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Paperback Capablanca's Best Chess Endings Book

ISBN: 0486242498

ISBN13: 9780486242491

Capablanca's Best Chess Endings

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Book Overview

Chess endings have an immediacy lacking in chess endgame or chess problems: endings are not theoretical or composed, but actual board positions, the point in every game when the superfluous falls away, leaving only the essential. Jos Ra l Capablanca (1888-1942) had no need for isolated artistic theory or compositions -- he composed and created chess art as he played. All of his genius -- intuitive, tactical, strategic, logical -- all of his art...

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Customer Reviews

4 ratings

The Best Textbook on Non-Textbook Endings I have yet seen

In another review, I said that Essential Chess Endings by GM James Howell is the best endgame book on what could be termed "textbook" endgames: King and Pawn, Rook endings from Rook vs. Pawn through Rook and Pawn (with several pawns on both sides), minor piece endings, queen endings, etc. Howell explains the basics of these better than any book I am aware of. However, as we all know, endgames most of the time have many complex elements to them that these "pure" examples do not. Our knowledge of, say, how to achieve/win the Lucena Position does not help us directly because the position at hand is a long way from getting to that point! Chernev's genius in his work on Capablanca's endings is that through the selected examples (which invariably contain 3 or 4 pieces per side with several pawns each) and his explanations of them, the average player can see how to orient himself in complex endgames. Yes, Chernev is WAY too effusive with his praise for Capablanca, but the book is outstanding. The work gives, in exhaustive detail, the planning that enables Capablanca to turn miniscule advantages into wins. It is true that the opponents he played were often not the best of Capa's peers, but they were certainly strong enough to consistently play plausible moves, which makes it better for us to learn from. This book provides ample evidence of the fact that, as the old quote goes, "Capablanca played with a view to the endgame." I am now convinced that this was undoubtedly true. No wonder Capablanca was considered invincible until his match with Alekhine: his ability to again and again badly outplay his peers in the endgame is frightening. CAPABLANCA'S BEST CHESS ENDINGS has made me a believer in Capablanca (never a favorite of mine): if he were alive today, he would certainly be Elo 2700+, because he would pound all the 2500s-2600s in the endgame so terribly. With the possible exceptions of Botvinnik and Smyslov, it seems to me that every World Champion after Capablanca was stronger in the middlegame than in the endgame (this is of course not to say that they are weak endgame players!), whether boa constrictors like Petrosian or Karpov, or terrifying attackers like Tal or Kasparov. Spassky and Fischer were universal players, but were at their most dangerous in the middlegame. Chess at the top has become so complicated that maybe there will never be a Champion who wins as Capablanca did. But I, as a mere 1800 player, have noticed that since going through some of this book, I have been able to avoid complications, keep better control of my games, and squeeze MY peers into submission. None of us are World Champions, but by having this book and your opponents maybe not having it, you have a great chance to straight outplay them in the end. There is great scope to play a "Capablanca-type" game against your peers and win without slashing attacks! When I went to Foxwoods in April, this is the only book I took with me. I went through I think 5 or 6 games before

The Best Capablanca Book Out There!

I must admit that I have always been an open game player, playing e4 is my standard. I always thought that the way to win is to attack attack until you humiliate your opponent into submission. But I read some reviews of this book and decided to buy it, afterall, I needed 10 more bucks for free shipping so why not. I was not prepared for something so good! From the very first move it seems that the game magically is drifting into his favor, something I have never seen in anyone else's games. It showed me a totally new way of playing chess, a style that I consider to be even more beautiful than a vicious sacrificial mating attack. And best of all, everyone can enjoy his amazing games. Afterall he was one of the strongest players ever so GMs can pick up a tip or two from his technique. But the moves and plans have such a simplicity and clarity to them even beginners will be able to understand what the objective is and watch him make it happen. Well yea, then you might be wondering why get this particular book, any Capablanca collection would do. The difference is that Chernev has one of the most delightful writing styles I've ever seen (and I've read a lot of authors). He puts so much enthusiasm into the annotations, with plenty of verbal explanations and they are so succinctly and well written that there is no confusion at all (we all are familiar with this: Be7?...Nxe6 fxe6 Qf3 a4 g3! and White has a strong attack). Finally, this book's focus is on the endgame as the title suggests. But the whole game is there, annotated from the beginning, so you can take it as a collection of great games with great endgame instruction as well. After you read this I guarantee your play will improve, and somehow your thoughts when looking at a chess position will be much more organized and crystal clear. Definately one of my 5 favorite books of all time!

Excellent Capablanca book, with Chernev analysis

Chernev is a master writer at illuminating the logic behind moves and helping the reader understand those reasons. This process starts with classics like Logical Chess Move by Move, and this book looks at endgames.It's a fine book because it teaches you how to take small advantages and win. Too many beginner/intermediate chess players look for the brilliant combo to beat the opponent. This book shows that you can be a master at simplifying and winning with a small advantage. This technique is as brilliant as the best combination. Well worth emulating.

Excellent book for its intended readership

I enjoyed this book while I was learning chess in my pre-teen and teen years. Chernev knew how to educate learners with important chess concepts. Here he applies this skill to the field of endgames and transitions to them.It might be a bit simplistic in places, but it provides something on which to build. Chernev also falls into hero-worship in places, but he quite defensibly regarded Capa as the greatest player of all time. And Capa's endgame expertise was legendary, so his games make a fine introduction.
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