Karsten Mueller: Chess Endgames 8 - Practical Rook Endgames
3 hours and 41 minutes running time.
Dr. Mueller has already produced one DVD on rook endings. This new volume focuses on the practical side as opposed to the theoretical aspect. The introduction sets the scene. The presenter encourages viewers to think for themselves and to develop – and use – chess intuition rather than dogmatically accepting the ‘rules’ of rook endings.
The material is divided into seven chapters. Each one consists of a number of short lessons on tricky techniques and tricks for the both sides of the board. The lessons never outstay their welcome; they are clear and concise. Sometimes just two minutes is enough for the salient points to be demonstrated.
Chapter 1: Rook vs. pawn
The first chapter concerns battles with a Rook against a pawn (or pawns). The subject may sound simple enough, but to show that the material on offer here is definitely not of a trivial nature.
Chapter 2: Rook techniques
The second chapter examines topics such as ‘the king needs a place to hide’ and ‘typical winning technique against a blockading rook’. Here’s an interesting and instructive passage of play from the section called ‘The rook is in full control’.
Chapter 3: Protection against a series of checks.
The most important part if this chapter concerns the creation of an umbrella. The term ‘umbrella’ was coined (at least in the context of Rook endings) by GM Dvoretsky. The King has a shelter ‘from the rain of checks.’
Chapter 4: The 4th phase of the game
The 4th phase comes after the opening, middlegame and endgame. It’s when both sides go on to promote a pawn. This is a shorter chapter than the rest and it examines the factors which will tip the scales in favour of one side. King safety is of paramount importance.
Chapter 5: Activity counts most.
This chapter is all about active Rooks v passive Rooks and how to handle such positions.
Chapter 6: Defence.
This is a long chapter, with a special emphasis placed on the art of how to ‘Be careful when simplifying into a pawn ending’. Even top players can make mistakes when it comes to this.
Chapter 7: Complicated cases.
As if chapters 1-6 weren’t complicated enough! There’s some real heavyweight material here. The concluding part looks at a very famous ending from the titanic 1978 World Championship match, under the title of ‘Duel of the Legends.
All information taken from the Chessbase website.