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Secrets of Rook Endings [Paperback]

John Nunn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 1999
The first edition of this book ushered in a new era in chess publishing. It was the first book based on computer-generated position databases that are guaranteed to provide the actual result of a position.
However, this book is no computer print-out. It takes a human 'oracle' to extract the useful information from this mass of data and to identify new principles to help the rest of us appreciate the key practical points. Dr John Nunn, top-class grandmaster and renowned theoretician, performs this role admirably. He has identified where previous theory has been overturned, and where there are important new results. Dr Nunn was also the first to reveal the general importance of the many 'reciprocal zugzwang' positions.
* The complete truth about the ending Rook and Pawn vs Rook
* One of the most important and controversial chess books of the twentieth century
* An essential addition to every serious chess-player's library
* A new expanded editi! on

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Objective truth is a rare thing indeed April 7 2000
By A Customer
This book claims something no other chess book (that I have seen) does: total accuracy. Dr. Nunn prepared this book on Rook and Pawn endings with the help of Ken Thompson's endgame database, so that every position therein, and every solution given, is guaranteed to be 100% accurate. This book covers ONLY the subject of chess endgames with king, rook and a single pawn against king and rook, but this topic is much, much bigger than it may seem at first glance. While a computer can crank out solution after solution to endgame problems, only a strong human chess player like GM Nunn can take the resulting data and explain it in ways that make it useful to other humans who want to understand how to win (or avoid losing) these difficult endgames. Nunn has done an excellent job of explaining the whys and wherefores of each move (because frankly, the ONLY winning move in some of these positions is very counterintutive). I know that my endgame play will be stronger after working through the problems in this book and I recommend it to anyone who finds rook and pawn endings daunting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you really want to know June 18 2002
By Wyote
This book is the absolute and final truth on rook and pawn vs. rook endgames. Another book will never need to be written. If you really want to know the truth on these endgames, then this is truly the book for you.
It's not as bad to read as a previous reviewer claimed. Of course, if you want to study rook endings more generally or less deeply, then this isn't the book for you. "Surviving Rook Endings" probably is--and it is a really good introduction. If you have any doubt, then you almost certainly want "Surviving" rather than this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another authoritative book by Nunn May 12 2001
I reccommend this book to any serious chessplayer. Nunn gives the low down on all rook versus rook plus pawn endings. Firstly, the information in this book is 100% accurate since a computer created the database. Any serious chessplayer would normally be looking for none other than the truth and in rook endings this is hard to come by. Secondly, Nunn demonstrates a fantastic concept known as reciprocal zugzwang. It turns out, assuming white is up the pawn, that in most positions, white to play wins while black to play draws. In a reciprocal zugzwang position, white to play draws and black to play loses. Hence, unlike normal zugzwang position where one color has a waiting move, reciprocal zugzwang positions offer neither color a waiting move (the easiest example you'll ever see is white- ka8 rb8 pa7 black- kc7 rc8). Lastly, the setup of this book is good too. Nunn starts with positions with the pawn of a7 and works his was to a2 (for obvious reasons). He then tackles b, c and d positions in the same way. To conclude, I did want to say that while this book contains all the information you'll ever need to know about this particular ending, the information will not seep into your brain from under your pillow. You will need to put in an obscene amount of time to get from cover to cover.
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