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Pandolfini's Endgame Course: Basic Endgame Concepts Explained by America's Leading Chess Teacher (Fireside Chess Library) Paperback – October 15, 1988

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Pandolfini's Endgame Course: Basic Endgame Concepts Explained by America's Leading Chess Teacher (Fireside Chess Library) + Weapons of Chess: An Omnibus of Chess Strategies (Fireside Chess Library) + Pandolfini's Ultimate Guide to Chess: Basic to Advanced Strategies with America's Foremost Chess Instructor
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

These two works are as unalike as books about the same game can possibly be. Both are fine choices for their respective audiences. Pandolfini's, which uses algebraic notation throughout, is aimed at the beginning or intermediate player. It consists of 239 specific endgame positions, progressing from elementary endings to some subtle minor piece and pawn situations. Almost every example illustrates a specific principle, which is usually clearly stated. Since in many chess games, the choice of strategy is determined by the player's knowledge of what constitutes a winning endgame advantage, this is a valuable source of information. By contrast, Suetin's book, which uses the universal figurine, algebraic notation, is aimed at the more advanced club player who is trying to improve to expert or master status. Such players often find the crucial step to be the transition from the "book" position to the middle game. It is this transition that Suetin addresses. Each section has an introduction in which certain basic strategic principles are given; one or more illustrative games with some detailed analysis; and several unanalyzed sample games. Both books are recommended for libraries which have or are developing a chess collection. Harold D. Shane, Baruch Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Fireside Chess Library
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (October 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671656880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671656881
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By C. Dunn on February 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
Study endgames first! This seems counter-intuitive, but it is the best way to make your brain understand how the pieces move. A combination of tactics and endgame training is the quickest route to success for the average player. Don't waste time on the openings until you are a Master, rated 2000+.
This book is perfect for learning, as opposed to simply memorizing. The reason is that each page builds on the previous page, and each section on the previous section. You don't need to wade through pages of variations because, by the time you get to a given lesson, you have already learned the positions which result from the alternate moves. That moment of Eureka makes the book great fun!
For example, he shows you how to mate with various pieces, so that you know a won endgame when you see one. In these lessons, he'll show you what a King-Bishop-Bishop v. King mate looks like in the corner. Then he'll show you how to roll the King into the corner across the edge of the board. Then he'll show you how to get that bishop-roll started. Each lesson typically ends with a position from a previous lesson, so you can play it out to reinforce what you had learned earlier.
Later, he shows you how to turn a pawn into a Queen in various pawn endings. Again, some lessons end in previously learned positions. Others are simply new positions to learn, but of gradually increasing difficulty. At appropriate times, he shows you the stalemate opportunities to watch out for. And it's all at a beginner level (around 1000-1400 USCF) avoiding deep variations to keep track of in your head.
The way to use the book is to play a lesson out on a board, to test all possible refuations yourself. When you get lost, refer back to the book.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Castro on November 27, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this book is a great start to learning the endgame. Pandolfini explains each position and the ideas behind most of the moves. It is true, some of these positions are very simple, but this book is geared towards people who have never studied the endgame. I got this book when I just started playing chess competitively (around rating 1000). I went through this book step by step, as it is ordered from easiest to more complex. This helped increase my understanding of concepts such as opposition, corresponding squares, and maneuvers with the rook. I think the most important sections in this book are the rook and pawn and king and pawn sections, as these come up very often in actual play. The format is easy to follow and it is a good book to read from front to back if you have little or no knowledge of the endgame. As you get better, you can practice your visualization by looking at the diagram and visualizing the moves without using a board while reviewing the position. After you have studied this book, you can move onto more advanced endgame instructional books.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Wilson on November 16, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The best book to use to learn common practical endgames from simple examples.
The format makes it easy to use without a board.
Pandolfini covers the essential endgame knowledge to reach chess expert level with the minimum effort. It's what you need to know for over-the-board play with no extra fluff.
Useful for beginners up to at least expert level. I'm a USCF Expert but still find this book useful. I just bought a copy for my nephew (11 years old; about USCF 1000 rating) -- some of the book will be beyond him right now, but not all of it.
There are some minor typos and errors. As for the typos, you can search the internet to locate one of the online errata lists for this book. I give it 5 stars despite that due to Pandolfini's great selection and presentation of material.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "hanshollander" on June 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a book that has numbered and named ("Queen and Rook Roll" , "Diagonal March" etc.) endgame problems on each page with a solution directly beneath the diagrams.
The problems are very instructive, practical and clearly explained.
It starts at the very basic mating problems and covers all 5 piece endgames.
The problem with this book is that some endgames that are complicated enough to require several pages to explain (like KBN vs K or KQ vs KR) are chopped up into seperate problems which makes it harder to read.
Overall: There are a lot of books that cover basic endgames like this one. If you need to learn the basics of 5 piece endgames and you like the one page one problem setup this is a good book for you.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a player of modest ability who only played in two tournaments (probably a year or two apart), I found the book quite useful. Some of the other books that I had tried to read on the endgame just seemed too darn difficult for beginners. The difficulty was that there was just so much information to memorize. Pandolfini's book made the memorization of the themes much easier by giving each technique a catchy name. Then, you are led step by step to more complicated techniques by successively building upon the ones you have just learned. This is good pedagogy. I would recommend this to any beginner to get a good understanding of what you need to know to play the endgame.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Park on August 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this item new in August 2013. The quality of the teaching material in this book appeared to be fine, however we returned our copy too early to read much of it due to the fact that the QUALITY OF THE PRINTING IN THE BOOK IS ABYSMAL! The publisher is REALLY letting the quality slide on this title!

- The print on every page has ink speckles all around it, as if each page is a copy of a copy of a copy.

- The chess diagrams on the first 60-70 pages are pixelated (crunchy/blurry/indistinct) almost beyond recognition for no apparent reason. It's as if they took a small digital image of the diagram from a previous printing and blew it up 200% in size. You can actually see the pixels in the image on the page! While the rest of the book's diagrams appear to be printed decently enough, the diagrams could really be a little larger for viewing.

- Around the 10th puzzle or so, one of the diagrams on the page doesn't even match the description on page! And by that, I mean that the lesson on that page describes a Queen endgame on the board, and the diagram has no Queen, but a Rook and Knight instead. In fact, that particular diagram has the appearance of one diagram photocopied over another diagram behind it. You can actually see additional board coordinates sticking out from beneath the diagram. It's very shoddy looking.

As for the content, my son seemed to enjoy the book for the day or so that we kept it. We enjoy many of Pandolfini's other titles. Of course, Amazon was easy to return the book to. I contacted the publisher Simon & Schuster and let them know of these issues. The agent was friendly, but didn't seem that concerned. The publisher is going to send me another copy free of charge.

If you order this book, please be aware that you may get a horribly printed (though new) copy. I hope the publisher corrects this for future printings.
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Pandolfini's Endgame Course: Basic Endgame Concepts Explained by America's Leading Chess Teacher (Fireside Chess Library)
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