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It's nice to see a 1k rated player post a wall of text.
Rook/pawn endgames are very tactical. If a beginner learned how to deal with them well they'd naturally learn many other tactical aspects aswell.
So, because I'm not a high-rated player I can't have an opinion on what works for improvement? Especially what's worked for me? What respected intructors/authors like Silman and Heisman espouse.
You want to disagree fine, but take the pretentious attidtude somewhere else. I am entitled to my opinion regardless of rating.
The endgame of learning the endgame before anything else was touted by players who were not good teachers nor understood teaching beginning players or how the brain learns either. People will also point to that russian schools do the samething as well but thats because by the time players were accepted to the Russian school of chess they were already masters. The idea of endgame before anything else is because this is where those master players lost-won-drew games. Their mastery of tactics and other aspects were strong enough that the endgame was the most important part of the game for them!
This comment comes out of a lot of masters watching amateurs players focus too much on openings and exclude endgame study but the same can be said for excluding anything else. tactics , endgame or openings... thing should be in balance. What is important is what occurs in your own games. If games are lost in the middlegame then endgame knowledge is meaningless. Practice those things where your chances are missed not where you might hope they occur.
Another final point, endgame study is a lot of rout memorization and easy for coaches to teach and IMO lazy! It can easily be done on your own but over kill isnt necessary. Silman's book provides a great lesson template for what players should know for their rating. Learning more endgame theory is not going to be as effective as spending that time studying tactics or middlegame patterns.
Before the endgame the gods have placed the middlegame. - Tarrasch
Lets quote another champion Do not permit yourself to fall in love with the end-game play to the exclusion of entire games. It is well to have the whole story of how it happened; the complete play, not the denouement only.- Lasker
Please listen to what they are saying.
They do not say .... study the endgame because it is the endgame. They say study the endgame because in that fase you can learn best how pieces work and how they can work together (or when they dont). This knowledge is essential in the middlegame and opening too.
Yes you can learn these concepts from the middlegame or the opening too if you really want. But why do it the hard way when the best way is shown to you right here.
All I'm saying is I'd take a beginner and teach them how the pieces work with endgames. I did not say "OMG, study nothing but endgames!". In fact, I personally believe studying annotated master games is the best way to go, because you get the whole package: Openings, middlegames, and endgames.
From my own experience, I've had countless games where I was outplayed in the opening, but came back to win in a basic endgame scenario.
I'd like to point out that these debates are pointless. People are going to study what interests them. It just pains me to see beginners think they were somehow chosen by God to enlighten people on the truth about what the best way to get good at chess is.
Yes Jeremy Silman says that a beginner rated under 1000 should spend very little time on the endgame, should just learn basic checkmates (i.e. not two bishops), but instead gain as much tactical strength as possible.
The balance of tactics, endgame, middlegame, and opening theory is more important than ever. Of course anyone can study endgames very in-depth if they want to. What he's trying to say is that everything should be at a balance.
I'll read you guys the quote right out of my book:
IM Jeremy Silman, "Every player should receive well-rounded training. The correct study of chess calls for balance. Fr example, a beginner needs to spend very little time on the endgame. (Basic mates are all he or she needs.) Instead, the beginner's main efforts should be devoted to gaining as much tactical acumen as possibble. On the other hand, a tournament player in the 1500 range needs quite a bit of critical but easy-to-learn endgame knowledge if he or she wants to move up the rating ladder. However, such a player shouldn't indiscriminately study random endgame positions. The balanced study of tactics, strategy, opening theory, and appropriate endgames is more important here than ever."
There you have PROOF from an International Master!
I wouldn't call on person's opinion as 'PROOF'. I hear all the time the claim that masters are often not as good at teaching beginners as club players are. All that being said, I agree with most of his points. I still feel that one should start learning how the pieces work with basic endgames first. Less pieces on the board allow for an easier understanding of what's going on with piece strength and weakness. Then from there, you can start working on tactics once they understand how the pieces work.
Well, Dan Heisman espouses the same thing and he is arguably the best adult/advanced beginner instructor in the US. Heisman doesn't suggest Chernev's Practical Chess Endings until 1300 USCF. His fundamental book list does include the fantastic Winning Chess Strategy by Coakley, which does include basic endgame principles like the opposition, basic mates, queen versus a pawn on the seventh rank, etc.
My main thesis is simply that a beginner who focuses too much on endgames is no better than a beginner that focuses too much on openings.
It seems to me that a common cry in these forums is study endgames obsessively and you'll be a master in no time. I simply find that to be a fallacy and am using my own improvement these past few months as an example, i.e. a good showing at the National Open in my section and my games at the Las Vegas Chess Club against opponents typically 300-500 rating points higher than me
Finally, if you want to disagree, then please do it with respect. Saying my opinion isn't valid because I have not improved is inaccurate. I've stated several times in this thread, and this post, about my improvement. Not that it should matter to the validity of my position, but my blitz playing on this site stopped around the time I began to study seriously and play OTB at the chess club and in tournaments (my last game I believe was roughly two months ago). As per Heisman and my chess coach, most of a beginner's chess play should be slow time controls in order to develop a solid thought process. I do play a a little blitz on the FICS to work on openings and time pressure (Hesiman suggests 10% of an improving player's time be spent on blitz for those curious).
I'm not claiming to have come up with some magic pill on improvement, I'm simply reiterating what Silman and especially Heisman teach.
You should play less commonly know replies to 1. e4, just to confuse the opponent!
Against 1. e4, I would play 1. ... f5 (Duras Gambit).
After playing around with it around a while, I am confidently enough to play against anyone!
It's not a chess thing. Some people become very proficient at something and simply lose their ability to connect with those that don't understand it as well. They always say things like "you just know" because they truly don't know how to explain the concept in a simple way.
Such knowledge is then fairly useless in my opinion. If it can't be shared then it just dies unless someone else can share it. Luckily there are those that can explain these things.
A thin, but very nice book, which has essential knowledge and is written lightly enough to be usable even by very new players, is "Practical Rook Endings" by GM Mednis. There is a hell of a lot to be gained by studying these rather simple endgames, including your tactical ability (as in the endgame, one has to be very precise down to the last detail).
I know the book Pfren and its a good one.
The problem with most endgame study is that its dry! there is a lot of maneuvering that goes on behind the scene that takes a lot of understanding to get why move X was played over moves A - W. This takes experience. ...
A lot of endgame study was done via late night analysis for adjourned games, now we have to know things at the board. Practical study would involve a natural progression with what happens in games you as a player will achieve OTB. if you want to study endgames Mednis has asome great books as Chernev's capcblancas best endgames show a natural way endgames are created and why certain things are avoided for those of us that are ignorant about certain lost endgame positions.
Silmans book breaks it down for the U2200 level pretty well and Dvorestky endgame manual takes it from there to 2500.
Play the cousin of the Dragon -- The Modern Defense!
After 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6, the 2 most common moves are 4.Be3 and 4.f4. The latter leads to play similar to an Austrian Attack, but with the N still on g8 instead of f6, the e5-threats are not nearly as potent for White. The former is actually the most common, and after 4.Be3 a6, White can steer the game one of two ways. He can play an early Nf3 which leads to Classical Lines, which are plenty Sharp but slightly safer than the main line dragon. The other option is f3 and g4, going all out on the Kingside with extreme similarity to the Sicilian Dragon.
The Scheveningen is a calmer but still aggressive line in the Sicilian. I prefer the restricted-center positions that you typically get in the Scheveningen, rather than playing the Dragon.
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