Endgame 3 - Accurate Local Evaluation
Review by the Author
- Title: Endgame 3 - Accurate Local Evaluation
- Author: Robert Jasiek
- Publisher: Robert Jasiek
- Edition: 2019
- Language: English
- Price: EUR 26.50 (book), EUR 13.25 (PDF)
- Contents: endgame
- ISBN: none
- Printing: good
- Layout: good
- Editing: good
- Pages: 256
- Size: 148mm x 210mm
- Diagrams per Page on Average: 5
- Method of Teaching: principles, methods, classification,
- Read when EGF: 5 kyu - 9 pro
- Subjective Rank Improvement: o
- Subjective Topic Coverage: +
- Subjective Aims' Achievement: ++
The subtitle Accurate Local Evaluation is the book's
program: it evaluates local endgame positions accurately. During all
phases of the game, correct local evaluation is a requirement for very
good global decisions. Whenever tactical reading is too complex, we
also need strategy, approximative positional judgement or more precise
endgame evaluation. The latter can often replace global reading by a
combination of local reading and value comparisons.
of a local endgame depend on its type and lengths of
we have a local gote or sente? For how long should local alternating
play proceed? When must we interrupt and play elsewhere? By answering
these essential questions, we can calculate the values correctly.
Therefore, we avoid losing many points due to evaluation mistakes.
book is the result of 15 months of full-time work. Half of it has been
research, which has been necessary to fill huge gaps in
theory and create a consistent, sufficiently complete and well
applicable, general theory of endgame evaluation. Previously, we were
the chance to compete with 9 dans on the topic of getting the last
point. This book enables every serious learner to reach this
on the much broader topic of local endgame evaluation. This is so
because the methods and principles often represent truths derived from
mathematical theorems. The value calculations in
are supported by meticulous proofreading.
An introduction gives an overview on the contents and
demonstrates that we lose points in every local endgame by
evaluating it wrongly when confusing gote with sente or misjudging for
how long we should continue local play. The book presumes fluent
application of the basics of modern endgame theory: the count
(positional value) and move value (value of a move) of a local gote or
sente endgame and its followers (follow-up positions); the gain of
every individual move (the value of how much a player's move shifts
counts in his favour); negative numbers favouring White. Although
readers of Volume 2 are familiar with these basics, Endgame 3 -
Accurate Local Evaluation can be read independently because the chapter
Basics summarises them. The book concludes with an appendix, which
lists keywords and the conventions for diagrams and variables. The
major contents is presented in the following three parts:
chapters 'Gote, Sente and Short Sequences' and 'Gote and Sente Options'
evaluate local endgames with short sequences consisting of one or two
plays worth playing successively. The former studies local endgames in
which a player
starts a gote sequence, whose continuation results in a sente sequence.
The latter studies local endgames in which one player chooses
gote option starting a gote sequence or his sente option starting a
sente sequence. Both kinds of local endgames are evaluated differently.
- The intermediate chapter 'Local Sequences and Endgames'
briefly introduces privileges, ko and the global positional
context, discusses double sente, introduces long sequences consisting
of at least 3 plays, and provides simplifications. We learn that,
usually, local double sente does not exist, its traditional evaluation
has had little meaning, and how to evaluate and play a perceived double
sente in the global context: we do not always need accurate
evaluation as a local gote with follow-ups but can often apply
principles to evaluate
like a ko exchange. Long sequences are introduced by first examples,
calculation of their values, classifications of the types of sequences
and local endgames, and the properties of long sequences worth playing
successively (called 'traversal sequences'). Simplifications are very
fast tools, with which we can sometimes circumvent detailed methods.
- The next two
chapters explain ordinary or fast evaluation of long sequences. Both
major kinds of evaluation determine the count and move value of an
initial local endgame. Ordinary evaluation also determines the gains of
the sequences' plays to clarify the correct moments of interrupting
local play and playing elsewhere, and assesses whether ko threats
should be preserved. Fast evaluation skips such details but
applies sophisticated means to only determine the initial values.
Evaluation of Local Endgames with Short Sequences
we have a simple gote without follow-up, a local endgame with short
sequences has follow-ups of one of both
players. After the first move, we need to know whether the opponent
must reply immediately. Depending on the answer, the local endgame is a
'local gote', 'local sente' or their hybrid, which is called an
'ambiguous' local endgame. The book distinguishes and
these types objectively. For this purpose, we verify whether
some value condition is fulfilled. Such a condition compares
particular move values or counts. For example, a move value of the
initial local endgame is compared with the follow-up move value in the
position created by the first move. We can choose our preferred kind of
value condition because the book offers four alternative kinds (and a
fifth kind designed for long sequences, which can also be applied to
A local gote has a 'gote count' and 'gote move
value' while a local sente has a 'sente count' and 'sente move value'.
Calculations of gote values differs from calculations of sente values.
Initially, we do not know the type of a studied local endgame yet.
Therefore, we consider 'tentative' values. We can confirm them
by confirming a value condition. For example, if we compare a
tentative gote move value of the initial local endgame to a smaller
follow-up move value, this condition of decreasing move values confirms
the gote move value and type 'local gote' of the local endgame.
book explains the similarities and differences of value conditions for
local endgames with Black's follow-up, White's follow-up, both players'
follow-ups or less valuable iterative follow-ups. A short section on
multiples provides additional insight. Usually, values are calculated
from Black's perspective (positive values favour Black).
However, the reader can also study the optional sections on
White's perspective, for which counts, calculations and conditions
We need different conditions and verify additional
assumptions for those local endgames with a player's gote or sente
options. For them, the reader can choose among two kinds of equivalent
The theory is explained in detail by
introductions, value conditions stated as formulas, principles and text, summarising tables and value trees. To ease
learning of the theory, the examples are very basic. For every example,
the book demonstrates calculations for all possible, alternative value
conditions. Some examples are close calls, for which only accurate
calculations can determine the right values.
Evaluation of Local Endgames with Long Sequences
surprisingly, evaluation becomes more difficult if a local endgame
allows Black or White to start a long sequence. While the values of a
local endgame with short sequences are derived from the followers after
one or two moves, we might need to derive the values of a local endgame
with long sequences from followers created after three or more moves.
We calculate their gains to determine the lengths of any
sequences. For this ordinary evaluation of long sequences, we apply the
method of 'making a hypothesis': we assume some long
derive tentative values accordingly and check whether they are
consistent because the conditions comparing the gains are fulfilled. If
necessary, we test an alternative hypothesis. On confirming a
hypothesis, we know that its values are correct.
The scope of
examples varies from simple to advanced - from three to nine
worth playing successively. The meticulous calculations proceed move by
move and position by position. Every type of local endgame is
discussed. There are also counter-examples including a crucial one
refuting wrong earlier theory.
We can sometimes apply one of the
three sophisticated methods of fast evaluation: 'comparing the
opponent's branches', 'comparing counts' and 'comparing move values'.
If certain assumptions are fulfilled, we can greatly accelerate
calculation of initial values. Examples demonstrate how very
much analysis can sometimes be accelerated. Diagram trees assist
our perception. Font aspects enrich the presented information.
book is not for you if you die on seeing explicit
Variables play an important role in the value conditions. Analysis of
an example involves several different values, which the book identifies
by their names (the variables). These names (or single letters) are
chosen carefully to make their meaning apparent at a glance whenever
possible. While experienced readers of calculations can understand
their meanings easily, others may find the learning curve steep. At a
few places, detailed prose provides additional explanation for
beginners. If, however, every calculation was hidden in prose, the text
would have to be split into five books. It is simply
to teach a great amount of advanced contents also for beginners in a
single book. Endgame
3 - Accurate Local Evaluation is for intermediate to strong players
prepared to invest the necessary effort. How else can we expect to
reach understanding beyond 9 pro level?
research developing, and completing invention of, the theory has been
much more demanding than anything I have studied before, the now
available theory is well applicable. We must learn some value
conditions and spend the necessary effort on doing the calculations
while not accidentally confusing values. Tactical reading can be more
difficult as soon as we become as familiar with endgame calculations as
we are with tactical reading. Both are essential. A major part of our
effort lies in recalling several intermediate values, which we need
until determining the desired initial values. Hence, the reader's major
effort is two-fold: he must become familiar with the notation
of values and calculations in the book; he must practise calculations
until they become his second nature, quite like tactical reading.
do we invest in such effort? We can greatly simplify our tactical
reading and enable decisions when it would be too complex. We must not
neglect any central topic of go theory, such as endgame evaluation. Our
weakest skills impede our strength. If we are weak at endgame
evaluation, we must study it.
What the Book Is Not
book is neither an introduction for beginners nor an 'Endgame
Evaluation for Dummies'. School mathematics is sufficient and there is
no advanced mathematics, such as calculus, combinatorial game
theory, difference games (further research is needed), construction of
trees (the few trees in the book
are visualisation aids), thermography, cooling and
infinitesimals. The book skips the finest global evaluation, with which
one might get the last play according to the theory in Volume 2 or the
book Mathematical Go Endgames. Complex kos, whose local evaluation also
depends on the global context, are not explained. Although a few
problems test understanding of the most difficult topics, systematic
training of the theory is planned for the separate book series Endgame
Problems. Global endgame evaluation (better than the principle of
usually playing in order of decreasing local move values) and
mathematical proofs of theorems are scheduled for later volumes.
3 - Accurate Local Evaluation teaches essential
previously neglected by everybody (except Bill Spight). If we take
evaluation as seriously as tactical reading and invest the necessary
effort of calculation, we learn to avoid countless evaluation mistakes,
whose loss is circa 1/2
to 5 points per local endgame.