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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Play Chess Endgame Like a Grandmaster!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

There is a nice review of a DVD that could really power up your endgame chess play. Learn to play endgames like Grandmasters do. 

Chess King Training: Endgames (DVD), by Alexander Panchenko, $25.00 (ChessCafe Price: $21.00)Chess King Training: Endgames is a course composed by GM Alexander Panchenko designed for club, intermediate, and advanced players in the rating ranges 1500 to 2400. It aims to teach the student the intricacies of the endgame through a theoretical section of 700+ "games/lectures," each of which are said to illustrate theoretical and practical endgame methods. There is also a training section that has more than 300 exercises for the user to test their skill.

The contents are divided as follows:
Pawn endings (67)
Knight endings (94)
Bishops of opposite color (36)
Opposite colored bishops with rooks or queens on the board (11)
Bishops of the same color (35)
Bishop against knight (64)
Bishop pair in the endgame (30)
Extra exchange (44)
Rook against pawns (41)
Rook endings (169)
Endings with four rooks (15)
Queen endings (34)
Queen against two rooks (17)
Multi-piece endings (52)

There are three options in the ChessKing interface: "Learn," "Practice," and "Test."

"Learn" gives you access to the lecture material. There are three main elements on the screen: the chessboard, the lecture content, and a table of contents with drop-down menu features that lets you navigate to specific topics.

"Practice" and "Test" seem to be essentially the same feature, except that "Test" randomizes the positions and you can choose the number of positions as well as the material covered, while "Practice" presents them in sequential order. In each, if you make a wrong move, the chess piece that should be moved will blink as a hint. If you make the correct move, you will either be prompted to make another after the program moves or the program will play through the entire example on its own without the need for any further input from the user.

The program can track the progress of multiple users and offers feedback to track progress in terms of an Elo rating and accompanying chart. Nevertheless, adding another user is not an intuitive process. There is no "add new user button," instead one must double-click on the name of the displayed user. Upon doing so, a switch/create new user dialog box appears. However, the user is left to discover this on their own.

Head over to ChessKing Training for more info or read the full review at Chess Cafe.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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