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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Rook endings, Mednis or Emms? (Read 8363 times)
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #25 - 09/26/17 at 04:02:49
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Jupp53 wrote on 09/23/17 at 23:05:06:
What's really important:

If you've got the idea you should adapt the method to your personal way of learning and practicing.

Nothing of this is really new. Look at the recommendation of soviet chess trainers to have a notebook to fix your ideas. It is a "natural" way to order thoughts and with high probability you will do this fitting your style.

Yes.  Of course am only just beginning with this, but one thing have noticed right away is that as am more consciously verbalizing what I see as am analysing positions the language is more accessible and able to be formed into useful ideas worthy of noting as they present themselves through analysis. 

Have verbalized many times before while trying to understand positions and guess I've found it useful sometimes, but never really realized how potentially beneficial it could be to consistently use the technique whenever working at the board.

Am enthusiastic - even a bit excited - to see just how much this will aid my studies once delve deeper into the method as you describe it. 

Though they may not be new, I'm so thankful you thought to share these ideas here!  Believe this is going to be quite helpful in my efforts to better perceive, and enjoy chess.   

Cheers!

  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #24 - 09/23/17 at 23:05:06
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What's really important:

If you've got the idea you should adapt the method to your personal way of learning and practicing.

Nothing of this is really new. Look at the recommendation of soviet chess trainers to have a notebook to fix your ideas. It is a "natural" way to order thoughts and with high probability you will do this fitting your style.
  

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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #23 - 09/22/17 at 00:24:38
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@dfan, seems like Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics is something would enjoy and could possibly benefit a little from even while still working though Silman.    


@Jupp53, thank you very much for clarifying these ideas and the examples!   Believe was able to understand most everything, but true understanding will probably come only after having used these methods for awhile.  While feel like must have been doing a few of these things on some level the only one can say I've consciously and actively focused on is
"Second rule: Elaborate first yourself, then check, then make corrections."  Am looking forward to working these learning techniques into my chess studies as well as others.

Thanks again, hope you are feeling better soon!
  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #22 - 09/20/17 at 21:27:55
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@ passiffity
Pardon me. As this is the rook endings sub-forum I wanted to take a rook ending and I have only finished the first round of pawn endings. An small infection made me sleep very much each day.
----------------
First rule: Take your time for each position.
Second rule: Elaborate first yourself, then check, then make corrections.
Third rule: Build phrases, that help you find solutions in similar positions.

Why?
Rule 1 and 2 - Our mind keeps better what we worked about. Simple reading is fast forgetting.
Rule 2 - We have several channels for storing material. 75% till 80% use images. (I belong to the minority). Some use acoustical information, some kinesthetic information, some taste and smell. So it is useful to find your way of playing through the lines and using your personal repertoire of memorizing and understanding.
Rule 3 - We organize our knowledge by features and rules about it. If you follow the example, you will probably instantly see the point of verbalizing therefore. As I explain this for the first time this way I may go terribly wrong with this idea. So don't be shy with asking questions.

* * * * * * * *
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* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
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*

Look at this position. Maybe you know it. Then work out the deciding line with white to move. Then build a phrase when it is won or lost.
Work out the second line with black to move. What makes the difference?

White to move:
1. Rg5 a4 2.Kg7 a3 3.Rg3 a2 4.Ra3 and wins.

My sentences: Rg5 cuts off the king from the pawn. So white can approach the king or attack the black pawn if it advances.

Black to move:
1. .. Kb5 2.Rg4 a4 3.Kg7 a3 4.Kf6 (4.Rg3 Kb4 =) a2 5.Rg1 Kb4 6.Ke5 Kb3 7.Kd4 Kb2=

My sentence: If the black king can protect the progressing pawn and is not disturbed by the white king this ends in a draw.

Then I build a spreadsheet with categories. These are:
- Rook against single pawn
- Active king
- Absperrung (verbal translation blockade - but "Blockade" means something else in german)

At the moment I try out working with a mind map too, ordering the categories to endings. This is experimental so I don't know if this works.
--------------
Maybe it's too much adoo for the younger ones. As I'm in the 60th now I need more work about a position to really understand, what's going on.  Undecided

Edit: The features of the starting position here are rook against pawn. King far away.
  

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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #21 - 09/16/17 at 16:34:15
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When I suggested a browse through Averbakh or the like, I wasn't thinking that one would actually really learn any useful techniques from it; I just think it can be useful to skim a book just to see what the topics are.

I kind of feel like van Perlo deals with more typical situations than many theoretical endgame books! In a way this is true almost by definition since his positions come from actual games. But I do think the main benefit of it is for inspiration and entertainment.
  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #20 - 09/16/17 at 01:37:14
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ReneDescartes wrote on 09/14/17 at 16:22:46:
I think you might have difficulty benefiting  from a quick reading of Averbach or of any technical endgame book. One function of Silman's Groucho-Marx-like writing style is to slow you down whether you like it or not. The difficulty is inherent in the subject matter.

You wouldn't recommend a quick reading of a book of difficult tactics problems, would you? That might work with strategic concepts, but not with intricate technical processes. It would be like doing a quick reading of a book on techniques of integration in calculus. I happen to like doing that sort of slow study, but many people don't. That's one reason it gives you such a big advantage if you know your stuff.

By the way, I think the Van Perlo is a little advanced--you might find some of the solutions hard to follow. Even more so the studies in Kasparyan--understanding the solutions (and learning from the mechanisms) requires painstaking work, let alone solving the studies.

Furthermore, these two books, beautiful as they are, don't deal with the most typical situations, unlike Silman, De la Villa, etc.


Good points.  Thanks!  Will most probably go with original thought of adding De la Villa and Averbach and work through them enough  to see how they might appropriately be added to study plan.  Know I want supplement Silman with something. 

Sounds like pretty much can't go wrong with Mednis PRE so will add this also.

These books should satisfy my hunger to study or just enjoy endgames for a long time with good practical benefits.  Perhaps somewhere down the road will try Hellsten's "Mastering Endgame Strategy" too, does sound quite interesting.

  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #19 - 09/14/17 at 16:22:46
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I think you might have difficulty benefiting  from a quick reading of Averbach or of any technical endgame book. One function of Silman's Groucho-Marx-like writing style is to slow you down whether you like it or not. The difficulty is inherent in the subject matter.

You wouldn't recommend a quick reading of a book of difficult tactics problems, would you? That might work with strategic concepts, but not with intricate technical processes. It would be like doing a quick reading of a book on techniques of integration in calculus. I happen to like doing that sort of slow study, but many people don't. That's one reason it gives you such a big advantage if you know your stuff.

By the way, I think the Van Perlo is a little advanced--you might find some of the solutions hard to follow. Even more so the studies in Kasparyan--understanding the solutions (and learning from the mechanisms) requires painstaking work, let alone solving the studies.

Furthermore, these two books, beautiful as they are, don't deal with the most typical situations, unlike Silman, De la Villa, etc.
  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #18 - 09/14/17 at 00:23:21
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Jupp53 wrote on 09/13/17 at 15:02:26:
@passiffity

Give me some days to elaborate an example.

Sure, and thank you for taking the time to do so Jupp53.


Little update.  Have decided not to go through Seirawan's book and focus instead on Silman, and Capablanca's Best Chess Endings by Chernev since have already started on these two.  Would have liked to work through the Seirawan book but it was on loan from library and didn't like the idea of not being able to refer back to it if need be.  Once am through first reading of Silman, one chapter past my rating level will work through it again and begin a fairly quick read through of Chess Endings by Averbakh as dfan suggested.  Will be interesting to find out where there is to go after that.
  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #17 - 09/13/17 at 15:02:26
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@passiffity

Give me some days to elaborate an example.
  

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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #16 - 09/12/17 at 02:40:55
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Thank you ReneDescartes and Jupp53, some interesting and encouraging points you both raise.

@Jupp53, could you possibly elaborate a little bit on this strategy of taking verbal notes?  It sounds like you have a good deal of experience, and this isn't something I would do naturally.

@dfan, yes, had thought to add a book on endgames for pleasure/entertainment but wasn't sure which of the three I knew about would be best at my level and or more useful overall. 

Of course Van Perlo's "Endgame Tactics" was one of three and I know it is highly praised.

"Pal Benko's Endgame Laboratory" don't know so much about other then was a fan of his Endgame Lab column in Chess Life magazine which believe the book is simply a compilation of these articles, so am guessing it might be a fairly mixed bag.

Kasparyan's "Domination in 2,545 Endgame Studies" sounds quite interesting and is also much delighted in but haven't any notion of it's difficulty in comparison to the others.



  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #15 - 09/09/17 at 17:44:22
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When going through a data base of games starting historically, you will find a high rate of misplayed pawn endings. As this here is rook endings I add - If I were good at rook endings I'm sure to find the same. This stuff only looks simple.
  

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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #14 - 09/08/17 at 08:14:17
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Jupp53 wrote on 09/07/17 at 22:58:44:
winning by waiting for a wrong pawn move.

Reminds me of this game. In chess, even the simple stuff is difficult.

  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #13 - 09/07/17 at 22:58:44
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Endings was something I went through as a child in the Mieses/Dufresne. The pawn endings made me win many points, because I experienced under 1800 many situations were my opponents simply blundered the game by a stupid pawn move.

The disadvantage was in the success. I simply waited for my opponents to blunder and they did so often, that I just had no real pain from the losses against the attacking players. I grew up exchanging queens, open a file, exchanging rooks and winning by waiting for a wrong pawn move. There weren't any trainers out there.

As a youth trainer and a professional psychologist I can tell you one main point for selecting the book or the books for your training: Take the one giving you the best impression of being fun! If it's fun you will come back. Chess is a hobby, so there will be breaks.

Additional hints:
- Take notes, v e r b a l  notes, to summuarize, what you learnt or knew. In adults minds this works better. Children beyond ten normally don't profit as much from this strategy.
- If you like to flip through different books, center your flipping around your notes. Organize the notes your personal way.
- My personal favorite of the four books you listed is De La Villa. Silman would be a killer of endgame studies for me. But that's a matter of taste. Averbakh would be the repetition and expansion of De La Villa for me and Mednis the test book on the road. Order the books in your personal way!
  

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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #12 - 09/06/17 at 13:33:45
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ReneDescartes wrote on 09/06/17 at 00:11:43:
For what it's worth, there are many who disagree with the idea that endgames are of only marginal use under 2000. To begin with, I would cite Capablanca, Tarrasch, and the Russian school.

As the first person to reply (with a bit of cold water) to the original post, let me emphasize that I agree that endgames are plenty useful under 2000. I just don't think that usual "devour the encyclopedia" method of studying endgames is a good way of going about it, which is why I recommend
  • Silman for the theoretical stuff (up to your rank or a little beyond)
  • Hellsten for strategy (I would not be scared off by the review on Amazon claiming that this is only for experts)
and I will add one more!
  • Van Perlo for entertainment, inspiration, and a survey of tactical themes
I think that this endgame library is sufficient all the way to 2000, if not beyond.

Of course, for anyone who derives pleasure from dutifully making their way through endgame textbooks, I wouldn't want to dissuade them. Anything that feeds your excitement about chess can't be too bad.
  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #11 - 09/06/17 at 00:11:43
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For what it's worth, there are many who disagree with the idea that endgames are of only marginal use under 2000. To begin with, I would cite Capablanca, Tarrasch, and the Russian school.

In my experience, players who seldom reach endgames are caught in a vicious cycle of favoring sharp lines that do not reach endgames partly because they do not know much about endgames partly because they seldom reach endgames...

If you are open to the possibility of trading into decent endgames voluntarily, then that opportunity will come up constantly--as often as good attacking combinations. A good endgame player can even make it his primary repertoire choice to play, for example, the Ruy Lopez Exchange, absorbing Black's activity and pressing in the endgame.

It is perfectly possible for a player well under 2000 to develop the ability frequently to convert a one-pawn advantage against opponents of equal strength in minor-piece endgames once he is "tactically sound"---not hanging material to simple combinations--a level which Heisman, who knows a thing or two about weak players, places at around 1600 USCF.

But even before that point, endgame skill (I claim that technical skill will lead to strategic skill to a large degree) will often be useful. If that were not so, how could endgames skills be so useful in blitz, where there is no question of tactical soundness?

In fact, it will be harder to get to 1800 if you are relatively incompetent at even one major skill--attack, defense, endgames, openings, creating and exploiting pawn structure problems (this is so much of strategy, but largely dependent on endgame competence!), etc. Many players manage it; but their life is harder than it has to be, whether they know it or not. As a chess author I know said to me privately, "the more you fear a spot, the more the ball will find it."

I would go farther than that. Nigel Davies says that once a player (for example, an older player) nears his limit in calculation and visualization, he can still improve in the endgame, which Davies calls "the other big gun." I agree.
« Last Edit: 09/06/17 at 11:36:25 by ReneDescartes »  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #10 - 08/29/17 at 04:50:55
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ErictheRed wrote on 08/29/17 at 02:49:38:
You're already working through four books; why not finish them and then decide what to work on next?  By then, you may be able to answer these questions on your own.

You may be right.  Had a pretty good idea coming in what I needed, and thanks to the thoughtful responses here now have an even better understanding of what material I should spend time with. 

Thanks again all!  Will report back how things progressed, perhaps it would be helpful to someone beginning a similar course.
  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #9 - 08/29/17 at 04:27:02
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 08/29/17 at 00:40:50:
What IsaVulpes wrote is correct as far as it goes, but is not the whole story.
  • Some openings give rise to typical endgames, so studying those endgames will improve your opening play.
  • A solid endgame ability will improve one's confidence in nearly any middlegame. After all, the objective of a well-played middlegame is to reach a won ending. Even a player faced with a "mating attack" can often reach an endgame by shedding more or less material. So whether one is attacking or defending, endgame skill is useful.
  • Endgames teach tactics! Endgame studies are especially good for teaching tactical imagination.

I don't think your endgame study plan is overkill at all. In fact I would add a book on studies. A couple of good ones that should be available are:
  • Jeno Ban, The Tactics of End-games - a real eye-opener for tactics.
  • Sutherland & Lommer, 1234 Modern End-game Studies - just doing the pawn endings will keep you busy for a long time.
There are others.

Thank you for sharing these ideas.  Some of the ones you mention are part of the reason am eager for a well rounded endgame education.

Had planned on taking advantage of chesstempo's endgame studies after completing my first endgame book (Seirawan) but am always interested in knowing about more books for my level and hadn't heard of the ones you mention here, will look definitely into them.
  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #8 - 08/29/17 at 02:49:38
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You're already working through four books; why not finish them and then decide what to work on next?  By then, you may be able to answer these questions on your own.
  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #7 - 08/29/17 at 00:40:50
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What IsaVulpes wrote is correct as far as it goes, but is not the whole story.
  • Some openings give rise to typical endgames, so studying those endgames will improve your opening play.
  • A solid endgame ability will improve one's confidence in nearly any middlegame. After all, the objective of a well-played middlegame is to reach a won ending. Even a player faced with a "mating attack" can often reach an endgame by shedding more or less material. So whether one is attacking or defending, endgame skill is useful.
  • Endgames teach tactics! Endgame studies are especially good for teaching tactical imagination.

I don't think your endgame study plan is overkill at all. In fact I would add a book on studies. A couple of good ones that should be available are:
  • Jeno Ban, The Tactics of End-games - a real eye-opener for tactics.
  • Sutherland & Lommer, 1234 Modern End-game Studies - just doing the pawn endings will keep you busy for a long time.
There are others.
  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #6 - 08/28/17 at 22:40:59
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Thanks IsaVulpes, these are interesting points you make, and they make sense to me so don't doubt them. 

The thing is (and perhaps this is misguided) I already spend much if not most of my study time solving tactics or going over master games trying to decipher middle game plans (take in the tactical shots that always arise) and do try to review my games as much as possible (am allergic to opening study) so, if there is one other thing to add to my studies it's endgames and indeed chess endings are a part of the game I enjoy and find quite fascinating.  To tell the truth, have romanticized the idea of working to become strong (for my level) at this part of the game and from many things I've read, thought this would be very useful even for 4th or 3rd category players.  But from what you explain it seems such study definitely has it's limits in utility even at 2nd category. 

This is a little disappointing, but good to know now before investing a lot of time working on something when efforts could be better spent to help give me a greater understanding of chess and increase my enjoyment, competence and competitiveness at this amazing sport.  Would definitely appreciate hearing more on the amount of endgame study useful for category players.  If am understanding the responses so far it sounds like even the three books Seirawan, Silman and Averbakh might be a little overkill and anything beyond these would mostly be for the pleasure of perusing endgames themselves.
« Last Edit: 08/29/17 at 04:31:59 by passiffity »  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #5 - 08/28/17 at 20:33:34
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If you truly don't think you will ever reach 1800 (whyever that would be), I think this is already way too much material; let alone do you need more.
I'm at that level, and I know basic pawn endings (KP vs K, "The outside passer wins", "Connected Passers are god"), to put Rooks on the 7th, that King+Bishop+Pawn vs King is draw if its a wrong coloured promotion square and a rook pawn, how to win Queen vs King+PawnOnThe7th -- and that's about it.

I barely ever reach endgames in the first place (or if, then ones where I'm 3 pawns up or a piece down or somesuch, where knowing endgames or not doesn't really change the outcome of the game), so even those few things I know don't tend to come into play too often -- and outside of Rapid/Blitz, it's generally possible to calculate your way around to a decent continuation.
 
Depending on your opening repertoire, general playstyle, etc that may be different for you, but the general gist stays the same - getting some opening knowledge, positional understanding, and tactics tactics tactics is wayyyy more important than any kind of theoretical (or practical) endgame knowledge IMO; as those things will actually be useful in every game, while endgames you may practice for endless hours and then never reach.

Endgames become important when you (and your opponents) actually make so few errors in the earlier parts of the game that you regularly reach them, AND your opponents actually know enough about them that you need to keep pace (ie if you don't know how to draw KR vs KRP, but your opponents also don't know how to win KRP vs KR, the lack of knowledge doesn't really hurt you); which from my experience isn't the case until a good bit beyond 2000+.
  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #4 - 08/28/17 at 20:21:57
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Paddy wrote on 08/28/17 at 19:25:16:
I think Mednis's little book is still a very good place to start exploring the topic of rook endings.

The theory part is digestible, the explanations are good and there are many practical examples of how to apply the theory.

If you can find a copy at a decent price, buy it! - it's a little gem.

Yes, this is another reason wanted to address this now, while it appears the Mednis book is out of print one can still find used copies for under $30 (don't know if that would be true in the time it takes to work through the general endgame books already mentioned). Thank you Paddy.

One other thing am curious about is how much additional material would be adding to that already covered in those general endgame books.  For example would it worth acquiring both Mednis and Emms (or perhaps just Mednis and some other book).
  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #3 - 08/28/17 at 19:25:16
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I think Mednis's little book is still a very good place to start exploring the topic of rook endings.

The theory part is digestible, the explanations are good and there are many practical examples of how to apply the theory.

If you can find a copy at a decent price, buy it! - it's a little gem.
  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #2 - 08/28/17 at 16:43:23
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Thanks dfan!  Wasn't sure about the level of "Rate Your Endgame" but remember reading that it was a bit easier material to work with then Shereshevsky's "Endgame Strategy." Read a couple reviews on the Hellsten book just now and it also seems geared for fairly high level readers. 

Will probably hold off on endgame strategy books.  Focusing on Seirawn, Silman and Averbakh until feel a certain level of competence with the material they present. 
The rook endgame books weren't meant to be tackled until after I'd done that anyway.

Know there is some material on rook endings in the Seirawan and Silman books as I have these two but have not yet ordered the Averbakh and De La Villa books so don't now what they hold in the way of these type of endings.  Even though a rook endgame book is awhile down the road in my studies I like to look in advance at what will come next and thought that some book on rook endings would surely be recommended with how common these are.
   
  
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Re: Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
Reply #1 - 08/28/17 at 13:34:17
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For people under 1800, my suggestion is just to read Silman up to the chapter at your level or one more. If you read a more reference-like work (e.g., de la Villa), you will be fooled into thinking that you acquired useful knowledge, but you probably won't retain it, you probably won't be able to execute it perfectly even if you do recall it, and you'll rarely get into positions where it's relevant anyway. I have plenty of issues with Silman's style in general, but just the fact that his book is organized by difficulty rather than by topic makes it the best choice for someone in your situation.

I don't think there's any harm in reading through Averbakh fairly quickly just to get a sense of the topics, but I wouldn't study it closely. Rate Your Endgame is a fantastic book, but it's about practical rather than theoretical endgames, and it would be pretty difficult for you right now. I recall the Emms book as being pretty good, but I doubt it's the best use of your studying resources right now.

If you want a book on practical endgame strategy, I highly recommend Hellsten's Mastering Endgame Strategy, which is what finally made me feel I had a clue about devising and pursuing a plan in the endgame.
  
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Rook endings, Mednis or Emms?
08/28/17 at 01:45:25
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Have read up this topic as much as possible here and elsewhere, Mednis "Practical Rook Endings" or Emms "The Survival Guide to Rook Endings" would seem to be the best way to go for me with the former holding a bit more appeal. 

Am in the process of reading Seirawan "Winning Chess Endings" and will then move onto:
1. Averbakh "Chess Endinds Essential knowledge"
2. "Silman's Complete Endgame Course"
3. De La Villa "100 Endgames You Must Know" and
4. Mednis "Rate Your Endgame"

Am aware that there will be a bit of overlap/repetition here but I'll need it to help absorb and retain this information, and all these books are pretty highly praised.  Here is my question, after having read these books and being a player who will likely never reach beyond FIDE/USCF 1800 (if can even attain those lofty heights) what would you recommed for beginning more focused study of rook endings? 

Please keep in mind am someone who will need a bit of hand holding and spoon feeding to get the most out of studies so books like FCE or DEM aren't likely to serve me all that well if I've interpreted what have read about them correctly.
  
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