I have long been a firm believer in solving, but most of what I have solved is tactical puzzles, and generally I’ve gravitated towards the simpler ones at that.
However, for pure calculation training I have been told by numerous people that it’s hard to top the effectiveness of endgame studies.
Elk a Ruby, a quite welcome recent addition to publishing chess books in English has published a collection of thematic study collections call “One ____ Saves the Day” where the ____ can be Queen, Rook, Bishop, Knight, etc.
The studies were compiled by Sergei Tkachenko, who was a member of the Ukrainian team which won the 5th World Chess Composition Tournament in 1997.
What’s particularly nice about these studies is the (relative) ease of solving them.
This is not to imply that they are simple to solve…certainly they are not! However, compared to the level of most endgame study collections such as Kasparyan, they are much more manageable for those at the club player level.
The concept is that at the end of the solution, White will be left with just one of the titular pieces. So in this case, a rook.
The book is comprised of 100 studies, and almost all solutions run six moves or less, which again speaks to the fact that most are solvable with varying degrees of difficulty at the club level. Contrast this with studies I’ve been shown by various GM’s with solutions running 12-15 moves, almost none of which I could solve on my best day.
Let’s take a look at the first position, where it’s White to play and draw.
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