FOREWORD by Yury L. Averbakh: The first English edition of Comprehensive Chess Endings was published almost twenty years ago. Much water has flowed under the bridges since that time; swift computerization has caused many changes in all realms of human life. Chess is no exception. The computer program has already defeated the world champion, and there exists a stage of the game where the computer is infallible. That stage is the endgame with few pieces left on the board.
The new time control has led to a drastic acceleration of play taking away both adjournments and resumptions into the past. If one could previously adjourn a game and analyze a certain position calmly, now everything is to be done right at the board and in a short time. This makes a good fundamental knowledge of basic endgames all the more important.
The main objective of this new edition is to unite the experience accumulated by many generations of chess players with the latest computer technologies. So no wonder that it is not released as a printed book but as a software product, prepared in co-operation with the famous chess software company Convekta. Together we have done the following work:
As a result there have been corrected about 130 examples. Since there are over 4,100 examples in total, I can be proud of the work we have done without any computer assistance in the 1950s and 1980s. That is why we often left the previous edition’s text unchanged, simply supplying it with the latest corrections. These are highlighted and marked with the sign “RR”. Running across such a sign an interested reader can compare human investigations with the computer verdict.
First of all I would like to remind that the first three-volume edition of Shakhmatnye Okonchaniya, published in 1956-1962, was prepared with the assistance of the Soviet masters N.Kopayev, V.Chekhover, V.Khenkin and the famous endgame theorist I.Maizelis. The first English edition, published in 1983-1987 by Pergamon Press, was translated from Russian by Kenneth P. Neat.
This revision has made use of the endgame tablebases by Eugene Nalimov, the database management system Chess Assistant and several playing programs. I am particularly grateful to the Convekta’s chess staff for their preparing the database and to many chess players throughout the world who have offered advice and suggestions and have commented on the previous edition. After all I am very grateful to Convekta’s programmer staff for their untiring work on the software.
Comprehensive Chess Endings is a fundamental program for studying endgame theory. The material for it is supplied by the prominent endgame theoretician GM Yuri Averbakh.
The program includes 4182 theoretically important games and examples thoroughly analyzed
All the games and examples are classified into 300 themes:
The material is based on a printed edition of Comprehensive Chess Endings (the legal right for using it in electronic form was licensed from Everymann). All the chess material is calculated through by the leading chess playing programs using the endgame tables; it was also deeply elaborated and revised by GM Yuri Averbakh thus contributing to revised evaluation of some important theoretical endings compared to the printed edition. Both computer evaluations and variations are given for every move in the games and examples. Games from the modern practice are given, where a position in question occurrs:
The program supports the Nalimov endgame tablebases. In endings with 3, 4 and 5 pieces on the board you can select a piece so that the program highlights winning, drawing and losing zones.
A built-in Test mode allows you to find strong moves played in classic endings.
The built-in playing programs Crafty and Dragon
or if wished a wide variety of Winboard engines
as well as the powerful searching system Chess Assistant Light allow analyzing and playing through the positions in question
editing variations, searching for the necessary information, printing out and exporting into a text file either in RTF or HTML format.
No additional software required
Essential: IBM-compatible PC, 64 MB memory (RAM), Hard Disk (150 MB of free disk space), Windows 95/98/2000/NT/ME/XP, CD-ROM drive.