and pawn majorities are also something one needs to get to grips with.

 

My next project is Dvoretsky's Endgame manual. I hope to report back on this within the next five years!

Ziggy_Zugzwang
[COMMENT DELETED]
torrubirubi
Ziggy_Zugzwang wrote:

Phew. I must have spent around the last two years working slowly through this book. At that rate I may just work through my entire chess book collection by the time I'm 500 years old...

 

The main thing I've learnt is a certain humility with regard to pawn endings. Many are certainly not trivial. Many of the test positions are those that the masters have slipped up on. I recommend this book. I embarked on this journey because it seems that King and pawn endings seem to me to be the atoms of our science or like the bricks in a building. Just like chess generally, analysis is the order of the day, guided by certain familiarities.

 

I still don't understand or am able to implement the notion of 'corresponding squares', a key concept that few chess ending books have.

 

Some of the king maneuvers are astonishing. I'm thinking of incredible distant oppositions, the need for the king to be 'fleet footed' and either stop enemy pawns or support his own. The need for the move, including the useful idea that pawn on their own square often bequeath the owner the luxury of enforcing zugzwang by 'losing a move'. Outside candidates and pawn majorities are also something one needs to get to grips with.

 

My next project is Dvoretsky's Endgame manual. I hope to report back on this within the next five years!

And, did you finish Mueller’s book? Did you already start with DEM? Which are the main differences from your point of view? I have the impression that Mueller explains some concepts with more details.

Ziggy_Zugzwang

I finished Mueller's book yes :-) I  haven't started DEM. I've reached a stage in my life where I've studied chess so much that I've met and long surpassed the law of diminishing returns threshold point as far as chess study is concerned :-)

torrubirubi
Ziggy_Zugzwang wrote:

I finished Mueller's book yes :-) I  haven't started DEM. I've reached a stage in my life where I've studied chess so much that I've met and long surpassed the law of diminishing returns threshold point as far as chess study is concerned :-)

I think the next step for me to improve is to quit online chess, analyse all my losses, or at least a part of it, refresh my repertoire and begin to playin a chess club, perhaps after finding a good coach who can  tell me how to study / analyse. You know, self study is funny and rewarding, but we can speed things up with the right help.

Josimar73

concerning corresponding squares: you might want to look up Averbakh's volume on pawn endgames (final chapter) which adds some more examples. For german readers there is also a reprint of the original work by marcel duchamp “Opposition und Schwesterfelder“ available.

torrubirubi
Josimar73 wrote:

concerning corresponding squares: you might want to look up Averbakh's volume on pawn endgames (final chapter) which adds some more examples. For german readers there is also a reprint of the original work by marcel duchamp “Opposition und Schwesterfelder“ available.

I have some books by Averbakh, I will check if I have this. Thanks.

Josimar73
torrubirubi wrote:

I have some books by Averbakh, I will check if I have this. Thanks.

You want to look for Juri Awerbach "Bauernendspiele"

--> for English readers it is: Averbakh, Maizalis, Zinar: "Comprehensive Chess Endings Volume 4 Pawn Endings" - Chapter 10 - The Theory of Corresponding Square Systems (written by M. Zinar)

torrubirubi
Josimar73 wrote:
torrubirubi wrote:

I have some books by Averbakh, I will check if I have this. Thanks.

You want to look for Juri Awerbach "Bauernendspiele"

--> for English readers it is: Averbakh, Maizalis, Zinar: "Comprehensive Chess Endings Volume 4 Pawn Endings" - Chapter 10 - The Theory of Corresponding Square Systems (written by M. Zinar)

I have this book in my library. According to Awerbach the chapter 10 is written for very good players (hochqualifizierte Spieler).

Dvoretsky wrote that the book is from high quality.

 

Is interesting to compare Awerbach, Karsten and DEM. In the chapter on corresponding square systems we can see a study by Lockock, which was also used by Karsten and Lamprecht. I am talking about this because I spent some time some years ago to understand the stuff, and I gave up. I will try again, of course. I didn’t find this position in DEM (in DEM Dvoretsky used Fahrni -Alapin 1912 to explain the logic of corresponding squares, a much simple position). 

It is really amazing how many different systems of corresponding squares we can find in Awerbach’s book!  Chapter 10 was mainly used in adjourned games or correspondence games, but probably not much to prepare a player for practical game - there are too many and too complicated examples.

ToddA10

I read it in like 4 months, then forgot most of it like most books. I heard the Dvorestski's book could literally take you years.

torrubirubi
Klauer wrote:It is fun to know more about it. But it is very hard to understand and remember everything. You have to repeat and repeat. M. Sinar (also written Zinar) was a first category player specializing in pawn endings. He did this as a young man and then all his life if I have understood correctly. So it should be possible to get it, but only with a lot of work.

I got the basics from Dworetzki and repeat them over the years. This helps me to see what its about and meanwhile I recognize some studies and am able to resolve them. Mastering the stuff would need more work. Awerbach's chapter 10 seemed too complicated when I tried it short after the book was in the shops.

With my knowledge today I recommend starting with a text you understand. Duchamps is not easy. Start a file or a carddeck with some studies you find fascinating. Then repeat

Thanks Klauer.

I am planing to take one or two complicated positions of Awerbach’s book and study  them until I understand everything. I mean, I should be able to set the positions,  to show the correlating squares, the method to find them,  and play them successfully against an engine.

In the meantime I am going slowly through Dvoretsky’s book. I just go quick through the variations (in Chessable), next day I see which lines I didn’t understand and read the explanations in the physical book (in French, as I am trying also improve my French). This job is my main priority at the moment, and it takes a lot of time to digest the material. But I like it. Some pawn endgames are really interesting, and a lot of them I would play completly wrong without the specific knowledge.