Review of Endgame Virtuoso Magnus Carlsen by Tibor Karolyi


Endgame Virtuoso Magnus Carlsen by Tibor Karolyi; New in Chess 2018 272pp

Hungarian IM Tibor Karolyi has proven himself to be one of the better chess authors out there today. Not only is he prolific, producing several volumes a year, but he is also instructive and thorough. There is nothing in his books that screams "potboiler" - unlike so many other prolific authors through the history of chess.

But when I saw the title of his new book I thought "Wait, what's going on here?" After all, Magnus is still in his prime. Isn't it a little early to be comparing him to someone like Karpov? (A few years back Karolyi wrote Endgame Virtuoso Anatoly Karpov.)

However, my "fears" were quickly allayed when IM Karolyi made reference to that fact in the Introduction.

While it's true that the Magnus of today will likely be eclipsed by the Magnus of whenever he decides to stop playing it's also true that while it may be a bit early to consider him the greatest of all time, it's certainly an undeniable fact that Magnus is the greatest active player in the world right now.

Anyone who closely follows modern chess understands that the higher up the food chain you go the more important endgame knowledge becomes. After all, while at the club level it's common to see a game decided when one player or the other hangs a piece, at the Super GM level that just doesn't happen too often. Therefore endgame play is often the decider.

This endgame book does not set out to teach the reader anything about theoretical endgames, which of course are the foundation of endgame knowledge. However, it serves one very important purpose which in my opinion is a close second to theoretical knowledge when it comes to becoming a strong endgame player. It shows the concepts of schematic thinking.

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