Amateur to IM: Proven Ideas and Training Methods - Johathan Hawkins

International Master Jonathan Hawkins was a relatively slow starter in the world of chess.Learning the game at the age of eight, he was a keen junior who won a number of local tournaments. But by his own admission, ‘by the time I was in my mid-teens my age-to-playing-strength ratio was distinctly average.’ He started to study chess very seriously in his late teens and achieved a rapid rise through the ranks. He became a FIDE Master in 2008 and earned the title of International Master in 2010. 2011 brought Jonathan two Grandmaster norms. One of them was earned at the super-strong British Championship, in which he outscored numerous Grandmasters to share third place.

How did Jonathan Hawkins manage to go from being an average tournament competitor to a player on the brink of clinching the Grandmaster title? It took just three years for him to become a FIDE Master, an International Master and to achieve his first two Grandmaster norms. The secret was knowing what to study and how to learn as efficiently as possible. Focusing his attention firmly on the endgame, Jonathan devised a number of building blocks and identified a number of very important areas of study. The result of his hard work was a meteoric rise through the ranks, as he became firmly established as a prominent GM killer on the English tournament circuit.

These pages reveal the secrets of his notebooks for the first time. IM Hawkins presents special material aimed to help you become a much better practical player, one armed with a deeper understanding of key aspects of chess. A careful study of the lessons presented in this book should enable the chess student to gain a significant improvement in both performance and rating.

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Contents: 9 Introduction; 13 Thinking Techniques; 14 Reaching the Horizon - Reference Points in Calculation; 25 A Short Introduction to Planning in the Endgame; 31 Capablanca’s Pawn Endgame; 51 Step by Step - A Guide to Little Plans; 66 Essential Rook Endgames; 90 Bishop and Pawn Connections - Dynamic Defense; 109 Pawn Walls Against Bishops; 131 Dropping Down the Anchor; 147 Back to Reality - Other Minor-Piece Endgames; 169 Exercises!; 177 My Favorite Endgame; 201 A Long Discussion of a Short Endgame; 224 Skeleton of the Minority Attack - Endgames in the Karlsbad Structure; 268 Extra Pawn on the Queenside / Part 1 - Positional Advantage; 290 Extra Pawn on the Queenside / Part 2 - Walking the Borderline; 294 Ulf on the Warpath! / Development in the Endgame; 319 Positions for Analysis; 323 Solutions to Exercises; 357 Follow-up Solutions; 366 Final Thoughts; 368 Bibliography.
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