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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Endgame Improvement (Read 18534 times)
passiffity
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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #59 - 07/30/17 at 20:26:20
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ErictheRed wrote on 07/28/17 at 18:11:49:
One thing about studying technical endgames, and K + Pawn studies, is that after doing that for a while, I always feel a great clarity of thought come over my play.  I "see" things better in all phases of the game, solve tactical problems better, can calculate better, etc.  I'm really in the pro-endgame camp, personally.

Thanks guys, have read people discussing the kind of crossover you both write about and which ErictheRed illustrates so well in the above quote.  With my poor memory I've no illusions but am hopeful that along with improving my endgame there might be a little of this as well. =)
  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #58 - 07/29/17 at 12:17:45
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I didn't do solitaire chess with them, but what I did do was annotate them. I wrote in the book every question I had and  investigated without a computer  until I had the answer, which I wrote down next to it. What's the point of this move? What if x.... But why not y?

This worked for me. Plus when I reread the book I can see what I was thinking and how far I've come (what was a question then is obvious now).
« Last Edit: 07/29/17 at 15:58:13 by ReneDescartes »  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #57 - 07/28/17 at 18:11:49
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One thing about studying technical endgames, and K + Pawn studies, is that after doing that for a while, I always feel a great clarity of thought come over my play.  I "see" things better in all phases of the game, solve tactical problems better, can calculate better, etc.  I'm really in the pro-endgame camp, personally. 

There's a huge difference between reading an endgame book and actually training, though.  I think that this is a big problem with chess improvement in general; it's easy to just read through a book but not do much work on your own, then wonder why you didn't actually improve.  There are a few highly technical positions that you need to just learn/memorize (Lucena's position, Philidor's, various K vs. K+P, etc), but for the most part you should be viewing every new position as one that you've arrived at in a game and try to solve it for yourself before looking at whatever your author says.  It takes a long time, but that's the only way to ensure that you'll actually improve.
  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #56 - 07/28/17 at 16:43:56
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You won't regret it. You become unafraid of simplifying; you become sensitive to the lurking endgame even as you pursue middlegame plans; your attack need not be pursued to mate but can be dissolved into a won ending that untrained players just wouldn't win. And you leave many opponents who thought they were as good as you or better wondering what happened to their wins or draws.
  
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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #55 - 07/19/17 at 19:38:27
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ReneDescartes wrote on 12/30/13 at 20:09:36:
I'm definitely in the "learn technical endings first" camp. Years ago, I studied three basic technical endgame books at the same time, including Averbach's Chess Endings: Essential Knowledge.

Every time I have studied technical endings, my strategic endgame play has improved. This is partly, I think, because I know better which simplifications are threats; partly because most strategic endgame principles--active rook, active king, two weaknesses, centralized pieces,  threatening the right exchanges, etc.--are actually quite operative in technical endings; and partly because calculation  plays a role in almost every endgame, and technical endings train you to express your positional knowledge through calculation, though at times of a sort different from middlegame calculation.

The best book for studying technical endings is the book whose style you like best, the one whose explanations you understand and that keeps you motivated. Lots of books have a good selection of material including the absolute essentials plus a selection of very desirable semi-essentials. I found that using two or three books, with Averbach in the lead, gave me valuable multiple perspectives on the material.

Today if I were doing this I might use De La Villa (who writes a little like Capablanca) and Silman (who writes a little like Grouch Marx), with Averbach in the lead.


Thanks a bunch for sharing this, have wanted to spend some time doing an earnest but practical study of endgames and like this idea very much, plus all three books are highly recommended and available!


  
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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #54 - 08/02/14 at 12:28:55
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My latest blogarticle discusses practical endgames: http://chess-brabo.blogspot.be/2014/08/practical-endgames.html
  
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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #53 - 06/27/14 at 13:09:08
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MartinC wrote on 06/26/14 at 10:01:58:
I have to say that my impression of 'pure' B&B vs R endings is that the poor rook gets totally outgunned, so I'd have stayed well clear of anything like that on principle.

That was my point of view too before I fell into this in the game and reached the BB vs RPP ending. Now I would go for it, in this case on the rook side.

The additional point for training endgames is analogous to the discussion about starting to learn to play open positions. You cannot avoid endgames if your opponent plays appropriate.
  

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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #52 - 06/26/14 at 10:01:58
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In answer to the question about endgame study - any concentrated sort of study on chess (where you put in effort!) is good.

Endgame study is probably a good way to train pure calculation as the positions are often clean enough to really get a long way into, and to punish minor innacuracies quite hard. That all gets much less clear in most sorts of middlegames.

We're having a gently amused/pointlessly pedantic debate about the given position just because we're not sure if it really relates to endgames rather than something else Smiley I have to say that my impression of 'pure' B&B vs R endings is that the poor rook gets totally outgunned, so I'd have stayed well clear of anything like that on principle.
  
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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #51 - 06/26/14 at 09:11:08
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baeron wrote on 06/25/14 at 13:36:49:
Jupp53 wrote on 06/25/14 at 13:02:44:
Exchanging one pair of rooks this is an endgame for me with middlegame elements. But maybe this is one of my weaknesses to judge it this way. After the exchange of the rooks white forced the queen exchange, which lead to an endgame r+2p vs 2B.

The road to an endgame is often a small one. That's what I wanted to say and the game position has to do with different choices.

But in this case, are you sure that the lack of endgame knowledge was really the reason you exchanged rooks in this position? In other words, did you aim for the 2B vs R+2P endgame, or did you not foresee that white could also force the swapping of queens? Was Rab8 one of your candidate moves?
I agree with brabo that to me this looks more like a middlegame problem. As I said, I don't know much about these endgames apart from the very vague fact, that I've always suffered with a rook against the bishop pair. I'd have no firm idea how to try and use those two pawns extra to my advantage. But to me, even this vague idea is enough for me do decide that if possible I'd try to keep the heavies on board for a long as possible. That's by the way not saying that I would have found Rb8...

What were your feelings during the game once you found out that this endgame would certainly arise (after the exchange of Q's)?


At first I could not judge the position. Exchanging rooks was a wrong positional decision. Rb8 would have been more active but I didn't see it this way. Then I overlooked the Qa4-g4 manoeuvre white played. Both players misjudged the resulting position as better for white. Indeed it was better for black. So my feelings were fighting for a draw and activate the rook and defend the pawn. Indeed I should have used the pawns more active.

Having analyzed this with my trainer four hours I can tell that all my weaknesses came out. The endgame weakness was not the only one, but  in this case decisive.

And - if I had analyzed this only all by myself I wouldn't have detected this. I would have searched in the opening and the early middlegame for the reasons of the defeat.
  

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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #50 - 06/25/14 at 17:48:01
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As an weak player I get confused. The main question is still: Is endgame study waste of time or not?

I think doing endgame study and execises will improve your visualization and calculating ability. And not necessarily only the technique of delivering mate. Those players which have reach 2000+ has learned this in other ways. But will endgame study be a shortcut or tardy route?

I still have hard to belief that Capablanca and Tarrasch were wrong.
  
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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #49 - 06/25/14 at 13:51:59
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MartinC wrote on 06/25/14 at 13:31:21:
Even thinking of swapping rooks as black does look strange though


actually 1...Rxa3 2.Qxa3 f5 is the first line that popped into my mind, although it doesn't take too long to see it's not good Smiley
  

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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #48 - 06/25/14 at 13:36:49
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Jupp53 wrote on 06/25/14 at 13:02:44:
Exchanging one pair of rooks this is an endgame for me with middlegame elements. But maybe this is one of my weaknesses to judge it this way. After the exchange of the rooks white forced the queen exchange, which lead to an endgame r+2p vs 2B.

The road to an endgame is often a small one. That's what I wanted to say and the game position has to do with different choices.

But in this case, are you sure that the lack of endgame knowledge was really the reason you exchanged rooks in this position? In other words, did you aim for the 2B vs R+2P endgame, or did you not foresee that white could also force the swapping of queens? Was Rab8 one of your candidate moves?
I agree with brabo that to me this looks more like a middlegame problem. As I said, I don't know much about these endgames apart from the very vague fact, that I've always suffered with a rook against the bishop pair. I'd have no firm idea how to try and use those two pawns extra to my advantage. But to me, even this vague idea is enough for me do decide that if possible I'd try to keep the heavies on board for a long as possible. That's by the way not saying that I would have found Rb8...

What were your feelings during the game once you found out that this endgame would certainly arise (after the exchange of Q's)?
  
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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #47 - 06/25/14 at 13:31:21
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Semi endgame by the time you lose one pair of rooks.

Even thinking of swapping rooks as black does look strange though, because Rb8,b5,c5,b4 etc is just so automatic.
(and I'd presume strong too.).

White's rook on a3 is hardly very well placed Smiley
  
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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #46 - 06/25/14 at 13:02:44
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Exchanging one pair of rooks this is an endgame for me with middlegame elements. But maybe this is one of my weaknesses to judge it this way. After the exchange of the rooks white forced the queen exchange, which lead to an endgame r+2p vs 2B.

The road to an endgame is often a small one. That's what I wanted to say and the game position has to do with different choices.
  

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Re: Endgame Improvement
Reply #45 - 06/25/14 at 11:52:19
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Jupp, the position which you show is still a middlegame for me (with or without exchanging the rooks). In fact I am sure you can look to any endgame-book and you won't find a position even a bit resembling to what you are showing. So I don't believe that via studying endgames that you will make the right decision in such kind of position.

B.t.w. with the open white king and blacks heavy pieces still on the board how can one think that white is ever better.
  
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