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Back in 2007 I published my first English language book on planning (Modern Chess Planning — Gambit), which was later translated and published in the Greek, Spanish and Iranian languages, making it a best-seller. In 2019 I published a two-volume series called ‘Monster Your Middlegame Planning’ and now it was time to do the same on the Endgame! All four books are published by ‘Chess Evolution’.
The format is the same as in MYMP, with 13 thematic chapters, where in each of them 6 tests are included (in each volume). Each theme is analysed by modern concepts and tips, which will drive the reader to the right path. For me solving the tests is not the most important feature. Understanding them and learning how to do the job in an over-the-board game is far more important and what counts at the end of the day!
With this book-series I have sought to provide a training guide that will be helpful mostly to players in the 1500–2200 range — corresponding to a lower club level up to those with aspirations for a FIDE title. Of course, the books may well also be useful for players weaker than 1500, or for those stronger than 2200, but this is a decision these players should make for themselves!
In this book there are 78 tests, each based around a game. In each of these tests, the starting point is the first diagram. There is an evaluation of the diagrammed position, which helps the reader to understand some important facts about the position itself. A presentation of three possible plans follows. Then the reader must decide which is the most valuable/best plan. The best plan receives a maximum of 50 points. The other, less good, bad or indifferent plans normally receive some points or none at all, depending on their actual value and correctness. Some of the plans receive no points at all; they are just bad!
After completing the work on each test, the reader must take a look at the solution, where he can find the answers. In the solutions, the game is analysed until its end, so the reader can better understand why the rewarded plan was the ‘best’ in the position and how it worked out. There are a few examples where the best available plan was overlooked, but these are exceptions and the games are nevertheless quite interesting.
By this point, you will have received some very good training. But then, it will do no harm to measure your ‘strength’ on this subject. The maximum score is 3.900 points and you should divide your total score by 1.5:
Total Points Planning Strength
2300–2399 International Master
2200–2299 FIDE Master
2000–2199 Candidate Master
1800–1999 National Master
1600–1799 National A’ Category
1400–1699 National B’ Category
1200–1399 National C’ Category
0–1199 Should try harder!
As one might notice from the score-table, expectations are a little higher than usual for the categories listed, as in this book the evaluation of the position is given by the author beforehand, and this is a great help for the reader. A correct evaluation of any position is one of the most significant factors in chess, but that could be the subject for another book. It is now time for you to work and train on that important chess concept, the plan.
Have fun and train well!