Publisher: Ishi Press
Author: A. A. Troitzky
Year of Publication: 2006 (2nd)
Notation Type: Descriptive (DN)
Alexey Alexeyevich Troitzky (1866-1942) is considered to have been the greatest composer of chess endgame studies ever. To call him a genius is to trivialize his accomplishments, because there are many geniuses, but few can equal the output of Troitzky.
In his lifetime, Troitzky composed more than one thousand chess endgame studies. Nobody really knows how many. In this work, published in 1937, he started an ambitious project to collect all of his creations together and then put them into order according to theme. In this, the first volume of the projected project, Troitzky presented in order endgames which either started with a queen or a rook already on the board or else with a solution that involved promoting a pawn to a queen or a rook. Looking at the section starting on page 259 entitled Classification of Studies by Themes, one can see the logical ordering of this book.
Previous reprints of this work have omitted 72 pages which include the analysis of the two knights vs. pawn endgames which Troitzky proved for the first time leads to a win for the two knights, depending on the position of the pawn. By removing this section, previous editors butchered the work, because many of these compositions end with a position involving two knights against a pawn. In these cases, Troitzky simply writes And wins. To see how White wins one needs the section on two knights against pawn.
Here is the complete work. Nowadays, the great sport has become trying to bust or cook by computer analysis the long established problems such as those in this book. However, Troitzky's compositions have stood the test of time more than those of other composers. Computers have a horizon beyond which theycannot see. Thus, endgame composition and analysis is one field where humans can still beat and perhaps will always be able to defeat even the most powerful computers.
The problems in this book are truly fantastic. The solutions look impossible. Yet, what seems like many defenses are simply not there. Somehow there are no safe places where the king or queen can escape or there is a knight just in exactly the right spot to give a fork. It is good that the solutions come right after the problems, because nobody could ever solve them if the solutions were put in the back.