Hey everybody! My month of endgames and beauty is drawing to a close. This week was pretty harrowing for me. I was uninspired and frustrated, staring at a chess board for hours without seeing so much as a tiny tactical twist. Creating endgame studies is really hard, people. But I think this week helped me figure out what I've been doing wrong this whole month.
Basically, endgame studies are based on tactical themes. If you don't start with a tactical theme, you're going to have a hard time making any kind of study at all. Sometimes I would sit at the board looking at an endgame but not with any clear plan of what I wanted to do, and that was death to my productivity. I came to this realization, and to the realization that my creativity was shot, pretty quickly. So I finished up a couple themes I had already been looking at, then quit trying to compose for a few days. Here is a fun one, although not particularly deep:
During this time I instead read two books: 888 Miniature Studies by Kasparian, and Collection of Chess Studies by Troitzky.
During these reading days, I had a further epiphany about endgame studies: Nearly all modern-day endgame studies are improvements and refinements on old themes. This shouldn't have been a huge revelation; as the chess saying goes, "There is nothing new under the sun". This realization left me frustrated and angry. Creating something in which the beautiful tactical idea was already supplied for me felt like cheating. Nonetheless, I had a go, culminating in a study that doesn't work:
I suppose I could make this work by reversing colors and adding more of an introduction. I'll have to try that this next week.
I recently found that one of the themes I composed last week was a derivative ancient study, although I am pleased to say my version was better than the original. Still, it was a blow.
The stuff that I have been composing could have been a viable study a hundred years ago, but today all of that is known and my twists are too slight to make any difference. I can only dream of making something like this:
Brilliant, no? But the major tactical theme had been invented in the 50s.
Still, we study creators must soldier on. Maybe I'll have better luck next week. Until next time!