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Hi all, see if someone can help me here. I am an "advanced beginner", so to speak. My games just fall in one of these three categories
- I am checkmated in the first 25/30 moves
- I checkmate my opponents in 25/30 moves
Well, I don't mind...sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But there is a third possibility:
An ENDGAME is reached and I just lose 100% of the times. I don't remember winning an endgame. Ever. Just can't do it.
It just has never ever ever happened.
I am ok with the basic Rook+king vs king, King+pawn vs King, etcetera but put on the chessboard two kings and a bunch of white and black pawns, simply I am DOOMED.
Basically I am so frustrated that when an endgame is reached, say king and 3 pawns for me, king and 3 pawns my opponent, well , I just resign.
I am starting to lose interest in the game because I suck so badly at endgame !!
Please help me
Read book, get smart. If you're serious, Dvoretsky's 'Endgame Manual' might just be the ticket. Plenty of videos on the ol' youtube as well.
Fun fact: None of the players who beat you in an endgame came up with the techniques all by themselves.
You've made the first step by identifing your main weakness. Work on it by reading books about K+P endgames. Set aside an hour every other day to study just that. Alone & quiet with no distractions except maybe some music you like.
As far as a book that I can recommend... the first two chapters of Silman's "How to Reassess Your Chess" deal with K and P endgame positions. Specifically the topic of K opposition which may be your problem. Those chapters are short and crystal clear. Read those until they sink in.
Take a look at this site http://www.chessvideos.tv/endgame-training/endgame-simulations.php. Very good practice for a variety of basic endgames. You can use that knowledge and apply it to your games. Also, you might want to take a look at some books on the endgame section on http://www.squidoo.com/chess-reference. But really, books and some practice will get you through. Oh and you should also learn some basic endgame principles that might be helpful, like active king, etc. Perhaps you can take a look at http://www.chessfornovices.com/chessendgamestrategy-top10principles.html or other sites as I'm sure there's a wealth of knowledge on the internet.
idunnochess: Sounds like you might need to start with the very basics of endgames. I'd suggest Pandolfini's Endgame Course for a start. Start off studying positions with just Kings and Pawns on the board. Then I'd suggest moving on to Rook and Pawn endings, since these are very common. Once you have the Pandolfini book down, I'd recommend Reuben Fine's Basic Chess Endings.
Some things to keep in mind: In the endgame your goal is usually to force a pawn promotion, or else force your opponent to give up material to prevent it. With that in mind, remember to get your K into an active position toward the center of the board. Preferably you want to get your K in front of your own pawns, so that he can cover their advance or threaten enemy pawns. If you cannot do this, you want to prevent your opponent K from penetrating by covering entry squares with your own K.
If you have a pawn advantage, try to keep pawns on both sides of the board. This way, you can threaten to advance on the wing with your pawn majority, keeping the enemy K on that side while your K goes to the opposite side and threatens to eat his pawns. Usually only one of these threats can be countered. Conversely, if you are down pawns, try to exchange down on one side of the board so that you only have to defend on one wing.
Just some very basic thoughts. Endgame study in my case has been the most helpful, since it give me concrete goals, thus helping my play in all phases of the game. Good luck.
I would recommend both of the following:
http://www.amazon.com/Silmans-Complete-Endgame-Course-Beginner/dp/1890085103 (excellent book which could take you a few years to get through; it's designed to suit you through every phase of your chess life, from beginner to advanced level)
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD88BD68A9296E9EC&feature=plcp (an excellent video series on the endgame)
No one I know of likes an end game like that, practice makes perfect on that one. The key is to march your pawns being guided be the king for protection and to keep other king away.
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