Basic Endgame Problems 2 - Sente

The introduction of either volume contains the theory of the calculation of the values. The two central values are the 'move value' and the 'count', which is the positional value of a local endgame. While Volume 1 mostly needs gote values, Volume 2 also needs the differently calculated sente values. A little additional theory occasionally occurs throughout either book as follows. Each volume introduces three shortcuts as methods for accelerated calculation. All six are applied in Volume 2. Besides, Volume 1 suggests an approximation when no harm is done; otherwise, all calculations are exact. Arrows denote those paragraphs stating some general principles or remarks. Either book concludes with a short index.

In Volume 1, 104 problems have detailed answers while 46 problems have short answers. In Volume 2, 93 problems have detailed answers while 57 problems in the Multiple Choice chapter have short answers. A typical short answer shows one diagram with one paragraph of text and calculations.

A detailed answer has several diagrams showing initial or follow-up positions, or just one or a few moves. The counts of settled follow-up positions are determined. For the initial position and every important intermediate follow-up position, the move value and count are calculated, and the current type, gote or sente, of the local endgame is verified by a value condition. For deeper understanding and as an additional check, an interpretation relates the calculated values or there can sometimes be extra remarks. If shortcuts apply to the initial position and permit a visual representation, they are explained in an extra section of the answer. A few problems have an additional advanced analysis, which verifies or refutes whether long sequences are worth playing.

One might wish additional topics, such as ko and open shapes, but they deserve further volumes.

Layout and formatting assist faster reading of the book. The reader can easily skip a) verbose calculations in text if the numbers are sufficient for him, b) the lowest level of calculations of the counts of settled positions represented in small font, and c) optional additional or advanced explanations. On the other hand, readers preferring greater assistance can read everything. However, the most basic explanations and some optional information are phased out, especially in Volume 2: hints that each occupied intersection contributes 2 points to a player's settled territory, reminders of negative counts favouring White and paragraphs with interpretations.

Problem books using traditional endgame theory want to make us believe that we would only need the initial move value. The best problem books, including Basic Endgame Problems 1 and 2, using modern endgame theory also calculate follow-up move values to verify the type gote versus sente, counts of follow-up positions to derive the initial move value correctly and the initial count to apply it for positional judgement or whenever the initial position occurs as a follow-up position in a more complicated problem.

While the book Endgame Problems 1 also uses letters as mathematical symbols to distinguish different values, has a short chapter with basic shapes and then runs ahead to advanced shapes, Basic Endgame Problems 1 and 2 replace the former by text descriptions and restrict themselves to basic shapes. Therefore, these two books are more basic and can be understood more easily.

Although both books can be read independently because they introduce all the needed theory, Volume 2 refers to Volume 1 a few times. Besides, reading Volume 2 is easier if the reader is already familiar with calculating gote values and applies them to gote endgames in the initial position or some follow-ups.

Read these books to acquire a solid basic skill of fast and correct endgame evaluation!

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