Endgame Problems 1
Review by the Author
- Title: Endgame Problems 1
- 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: 252
- Size: 148mm x 210mm
- Diagrams per Page on Average: 5
- Method of Teaching: principles, methods, examples
- Read when EGF: 8 kyu - 3 dan
- Subjective Rank Improvement: +
- Subjective Topic Coverage: o
- Subjective Aims' Achievement: ++
PrefaceThe book contains 150 endgame problems and introduces
the theory necessary for their solution. There are 20 new tactical
problems on the 11x11 board and 130 evaluation problems studying modern endgame
theory under territory scoring.
For problems of endgame
evaluation, the book achieves a revolutionary concept: correctness of
the answers. For this purpose, I have studied endgame theory for 2.5
years before creating the book and spent as much time on proofreading
as on writing it.
Tactical ProblemsThe 20 whole board
problems have the task "Black to play and achieve the maximum count". We
practise playing all our sente moves, tactical reading, life and
death, and tesujis.
At first glance, these problems appear to be
for 10 kyus. However, most of them can be demanding for dans. The
reader does not know in advance whether a tie with the count 0 is
good enough or he can achieve a win with the count 1, whether he should
play sente or kill, and what tesujis must be deployed.
hidden difficulty serves two purposes: improving presumes solving
problems above one's current level; after overcoming the hurdle at the
beginning of the book, the evaluation problems appear relatively easier
so that we can better learn evaluation. The answers to the whole board
problems show every relevant variation and decision.
endgame evaluation requires application of theory, the necessary theory
is summarised on 35 pages. Therefore, this book can be read
independently, although readers of the first half of Endgame 2 - Values and a representative selection of the basic theory in Endgame 3 - Accurate Local Evaluation are prepared better.
of theory is distributed to several chapters and explained before
its first use. Furthermore, references enable a choice of reading
a whole theory chapter or swapping between its sections and related
sections of subsequent problem chapters.
The basic theory of gote versus
sente, counts (the local positional values) and move values is
explained twice using different approaches. Furthermore, footnotes on
the pages with answers to the problems, an appendix explaining
conventions of diagrams, variables and calculations, and an index
assist the reader. For example, if he forgets what a 'gote count'
is, several tools explain him its calculation as an average.
Similarly, he can recall easily the different calculations of Black's
versus White's 'gains' (which express how much a player's move shifts
counts in his favour).
The theory explains the basic concepts
and values of modern endgame theory. In particular, we learn the
ordinary types 'local gote' versus 'local sente' (one player has a
sente sequence) of local endgame positions. Furthermore, there are the
hybrid type 'ambiguous' and ordinary kos. A local endgame with long
'traversal' sequences (with at least 3 moves worth playing successively) can be a 'long gote' or
'long sente'. We distinguish the types of local endgames to calculate
their appropriate values. Furthermore, value conditions verify that we
calculate the right values. For long types, we also determine for how
long local play should proceed before playing elsewhere. We also
consider whether ko threats can be preserved.
Endgame Problems 1
emphasises the basic theory and skips advanced theory. Therefore, local
gote is distinguished from local sente by the most popular kinds of
conditions, which compare a move value of the initial position to a
follow-up move value of a follow-up position ('follower'). This book
does not study alternative value conditions, options and sophisticated
methods of fast evaluation, which Endgame 3 - Accurate Local Evaluation explains but whose practice is postponed for Endgame Problems 2.
130 evaluation problems with relatively large diagrams have realistic, basic shapes. They vary
from the most basic to intermediate difficulty. The non-standard
shapes and evaluation in the answers of all problems are new.
problems study every basic kind of local endgame: without follow-up,
simple gote with gote follow-ups of one or both players, simple gote
with iterative gote follow-ups, simple gote with sente follow-ups,
simple sente with gote or sente follow-ups, long gote, long sente, with
basic endgame kos, ordinary kos, ambiguous local endgames and mixed shapes. Complex
kos, which require advanced theory, are the only noteworthy omission.
necessary, the answers are very detailed. They analyse move by move and
position by position. Calculation proceeds backwards: we calculate the
counts and move values of the follow-up positions before we derive the
values of the initial local endgame. At every step, we use a value
condition to verify that we calculate the right gote or sente values.
For long sequences, we also determine their lengths and calculate the
gains of their moves. The detailed calculations including verifications
enable the reader to understand their correctness. Some
advanced problems have short naive answers and detailed accurate
answers so that we see when they agree or the naive answers are wrong.
are 'tentative' until they are confirmed. Tentative values are denoted
gently in the text and by a different font for letters of variables.
The reader can ignore this aspect or read the text more deeply by
raising his awareness.
The variables C and M denote counts and
move values, respectively. If several values are calculated, suffixes
refer to the numbers of diagrams or moves.
introductory examples, the book omits trivial text. For every diagram
with a settled position, the caption simply states its count. The
reader is expected to verify it by adding Black's and subtracting
White's points of the marked intersections. Every stone with the label
'A' is worth 1 point for its captor. The label 'H' denotes half a point or minus
half a point. When a gain is calculated from the previously
determined counts before and after a move, the reader should look up
the related diagrams without explicit reference. Instead of repeating
the obvious every time, such
conventions are declared once in the appendix. The footnotes contribute
to keeping the text clean.
As a consequence, it can
concentrate on the
important values and calculations. From the introduction of theory, we
know that negative counts favour White. Here is a sample, in which
footnotes are unshown:
"The initial local endgame with the black follower's count B = 1 in Dia. 26.1 and white follower's count W = -3 in Dia. 26.2 has the gote count
C = (B + W) / 2 = (1 + (-3)) / 2 = -1
and gote move value
M = (B - W) / 2 = (1 - (-3)) / 2 = 2."
important calculation appears in its own row to ease its reading. After the
declaration of the calculated value, the formula is stated, the actual
numbers are inserted and transformed.
ConclusionWe improve finding sente plays, tesujis and our tactical reading. Endgame Problems 1
teaches the relevant theory. Provided we embrace the
effort necessary for calculations and their notation, we
learn correct evaluation of every basic type of local endgame and
its follow-ups. We calculate and verify counts, move values and gains.
* = These are the endconsumer prices in EUR according to UStG
§19 (small business exempted from VAT).