In keeping with my attempt to learn the parts of the game I’ve so long neglected, I’m working my way through Endgame Strategy by MI Shereshevsky. Quote from the introduction:
Dvoryestky considers it essential to know the classics, to analyze complicated practical rather than theoretical endings, and to find general rules and principles of play in complex endings. And in theoretical endings it is sufficient to know whether the ending is won or drawn, and to have a rough impression of the plan of play.
Hooray, no more drudgery with Basic Chess Endings.
So these “general rules and principles” that Shereshevsky examines are things such as the idea of two weaknesses, “do not hurry!”, how to consider exchanges, surpressing counterplay, and so on.
At the same time, he reiterates that there really aren’t hard-and-fast rules – only tools that can help unlock the secrets of a simplified position. Or at least help you find a decent move…