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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) How to study rook endgames (Read 8771 times)
Laramonet
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Re: How to study rook endgames
Reply #13 - 03/15/20 at 20:06:05
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I'm currently putting some effort into rook endings. In general, like lots of players, I found enthusiasm for the study of endings hard to come by. Silman helped with that and boosted my confidence. Much like openings, I believe the internal feel is key to playing better. I had never really used You Tube videos but have found John Batholomew and Ben Finegold very watchable and thorough. For rook endings in particular, watching these videos, along with Seirawan and Polgar, has pushed my interest and I have now finished the long owned but only now read "Starting Out: Rook Endgames" by Chris Ward. I recommend it but as with other things, getting the book that makes you keen to read it is the key.
  
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JhF
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Re: How to study rook endgames
Reply #12 - 05/19/10 at 09:35:59
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LeeRoth wrote on 05/16/10 at 16:19:15:
See if you can find a copy of Mednis's Practical Rook Endings.  It's short, sweet, and all you need.


LeeRoth, I can confirm what you say now as I found this book second hand.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: How to study rook endgames
Reply #11 - 05/17/10 at 17:14:05
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One might think that having a good grasp of the material in "Chess Endings:  Essential Knowledge" would already put you beyond most 1700 players.
  
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Anders
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Re: How to study rook endgames
Reply #10 - 05/17/10 at 16:29:28
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Fromper wrote on 05/17/10 at 14:37:26:
Anders wrote on 05/16/10 at 18:13:28:
One option is also Karsten Muellers "Chess Endgames 2, Rook Endgames".

A DVD in the ChessBase fritztrainer endgame series.

/ A

How is that series? I've been considering getting some of those DVD's, but I keep thinking I should finish reading Silman's Complete Endgame Course before spending any more money on endgame material. For a player at my level (1700's until recently, but dropping fast), I'm thinking Silman's book is probably enough for now - at least until I finish it.



I think the choice may be a matter of which actually stimulates you to do the work.  If you like working with the Silman book my guess (I have not read it) would be that is most likely sufficient study material.


Some however also learn things better seeing and hearing.

With regard to the series I mentioned there is a thread which started out discussing Karsten Muellers speaking style but which also contains several opinions about the series.

http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1245771942

I have two of the

1) Basic knowledge for beginners
2) Rook Endgames

The first starts out with basics like mating with different combinations of pieces and then continues with fundamentals of pawn endings (rule of the square, opposition, triangulation..), bishop vs knight endings, queen vs pawn, and bishops endings with the same and opposite colors.

The above is probably good for most to rehearse once in a while and sounds like a good fit for you if one exclude parts of the first section.

The second deals only with rook endings and goes through all that most people need to know about rook endings.

Personnally I quite like this series.

/ A
  
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Fromper
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Re: How to study rook endgames
Reply #9 - 05/17/10 at 14:37:26
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Anders wrote on 05/16/10 at 18:13:28:
One option is also Karsten Muellers "Chess Endgames 2, Rook Endgames".

A DVD in the ChessBase fritztrainer endgame series.

/ A

How is that series? I've been considering getting some of those DVD's, but I keep thinking I should finish reading Silman's Complete Endgame Course before spending any more money on endgame material. For a player at my level (1700's until recently, but dropping fast), I'm thinking Silman's book is probably enough for now - at least until I finish it.
  

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Anders
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Re: How to study rook endgames
Reply #8 - 05/16/10 at 18:13:28
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One option is also Karsten Muellers "Chess Endgames 2, Rook Endgames".

A DVD in the ChessBase fritztrainer endgame series.

/ A
  
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Re: How to study rook endgames
Reply #7 - 05/16/10 at 16:19:15
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See if you can find a copy of Mednis's Practical Rook Endings.  It's short, sweet, and all you need.
  
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Re: How to study rook endgames
Reply #6 - 05/16/10 at 15:32:44
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As I said I was not always happy with Emms' explanations. So you might consider Dvoretsky or indeed Levenfish/Smyslov instead as the next step after Snape (Averbakh alone would likely be TMI). It's your choice.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: How to study rook endgames
Reply #5 - 05/15/10 at 23:38:57
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Btw, my bible for Rook endings is .... ummm...

Rook Endings by Levenfish and Smyslov. The critical positions are explained clearly, and I found it entertaining. But then, take a look at my handle.
  
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Re: How to study rook endgames
Reply #4 - 05/15/10 at 23:25:59
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Thank you both for your personal advice taken from your own experience of rook endgames. Like Smyslov_Fan suggests I am going to begin with Snape's book to learn the very basics. After that I will study Emms book together with Averbakh and finally I hope to be able to tackle Korchnoi's book. Hopefully by then I have very good rook endgame technique!
  
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Re: How to study rook endgames
Reply #3 - 05/14/10 at 21:17:06
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The Korchnoi book is considered very advanced.

I have looked at the Snape book; he definitely tries to be simple (and that's a good thing for the market he targets). A good intermediate step between Chess Endings Made Easy and Korchnoi is the rook endings chapter from Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual (and preferably the 2nd edition, since there were some changes in that chapter).

My basic source for rook endings (originally somewhat randomly chosen) has been Emms' Survival Guide to Rook Endings. In the end I really like his choices of what endings to cover (he went for practical value and basically covered everything he had encountered in his own games), but often find his explanations of what's going on vague or incomplete.

So my usual method now is to take positions from Emms' book and then compare his explanations to other authors, typically Dvoretsky (Endgame Manual) and Averbakh (Rook Endings)! The latter's work is often maligned as being "dry" and "boring". OK it's a big encyclopedia and most people (me included) won't go through every position, but Averbakh is actually a great teacher. There is now also an updated edition of his entire Comprehensive Chess Endings on DVD. For the particular endgame R+p vs R I have also used Nunn's Secrets of Rook Endings. Again an encyclopedia, but Nunn points out at the end of every chapter which positions are the really useful ones to study.

Emms' book was praised for his in-depth coverage of "4 vs 3" and "5 vs 4" rook endings, and on those it may still be the best (though Korchnoi's is even better for advanced players).
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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JhF
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Re: How to study rook endgames
Reply #2 - 05/14/10 at 20:18:50
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Thank you Smyslov_Fan, I take it you know rook endgames well and have read Korchnoi's book.

"Chess Endings Made Simple" covers the basics and I am really a fan of this book. In fact, it is so simple to understand I am starting to worry that it does not explain everything I need to know. For example, when it comes to position with 3-4 pawns vs 2-3 pawns on one side of the board the author does not give any concrete winning or drawing techniques, rather he gives some general advice such as:

For the defending side
1)Make sure the king is in contact with its pawns
2)Place the rook as actively as possible, round the back/side of the opposing king.
3)Make sure the pawn structure is allows for some manoeuvering room but is not so weakened as to be vulnerableto pawn-thrusts or entry by the enemy king.
4)Sit tight with the king and pawns and force the attacker to exchange pawns and open up his king if he wants to make progress.

Is this because the book tries to be as simple as possible or are there no concrete rules of how to win/draw such endgames?
  
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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: How to study rook endgames
Reply #1 - 05/14/10 at 17:53:04
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As with anything, begin with the basics.

Learn the Philidor and Lucena positions backwards and forwards. Study R+rook Pawn vs R.  Study when a lone pawn can beat a rook, then study R vs 2P positions.

When you're done with those, then you can start adding pawns. I actually jump from Lucena, Philidor and R+a&c pawns vs R to R+3 vs R+4Ps, with each side having 3 pawns on the Kside, and the extra a-pawn.

When you've mastered that, go back to Philidor and Lucena.  Then go on to 4 vs 3 all on one side.

Then go on to other classics.  Remember, Capa claimed to have learned 200 Rook endings by heart.  If you just learn those few, you will already approach mastery!

Do not study Korchnoi's book on endgames until you have completely mastered the basics! Even he states that he expects the reader to know the basics before tackling his book!
  
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JhF
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How to study rook endgames
05/14/10 at 16:16:25
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What is the best way of studying rook endgames? That is something I am asking myself right now.

I have Chess Endings made simple which covers rook endgames in only 21 pages. It has two parts and covers the following themes:

Rook vs. Pawn(s) endgames
The shoulder charge reprised
The rook cut-off
Standard winning technique
Forcing underpromotion
The strange case of the rook's pawn
The strength of the king
Rook vs. two connected pawns

Rook and pawn endgames
Basic technique of rook deployment
Lucena position
Third rank defence (Philidor position)
Forcing the king in front of the pawn
The frontal defence
Short-side defence
The rook's pawn and Vancura position
The swinging rook
Rook and two pawns vs. rook
Rook and two pawns vs. rook and pawn
Rook and four/three pawns vs. rook and three/two pawns (no passed pawns)
Practical examples

I have internalised this information and played the endgames out against a computer but I am not sure if it is enough to master rook endgames in practice. Therefore I have plans of studying Practical rook endgames by Korchnoi as well.

Are there any other books that you feel are indispensible to understanding rook endgames that add something that the above books do not cover?
  
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