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Liquidation on the Chess Board: Mastering the Transition into the Pawn Ending Paperback – April 7, 2015
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Benjamin has managed to create an excellent guide to a difficult theme that has been badly served in chess literature. If you are really serious about improving your chess, you should work on your Benjamin! (Frank Zeller, International Master Magazine Schach)
Entertainment is never far away. The material, which feels very fresh, provides an impressive series of easily digestible lessons. (Sean Marsh CHESS Magazine)
Strongly recommended. In transitions into pawn endgames a lot can be gained and a lot can be lost. (Schach Magazin Magazine 64)
Well written and thoroughly researched. The selected examples have a strong practical value. This is an instructive work for players at any level above beginner - but it's not a dry endgame manual. The games contain some beautiful ideas and overall I found the book very entertaining. (Daniel King, Grandmaster creator of the Power Play DVD series)
The book works quite addictively. It's dealing with one of the big moments of uncertainty in practical chess. (Matthew Sadler, Grandmaster, author of 'Chess for Life")
A labor of love that has produced and outstanding book. (Gary Lane, International Master Chess Moves Magazine)
An excellent new book. The theme of the right exchange is underrepresented in chess literature and Joel Benjamin manages to highlight its importance by investigating the transition into a pawn endgame in deep detail. (Karsten Muller, author of 'Bobby Fisher, The Career and Complete Games')
Engages itself with a theme on which there is not a lot of literature. It will doubtlessly enrich players with a new aspect of the art of playing chess. (Uwe Bekemann)
Very instructive are not only the many exercises at the end of each chapter, but in particular the last chapter where Benjamin once more summarizes every important motif in pawn endings, with examples and explications. (Harry Schaack KARL Magazine)
Not much has been written about liquidation into the pawn endgame, an important motif. In endgame books it is often only indirectly touched upon. This book is therefore to be recommended. (Richard Vedder Schakers.info)
The book is anything but dry. Benjamin is excellent at explaining not only the intricacies of specific positions, but also useful practical guidance for general endgame play. I felt that I gained a lot from these instructions. (David Smerdon, Grandmaster Chess.com)
A must for every advanced chess player who wants to improve his liquidating skills. (Eddy Sibbing Max Euwe Centre Amsterdam)
I am not aware of any prior book which covered this subject, other than perhaps in passing. It takes only a moment's thought to realize that all king and pawn endings stated out as endings with more pieces on the board, and therefore this is a subject worthy of its own manual. I feel that GM Benjamin really hit the mark with this book. (Chris Wainscott ChessIQ)
I have, until now, never seen a collection of exercises on the theme of transition into the endgame, let alone with such precise solutions as Benjamin presents here. (Dennis Calder, FIDE Instructor)
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This 253-page book is divided into eleven chapters (queen ending, rook endings, etc) and a mini 7-page chapter at the end (but not labeled as such) dealing with thematic positions such as breakthrough, zugzwang, and competing pawn structures. Each of the eleven chapters is divided along the themes of technical liquidation, zugzwang, king activity, passed pawns, pawn races, breakthroughs, and sacrifices. Each chapter culminates with a series of exercises taken from real games, followed by carefully annotated solutions.
So far so good. What sets this book apart, however, is the quality of prose: it's that ideal but difficult to define mix of insightful explanation and concrete analysis that makes for riveting reading. The analysis is of course engine-tested but combining this with elegant and lucid prose is what makes for a great chess book -- and this is one unequivocally.
It's a great chess book. But will it improve one's playing strength? Yes again. Unequivocally. Making the transition to won pawn endgames is a key skill. Reading this book will allow you to surreptitiously smirk while you lure your unwitting opponent into a lost pawn endgame. To reiterate my first three words, it's entertaining and useful.
2) In my opinion, this is one of the best pawn endgame books ever written!
3) GM Benjamin chose a different setup. He analyzes the material before the pawn ending and shows the mistakes and accurate plans. basically it is a book which analyzes which position you should trade the last pieces and enter a winning pawn ending, and in which positions you should not enter a lost pawn ending. he looks at transitions from these endings to pure pawn endings.
4) So many good chess books are written every month now. My initial impression was this is just another book, however I was wrong. I usually read half an hour or so, before sleep, and my impressions immediately changed after I started reading this book.
5) The book is good for wide range of players (mostly from 1500 USCF to 2400+masters) Not for beginners, but would even help them a lot.
6) GM Benjamin also has interesting stories which makes reading the book enjoyable (his game/loss against Korchnoi and Seriawan's seemingly lost ,amazing pawn ending in one of the Olympics)
7) This is GM Benjamin's masterpiece! it will stay for years as an excellent pawn ending book! (I also read his previous book "American Grandmaster" was more of a fun reading, but not of academical value.) You can also get interesting fact about Benjamin's devotion and help with Deep Blue in book "behind Deep Blue" by feng-Hsiung Hsu when they beat Kasparov.
I have a section for my best chess books (100 books or so). This book is a classical, it belongs there.
1) Excellent pawn ending book.
2) Most importantly, the author analyzes the positions just before transition to the pawn ending, helping you make better decisions if entering the pawn ending is good or bad for you. This is very important.
3) Level: probably most benefit is for 1500-2400 (though it may help players even lower or higher rated)
International Grandmaster Joel Benjamin, a three time U.S. champion, deals with these and similar questions in clear and entertaining prose, supplemented by analysis that is detailed but not overwhelming. The games from which he takes his examples range from classics such as Pillsbury-Gunsberg (1895) to recent grandmaster encounters like Naroditsky- Holt (2014). The phrase "This is a book that will reward serious study" may be overused, but is certainly true in this case.
I think all chess players could benefit from GM Benjamin's work, especially those rated between 1200 and 1800. The practical advice GM Benjamin provides will enable us class D, C, and B players to better understand the ideas and principles involved in the transition from the late middle game/early endgame into the king and pawn ending. That should result in fewer botched endgames and better tournament results.
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