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Basil
23-09-2007, 02:23 AM
Picked up 2 chess books (first in a couple of years) from The Gardiner Chess Centre 2 weeks ago.

One was recommended by Graeme - Silman's 'Complete Endgame Course'
Just finished Chapter 1. I'm a fan of Silman's writing. More than happy so far. The book is sectioned into rating strengths from sub 1000 to 2400 plus.

Here's (http://www.amazon.com/Silmans-Complete-Endgame-Course-Beginner/dp/1890085103) a review.

I'm pleased to say that the second book was Gary Lane's 'The Ultimate Colle' which was well written and I hope I took some ideas that will prove practical in my OTB play.

Basil
23-09-2007, 12:56 PM
Silman has a section on lone king v king + minor pieces.

He refuses point blank to devote any time to the k v k+n+b as a waste of reader brain space on the basis of the lack of occasions that the reader will encounter that position in his chess career.

ER
23-09-2007, 05:32 PM
St Kilda calls North London...
Any chance to incorporate this thread in the Endgame Mania thread? :)
Cheers and good luck!!!

Capablanca-Fan
23-09-2007, 06:46 PM
Silman has a section on lone king v king + minor pieces.

He refuses point blank to devote any time to the k v k+n+b as a waste of reader brain space on the basis of occasions that the reader will encounter that position in his chess career.
I respectfully disagree with his approach here.

ER
23-09-2007, 07:11 PM
He refuses point blank to devote any time to the k v k+n+b as a waste of reader brain space on the basis of occasions that the reader will encounter that position in his chess career.

Or because he doesn't know how to do it himself! :P
I think the value of knowing this ending, lays more on the great example of co-operation between B + N rather than executing the mate itself.
After all studying Bach's Well Tempered Clavier, or Segovia's scales, doesn't contribute to the interpretation of any particular compositions, but it works miracles for guitarists' and/or pianists' technigues.
Cheers and Good luck!

Basil
23-09-2007, 08:07 PM
I can't disagree with either of you. I'm happy all the same.

Southpaw Jim
23-09-2007, 08:38 PM
I bought this book a couple of months ago, and couldn't be happier - it was exactly what I needed. I find it very well written with high production values, notwithstanding a couple of errors and typos (inevitable in any chess book), and much more accessible than Karsten & Muller. Don't get me wrong, K&M is a masterpiece, but more of a reference IMHO than a manual. Silman's conversational and anecdotal style makes the subject much more entertaining and interesting, and I attribute a recent win to lessons learned from this book.

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: 5/5 for my money :)

Davidflude
24-09-2007, 07:18 PM
Silman has a section on lone king v king + minor pieces.

He refuses point blank to devote any time to the k v k+n+b as a waste of reader brain space on the basis of the lack of occasions that the reader will encounter that position in his chess career.

Some years ago a Box Hill member had this ending and could only draw.

not long afterwards he had it again and his opponent ran his king the wrong way and got mated.

Not long afterwards he had the position again and his opponent resigned.

ER
24-09-2007, 07:27 PM
Some years ago a Box Hill member had this ending and could only draw.

not long afterwards he had it again and his opponent ran his king the wrong way and got mated.

Not long afterwards he had the position again and his opponent resigned.

I was told of a story (years ago) that a well known and equally respected IM simplified into this ending from a rather inferior position against his opponent - an elderly chess fox from NSW, hoping that he didn't know it. The old bloke did though and went away with the whole point!
Cheers and good luck!

EGOR
24-09-2007, 08:24 PM
I was told of a story (years ago) that a well known and equally respected IM simplified into this ending from a rather inferior position against his opponent - an elderly chess fox from NSW, hoping that he didn't know it. The old bloke did though and went away with the whole point!
Cheers and good luck!
I was there. The IM was not suprised that the elderly player knew how to do it. Rather, he just wanted to see it in and actual game. For the experience.
The elderly player had know how for more than 50 years.

Basil
24-09-2007, 08:40 PM
Oddly (I think) enough, the day before I read the particular part of the book where Silman stakes his ground, a solid B(International)CC player was demonstrating the very technique.

I'm not saying it's not valuable - and I don't think Silman is either. I believe he is making the claim for best use of resources.

I'd also hazard that for everyone who has encountered it (on their side), there are 10 that haven't.

Just to clarify, I'm just chatting ... I AM NOT MAKING THE CASE FOR NOT LEARNING THE TECHNIQUE!

So let's have a poll! ...

eclectic
24-09-2007, 08:43 PM
I AM NOT MAKING THE CASE FOR NOT LEARNING THE TECHNIQUE!


if one learnt the technique and then revised once every month it would be worth the investment

Capablanca-Fan
24-09-2007, 10:01 PM
... Karsten & Muller. Don't get me wrong, K&M is a masterpiece, but more of a reference IMHO than a manual.
This would be Fundamental Chess Endings by Karsten Müller & Frank Lamprecht, presumably.

Capablanca-Fan
24-09-2007, 10:08 PM
I was there. The IM was not suprised that the elderly player knew how to do it. Rather, he just wanted to see it in and actual game. For the experience.
The elderly player had know how for more than 50 years.
Is #3 on this thread (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=6554) the game in question?

EGOR
25-09-2007, 07:29 AM
Is #3 on this thread (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=6554) the game in question?
No. Maybe there are two similar, but different games being referred to here?

Ian Rout
25-09-2007, 03:50 PM
I recall having this ending (KBN v K) twice. Once I had the pieces and almost got there but was a bit inefficient and ran out of moves (I was down to just the increments at the start). The other time I had the King and lost.

If Silman is saying that you probably have the method in another book and it's a waste of space him repeating it then he's probably right. If he's saying it's not worth knowing at all because it happens so rarely then I'd be a bit more cautious. It has the potential to happen several times in your lifetime - also the stats don't include cases of players being afraid to "sacrifice" their last couple of pawns for two pieces and having to do the mate.

I can't remember ever playing K+P v K except in completely trivial positions (King outside the square or blocked off), but I wouldn't advise people not to bother about it.

Basil
25-09-2007, 04:30 PM
Hi Ian

I think (hope) I paraphrased Silman in the second para of my post #11. I'll try and dig up the quote direct from the book and then we'll all know what he meant :cool:

Ian, just in case you had missed this (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=6935) thread, I point it out.

Desmond
25-09-2007, 10:19 PM
Silman has a section on lone king v king + minor pieces.

He refuses point blank to devote any time to the k v k+n+b as a waste of reader brain space on the basis of the lack of occasions that the reader will encounter that position in his chess career.
I'd say it's worth knowing. But if it's a question of prioritizing (as it must always be with fitting material into a book), I personally would teach the Lucena position, or the drawing wrong coloured rook-pawn in a bishop ending, before the KNB mate. Or an opening line. Or a common mating pattern. Come to think of it, or just about anything.

Kevin Bonham
25-09-2007, 10:39 PM
Is #3 on this thread (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?t=6554) the game in question?

In both cases an IM was the victim, but the winner in that post was neither elderly nor from NSW. I think he was qualified into the top division as the previous year's ACT champion in the days when you could be the previous or the current champion and still make the top division. He celebrated beating Feldman by beating Nick Speck, who finished up =1st in the tournament, then lost a bunch of games in a row, then got going again and finished on a very good score indeed.

Basil
26-09-2007, 01:58 AM
What Silman actually said

Part Two {1000 -1199 rating section introduction} - Page 33

"... Two bishops is is too complex for this section but will be examined later in the book (though, considering your specific target rating, you might find that you never need to learn it). Bishop and Knight might never occur in your whole chess life time and is far to difficult to waste your precious study time on (in other words this book won't examine Bishop & Knight v King at all)."

Source material cited at top of thread

eclectic
26-09-2007, 02:07 AM
What Silman actually said

Part Two {1000 -1199 rating section introduction} - Page 33

"... Two bishops is is too complex for this section but will be examined later in the book (though, considering your specific target rating, you might find that you never need to learn it). Bishop and Knight might never occur in your whole chess life time and is far to difficult to waste your precious study time on (in other words this book won't examine Bishop & Knight v King at all)."

Source material cited at top of thread



those who can do; those who can't teach (...others that they can't or shouldn't!) :eek:

(with apologies to george bernard shaw)

also it gives a psychological insight into why silman isn't a GM :hand:

Aaron Guthrie
26-09-2007, 09:49 AM
It is an interesting choice. As I understand it, it is intended to be a practical time effective book. This means there will be a lot left out. In his own words-


When studying this book, please remember that I've deliberately left out many endgames. Why? Because I don't feel they are important to players under the 2400 level. For example, I heretically decided not to include Bishop and Knight vs. Lone King because it's far from easy to master, and it occurs very rarely in over-the-board play. In fact, I only got it once in my entire career, while IM John Watson and IM John Donaldson never got it at all! Is such a rarity really worth the two or three hours it would take to learn it? I say no. Ultimately, this is what Silman 's Complete Endgame Course is all about: Learning what's useful, and devoting the rest of your precious study time to other areas of the game.http://www.dedenksportkampioen.be/?pagina=boeken.php&item=5&id=997&prijs=23&titel=Silman%E2%80%99s%20Complete%20Endgame%20Cour se

Denis_Jessop
26-09-2007, 11:48 AM
In both cases an IM was the victim, but the winner in that post was neither elderly nor from NSW. I think he was qualified into the top division as the previous year's ACT champion in the days when you could be the previous or the current champion and still make the top division. He celebrated beating Feldman by beating Nick Speck, who finished up =1st in the tournament, then lost a bunch of games in a row, then got going again and finished on a very good score indeed.

Yes - Ian was then from the ACT and quite young. He came here from NSW - Newcastle, I think - (his brother Neil also plays in NSW) but then unfortunately for ACT chess he moved to Melbourne. That sort of thing often happens with young ACT players. Usually their reason for coming and going again not long afterwards is work or study related.

DJ

Southpaw Jim
26-09-2007, 12:50 PM
This would be Fundamental Chess Endings by Karsten Müller & Frank Lamprecht, presumably.

Presumably you are correct :) :doh:

I think people are devoting too much attention to Silman's omission of K+N+B - it's an editorial choice that is his to make. IIRC, he does reference Muller & Lamprecht ( :doh: ) in his 'references for further reading' section, so readers who are keen to know that ending can easily find it.

Speaking personally, if I were ever to reach the lofty heights of 2000+ I'd consider learning it, but until then I think there's more important areas of study to focus on. As Manga points out, it's intended as a practical time-effective book, primarily pitched at 1000-2400 players. Realistically, IMHO I doubt that many over 2000 would bother with this book, they'd just go straight to FCE. I could be wrong though - Silman asserts that many Western (ie not Soviet/Russian) players at the 1800-2000 level are deficient in their endgame understanding, and are missing knowledge that really should've been learned when at the 1400-1800 levels.

I think this book's great strength is it's accessibility for club level players - the issue I have with FCE is that I feel that it's pitched at 1800+, IMO it's a reference text that presupposes a certain level of knowledge and understanding that many at a club level don't possess, or are struggling to grasp. Silman's section entitled 'Fox in the Chicken Coop' (actually a subset of the Principle of Two Weaknesses I think) is a good example of stuff I haven't found elsewhere, was a simple concept that I hadn't come across elsewhere, and helped me identify that I had a completely won game recently.

I also like the way it's organised by difficulty levels, rather than by specific ending types. I found that, as a weak player looking at FCE (as an example), I had no idea where to start. Do I work all the way through the pawn endings chapter before I start on knight endings? If not, where to stop? Do I skip straight to Rook Endings since they're the most common? You could lose yourself in that book for years... Please note that I'm not criticising FCE though, I'm just noting that it's really pitched at a level above mine.

In my (limited :uhoh: ) experience, this is by far the best instructional chess text for players under the 2000 mark that I have seen.

Basil
26-09-2007, 01:50 PM
also it gives a psychological insight into why silman isn't a GM :hand:
Does it? The purpose of the book is to teach. I know when I am teaching (as opposed to doing) I don't tell my students (staff) everything (during the course).

Aaron Guthrie
26-09-2007, 02:09 PM
Stacks on!
also it gives a psychological insight into why silman isn't a GM :hand:He is also in terrible company among the IM trainers (Dvoretsky).

eclectic
26-09-2007, 02:20 PM
what i'm saying here is that K v B|N|K is a basic mate which anyone of grandmaster standard ought to know even if never required to use it in actual play

the impression i get is that silman can't be bothered learning it and that says something about his attitude

i'd suggest that if anybody were to spend an intensive 3 to 6 hours studying the underlying mechanics of the ending it would be time well spent

Basil
26-09-2007, 02:27 PM
what i'm saying here is that K v B|N|K is a basic mate
I disagree. Although the term 'basic' is subjective, I don't believe it falls into that category.


... which anyone of grandmaster standard ought to know even if never required to use it in actual play
I don't think he would disagree, and nor do I.


the impression i get is that silman can't be bothered learning it and that says something about his attitude
I don't get that impression. I think he could do it with his eyes closed.


i'd suggest that if anybody were to spend an intensive 3 to 6 hours studying the underlying mechanics of the ending it would be time well spent
I don't think he wold disagree. I have read nothing to suggest otherwise.

Southpaw Jim
26-09-2007, 02:31 PM
what i'm saying here is that K v B|N|K is a basic mate which anyone of grandmaster standard ought to know even if never required to use it in actual play

I think the point, eclectic, is that this book is not pitched at GM standard players. Not even at IM strength players. It's pitched primarily at club level players, who can invest the time in this ending at a later date, should they feel the need.

This book is not intended to cover every aspect of the endgame, for that you'd refer to FCE or Fine. This is an instructional manual pitched primarily at sub-2000 players who struggle to make effective use of reference texts.

Ian Rout
26-09-2007, 03:52 PM
I think the point, eclectic, is that this book is not pitched at GM standard players. Not even at IM strength players. It's pitched primarily at club level players, who can invest the time in this ending at a later date, should they feel the need.
By the same logic, players at that stage of their careers shouldn't be memorising twenty or thirty moves of Sicilian theory, but they still do.

It should be said though that there is a difference between Silman deciding whether to include the mate in the book, which is Yes/No, and how much time players should put into learning it, which is a continuum. For the first question Silman's approach is reasonable though his justification is dubious.

I'd suggest that for the second question both zero and a lot are sub-optimal. Although memorising the mate in detail may be a waste of time in practice, a short time understanding the basic method so that you have some hope of piecing it together when you need to would be useful. For instance, the player referred to earlier who ran his King straight to the mating corner didn't really get value out of the two minutes he saved.

I presume Silman also doesn't cover K+N+N v K+P ...

Garvinator
26-09-2007, 04:00 PM
I think it is useful to at least know the basic ideas and methods of KBN, if, for nothing else than if your opponent is 'threatening' to reduce an ending to where you are ahead KBN, you are not afraid of having to perform the mate.

Worse still would be taking steps to avoid the KBN ending because you are not comfortable performing the mate.

Basil
26-09-2007, 04:18 PM
I presume Silman also doesn't cover K+N+N v K+P ...
He does. And he does it (them and the rest) well IMHO. It's quite a tome. Like Euro - I thoroughly recommend the book.

EDIT: On reading Jono's answer to your q, I see that I have misread what you wrote. I haven't completed the book and I am yet to come across that scenario. I'll answer when I know.

Capablanca-Fan
26-09-2007, 06:41 PM
It should be said though that there is a difference between Silman deciding whether to include the mate in the book, which is Yes/No, and how much time players should put into learning it, which is a continuum. For the first question Silman's approach is reasonable though his justification is dubious.
Capablanca included K+B+N v K in Chess Fundamentals, which was for those who were a bit past beginner stage. He thought it would teach cooperation of the pieces.


I'd suggest that for the second question both zero and a lot are sub-optimal. Although memorising the mate in detail may be a waste of time in practice, a short time understanding the basic method so that you have some hope of piecing it together when you need to would be useful. For instance, the player referred to earlier who ran his King straight to the mating corner didn't really get value out of the two minutes he saved.
Yeah, at least know that mate can be forced only in the corner of the same colour of the B.


I presume Silman also doesn't cover K+N+N v K+P ...
I had that once on the Internet and managed it. But I couldn't guarantee that I could necessarily repeat that for all theoretically winning positions, unlike K+B+N.

ER
26-09-2007, 07:06 PM
I was there. The IM was not suprised that the elderly player knew how to do it. Rather, he just wanted to see it in and actual game. For the experience.
The elderly player had know how for more than 50 years.

Thanks for the additional info Egor!
Cheers and good luck!

Southpaw Jim
26-09-2007, 11:32 PM
He thought it would teach cooperation of the pieces.

Silman feels that K+B+B achieves this end, and that it's more likely to occur OTB.

Gunner: I'm pretty sure that Silman includes K+N+N v K+P as the exception to K+N+N is always drawn.

EDIT: removed misquotation.

Basil
27-09-2007, 12:25 AM
Gunner: I'm pretty sure that Silman includes K+N+N v K+P as the exception to K+N+N is always drawn.
As long as the lone king doesn't elect to step into the corner ;)

charleschadwick
04-10-2008, 01:52 PM
I really like Silman's endgame book. I think it teaches alot of very useful information in a clear and enjoyable way.
The rating chapter headings I think are misleading. I don't believe Silman's chapters cover all of what is necessary to gain these ratings.

I have never faced B+NvK. I can't be bothered to learn it. This may be not the only reason I am not a GM!

Saragossa
12-10-2008, 05:47 PM
I believe Knowledge of how to mate with Bishop and Knight is absolutely essential becasue in learning to perform this task you also gain a higher level of understanding in the co-ordination of these two minor pieces which will help your middle game and pattern recognition.
Edit: just relised i basically quoted jono's post about capablanca sorry.