Games from Irving Chernev's "Capablanca's Best Chess Endings"
The opening of a game is important - and hundreds of books are written on the opening. The opening leads to the midgame.
The midgame is important - and hundreds of books are written on the midgame. The midgame leads to the endgame.
The endgame is important - and *no books are written on the endgame*!
Yes, there are books, but they concern themselves with composed endings, or with theoretical (and for the most part artificial) positions.
The composed endings are admittedly beautiful, but they are of limited value, as they have no relationship to practical play.
Of the theoretical positions, many have their uses, but one must sift the wheat from the chaff. TO what use can we put such knowledge as the procedure for mating with a Knight and Bishop, or with the two Bishops, when an opportunity to do so may not occur in a lifetime? And why burden our minds with the manner of forcing mate with three knights (believe-it-or-not) or winning with four minor pieces against a Queen (sans Pans) when such positions as these have never yet been seen on land or sea?
Capablanca himself says : "In order to improve your game, you must study the endgame before anything else; for whereas the endings can be studied and mastered by themselves, the middlegame and the opening must be studied in relation to the endgame."
There are no books on endings from real life, no books from the practices of masters in actual play, let alone from the practice of a single master.
This fact alone is enough to justify this book of endings, selected from the tournament and match play of the greatest endgame virtuoso the world has ever seen - the immortal Capablanca.
Here are wondrous endings to enchant the reader, endings of breathtaking artistry.
Here are endings of astonishing accuracy, whose relentless logic will inspire the earnest student to emulate a similar technique - the technique of seeking a clear-cut, efficient win, instead of a display of fireworks.
The games are given in full, in order to show how a slight advantage acquired in the early stages, is carried forward and exploited in the endgame.
I have annotated the endings in detail (a consideration they have rarely received before) for the better appreciation of the fine points of Capablanca's play, and have given credit to those who have anticipated my findings.