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  1. 08 Jul '06 06:44
    I occasionally come across pearls of wisdom such as "king + rook v king + bishop is a draw" or "when behind in material, try to swap off pawns and when ahead try to swap off pieces". If strong players are aware of these extra "rules" it will give them quite an advantage
    Does anyone know of a book containing such principles?
  2. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    08 Jul '06 06:56
    try this:

    http://chessville.com/instruction/instr_gen_collection_wisdom_intro.htm
  3. 08 Jul '06 07:06 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Mixo
    I occasionally come across pearls of wisdom such as "king + rook v king + bishop is a draw" or "when behind in material, try to swap off pawns and when ahead try to swap off pieces". If strong players are aware of these extra "rules" it will give them quite an advantage
    Does anyone know of a book containing such principles?
    Almost any chess book with "strategy" in the title will repeat these pearls of wisdom, which all stem from the greats such as Tarrasch, Nimzovitch, Lasker et al, when they wrote their first books 80 odd years ago. The trouble with rules are that they don't always apply and in many cases have been reviewed as John Watson says in his "The secrets of modern chess strategy."

    The point of the "rules of thumb" is that they take give a general grasp of a position, and can take the place of analysis when the clock is ticking next to you, over the board. There is an argument that says that in the correspondence arena, we can almost do without them because the longer analysis time (if we do any of course) will give us a deeper understanding of the position at hand, and we can find ways to make our ideas work.

    The fact is that chess is a difficult game and the masters have created the "rules of thumb" to make their games "understandable" to the masses because few would read pages of analysis that prove, in the given circumstance, that a Rook on the seventh rank was a winning advantage. After all they want to sell their books!

    Edit (spelling)
  4. 08 Jul '06 07:07
    Yes! Teach Yourself Better Chess by William Hartson is exactly the book you want. It includes 75 of these wise sayings with 1-2 pages of discussion and a summarizing snippet. I found it very useful.
  5. 08 Jul '06 07:09
    I should note however, that the book's concepts become progressively more involved. As such, it is split into three sections: elementary, advanced, and master.
  6. 08 Jul '06 07:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    Yes! Teach Yourself Better Chess by William Hartson is exactly the book you want. It includes 75 of these wise sayings with 1-2 pages of discussion and a summarizing snippet. I found it very useful.
    Isnt that the book that claims to make you an expert then in small print it says something along the lines of "you should be 110 BCF after finishing this book"

  7. 08 Jul '06 09:03
    LOL! No, not this one. At least not the second edition (2003). I haven't actually read the first edition. Anyway, the book has received excellent reviews and I can tell from my own experience that it is very good, especially for $10.
  8. 08 Jul '06 14:15 / 1 edit
    Thank you everyone.
    Some very promising leads to follow up here.
    Much appreciated.
  9. 08 Jul '06 17:42
    Originally posted by Mixo
    I occasionally come across pearls of wisdom such as "king + rook v king + bishop is a draw" or "when behind in material, try to swap off pawns and when ahead try to swap off pieces". If strong players are aware of these extra "rules" it will give them quite an advantage
    Does anyone know of a book containing such principles?
    Eh, from what I've seen K+R v. K+B is a potential draw. For example black has K+B, (dark squared) v. white's K+R. Draw right? Actually no, because black's King is forced into a dark squared corner, thus the bishop cannot guard it, so the game ends 1-0.
  10. 08 Jul '06 18:56
    Show me a proof. I'm 99.9% sure that Rook + king vs Bishop + King is a draw.
  11. 08 Jul '06 19:13 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by exigentsky
    Show me a proof. I'm 99.9% sure that Rook + king vs Bishop + King is a draw.
    Black King b8, Black Bishop c8, White King b6, White R d3.
    Black to move.
    1...Bf5 2. Rd8+ Bc8 3. Re8 mate next move

    from Practical chess endings - Paul Keres.

  12. 08 Jul '06 19:26
    Originally posted by Mixo
    I occasionally come across pearls of wisdom such as "king + rook v king + bishop is a draw" or "when behind in material, try to swap off pawns and when ahead try to swap off pieces". If strong players are aware of these extra "rules" it will give them quite an advantage
    Does anyone know of a book containing such principles?
    A good book that contains some pearls of wisdoms such as this would be Seirawans Winning Chess Strategies . It is an ideal book for anyone under 1600.
  13. 08 Jul '06 19:38
    Originally posted by Mister Meaner
    Black King b8, Black Bishop c8, White King b6, White R d3.
    Black to move.
    1...Bf5 2. Rd8+ Bc8 3. Re8 mate next move

    from Practical chess endings - Paul Keres.

    [fen]1kb5/8/1K6/8/8/3R4/8/8 b - - 0 1[/fen]
    Thank you, and yes this is the exact example I was thinking of, however, mine is from Pandolfini's Endgame Course .
  14. 08 Jul '06 19:40
    Originally posted by Mister Meaner
    Black King b8, Black Bishop c8, White King b6, White R d3.
    Black to move.
    1...Bf5 2. Rd8+ Bc8 3. Re8 mate next move

    from Practical chess endings - Paul Keres.

    [fen]1kb5/8/1K6/8/8/3R4/8/8 b - - 0 1[/fen]
    Also possible is bishop on d7, Rook on h3, white to move. Play continues, Rh8+ Bc8 Rg8 Ka8 Rxc8#.
  15. 08 Jul '06 19:44
    Originally posted by cmsMaster
    Eh, from what I've seen K+R v. K+B is a potential draw. For example black has K+B, (dark squared) v. white's K+R. Draw right? Actually no, because black's King is forced into a dark squared corner, thus the bishop cannot guard it, so the game ends 1-0.
    KR vs KB is generally a draw. The exception being cases where the defending king is already on the edge and not in a safe corner (safe being the opposite colour to which the bishop controls), and with the attacking king close by. I'd guess 99% or so positions are drawn.