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View Full Version : The endgame and conspiracies



qpawn
19-03-2006, 11:19 AM
The endgame: the decisive end to teh game, or, as Hamlet would put it, the place from which no traveller returns :D The endgame: the place of cruel time pressure as your clock ticks on. The endgame: a place of unexpected resources for sharing the half point.

Why then, are so many books written on the opening and so few of any quality written on the endgame? Are chess writers just plain stupid? Or do opening databae dumps just sell well while endgame books sell poorly? Or is there a darker, conspiratorial reason for the relative dearth of endgame material?

See the poll and decide,,,:lol:

Rincewind
19-03-2006, 11:55 AM
There are other options. Opening books are easier to write since new tactical and positional novelties come along all the time. The endgame is much less dynamic as exact piece position is not given. One good book on endgames will not date with the same speed as a one good book on the sicilian, for example.

WhiteElephant
19-03-2006, 12:11 PM
Another question which comes to mind is: why are there so few chess books which make the study of chess ENTERTAINING - mainly for kids but also for adults. Most chess books are dry, boring sleep inducers and reading them is a bit like reading a mathematics textbook. I have encountered one oe two writers with an entertaining style (Sierawan is one of my favourites) but they are few and far between. No wonder kids sit around playing on ICC all day instead of reading chess books.

qpawn
19-03-2006, 12:51 PM
I agree with that. I just looked through a book on the openings by the GM Nick De Firmian . The book was not only a pathetic database dump but also so boring that I threw it down in disgust. We need to bring Irving Chernev back from the dead; he could write with style and wit unlike most chess writers thses days.

arosar
19-03-2006, 12:53 PM
I agree with that. I just looked through a book on the openings by the GM Nick De Firmian . The book was not only a pathetic database dump but also so boring that I threw it down in disgust. We need to bring Irving Chernev back from the dead; he could write with style and wit unlike most chess writers thses days.

Ah yes, Chernev. One of the very first chess books I ever reas was written by him. It was "Combinations - The Heart of Chess". Beautiful. Beautiful.

AR

WhiteElephant
19-03-2006, 01:25 PM
The first few chess books I ever read (which inspired my passion for the game) were in Russian. Don't remember the writers but remember many of the stories in them - they compared particular openings to great battles in history, had philosophical discussions of the thought process in chess, plenty of humour and fun to read. I think with the growing chess culture in America, we are getting a few decent chess writiers emerging from there. Sadly Nick De Firmian is not one of them hehe. I am also looking forward to reading Chess Bitch, I've heard so much about it.

Davidflude
19-03-2006, 05:02 PM
My sources indicate that bad books on openings sell better than good books on other things.

qpawn
19-03-2006, 05:14 PM
I wouldn't argue with that.

I have found that there is no correlation between the ELO of the writer and the quality of an opening book. I have read an excellent book "An attacking repertiore for white" by Sam Collins, while books by De Firmian and Mr Hartston are just abysmal.

I find it interesting that nobody thinks of the endgames as openings of a type: I open with the knight and pawn ending :D