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what the #$%^was he playing and how did he win?

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #1021


    Here are a few endgame tips you may find useful.  Work on the endgame.  Seriously, there comes a time when all your games will reach endgames when you play someone of similar strength in middlegames as neither player will be blundering bits.  Endgames are so so important and help improve your positional understanding too as you see positions in a purer form.  You will come to like them in time and will enjoy and appreciate a lot of beauty that can be seen only in the endgame.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #1022



    First and foremost, thank you so much for your analysis, I'm surprised by a few things.

    First, here is the game with the thoughts I had about it while playing it and my thoughts written immediately after the game (the player left and apparently didn't want to trade ideas).

    The first thing that comes to my mind, is that now I see clearly the importance of knowing a lot of different structures and ideas behind the different openings that arise from the world of 1. d4 and, because of it's transpositional potential, 1. c4. Truly, I'm trying to get into this world after always playing 1. e4, and it's remarkable how intertwined the different openings in the 1. d4 and 1. c4 world are. This is regarding your comments about obtaining a reversed Benoni one tempo up (which I'll be asuming is equal or just slightly advantageous for white if black can play the same opening and aim for equality), and afterwards the resemblance to the Benko.

    Of course, I didn't see the lines that you show are better for black in the middle-game, as you'll probably see from my notes, I was starting to get really confused by that time and ended up playing something I had not proven in my mind's eye. As you'll see in my notes, I get REALLY confused with complex tactical situations, and this problably means that I lack proper calculation technique, or that I try hard to find a combination in a position where it's not present (due to not recognizing the signs that imply that the combination isn't there).

    Your comments on the endgame are most instructive and you clarified a lot of key ideas that I was not understanding correctly (or at all lol). But I agree with you that I need to start to give the endgame some time and study it, and even if I'm kind of an "endgame novice", I do find them really interesting and beautiful, more so than middle-games I must say because of the attention to the smallest tiniest of details that end up summing up. I think that I have to start with some K & Pawn structures, because most of my doubts while playing endgames come from a lack of knowledge on how to play different structures with only the kings on the board, and this implies basic technique for creating passed pawns. Is there a good book you could perhaps recommend? Or, what kind of endgame would you advise that I study first, if any?

    Thank you again for your time and effort.

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #1023


    @jojojopa - Regarding the middlegame, I think you have almost found the answer for yourself in your last post.  An understanding of the typical pawn structures you get in chess is absolutely essential as you need to be aware of the typical plans employed by BOTH sides in each of those structures.  Once you are aware of these ideas you will have a good idea of what exchanges and piece placements are good for you and what endgames you should be heading for (i.e. what pieces you want to keep on the board).  Once you have this knowledge things won't seem quite so complicated and you won't feel quite so lost.  However chess is still a complicated game - which is why we love it.  The decisions you make and find tough though will lie in finer and finer details.

    The knowledge of these pawn structures will make you understand chess better and you will find you will be able to learn new openings faster and in more depth too as a bonus.  I would advise you study the following common structures and your positional understanding will improve greatly with each one you master.  When you finish these look for more less common ones as there are plenty and each of these will have sub-structures (Open Sicilian includes Najdorf, Scheveningen, Schvesnikov and Dragon for example)

    1. Carlsbad structure
    2. Caro-Slav structures
    3. IQP - you have to be comfortable playing BOTH sides of this one almost no matter what your repertoire is.
    4. Open Sicilian structures
    5. Kings Indian structures
    6. Nimzo Indian structures
    7. Symmetrical English and Closed Sicilians
    8. French
    9. Benoni & Czech Benoni structures
    10. Maroczy Binds 
    11. Stonewalls
    In all you want to concentrate on the pawn breaks & levers available for both sides and typical piece positions.

    Have fun!

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #1024


    @jojojopa - for the endgame it is clear that you have very little theoretical endgame knowledge.  This will go quite a long way to improving your game overall - not just in the endgame.

    My favourite book on theoretical endgames is 100 Endgames you Must Know by Jesus De La Villa.  The explanations are clear, easy to remember and it would be a great starting off point for you.  Another good one is Silman's complete endgame course which splits a similar amount of material into sections organised by what you should know at each rating level.  Because it is broken up this way it may appear less daunting at first but the Jesus De La Villa explanations were easier for me.  Always make sure you know the level above the one your at and you will always do well practically.  WHy not get both?

    Once you have your theoretical knowledge up to speed it will then be time to breaking it down to the thinking methods for endgames and analysis of more complex endgames.  But do the theoretical ones first so you have a rock solid foundation.


  • 14 months ago · Quote · #1025


    @ aronchuck

    I'm in a similar position to jojojopo with Pawn structures & also endgames. I'm searching out your earlier suggestions on endgame books but do you have any recomendations on study material for Pawn structures? Books or video would be good. I know the Stonewall Pawn structure pretty well (surprise, surprise) but the others you mention I have played many but never studied the finer points. Also like jojojopo I need work on King & Pawn endings, particularly creating passed Pawns.

    Any suggestions appreciated

  • 14 months ago · Quote · #1026



    For Pawn Structures at a foundation level I would choose Pawn Structure Chess by Andy Soltis as they have just reprinted his 1975 classic.  This covers general ideas for a lot of the ones I mentioned and maybe a few more I forgot about when I wrote the list.  

    Winning Pawn Structures by Alexander Baburin is how I learned all about IQP positions.  It is very good but a level up as the whole book is devoted to this one but very important structure and the many plans.  To give you an idea you can view table of contents at


    Winning Chess Middlegames by Sokolov is a fantastic book and deals with mainly Nimzo structures.  It is amazingly rich in lessons but is very heavy going.  Be warned this book is tough and requires you put some effort in and take it in small chunks and so I wouldn't recommend it until you approach about 2000.  (You will be though by the time you've done the other books and the endgames.)  I've been reading this book a structure at a time for the last 6 months and I'm only 2/3 way through!  But I have learned an immense amount.

    For videos I recommend you watch Danny Rensch's videos on chess.com.  He's got a good series called Pawn Structure 101 which appears to me to be based off the Soltis book with a touch of Danny's personality thrown in - recommend them all.  I just wish he'd carry on as he seems to have given up on the Yugoslav and hasn't done a new one in over a year.  But you can get similar material from the soltis book too.

    There are probably others but these are the only books that deal specifically with Pawn Structures I have read.   

    Hope this helps


  • 14 months ago · Quote · #1027


    hi everyone. I've been preoccupied with a few things other than chess the last couple of months. I just checked in to the thread and I'm glad you guys are continuing to work together. I'll be checking in and contributing as I can. Please continue the great work, jojojopo with your game contributions and others as it comes up. Its important that this focus on the contributor's games, and the learning chunks that lie ahead as shown by the acual games, exactly as you've been doing. Best, SBS

  • 12 months ago · Quote · #1028


    Not sure if anyone is still watching here. I've been playing some 3 day games & after 3 wins on timeout I finally got a win that is worth posting.

    So if anyone is still around here's the game. It was 3 days/move so the tactics were at a higher level than in OTB which allowed me to focus on strategy as well.

    I'll post my notes & analysis after everyone has had a chance to check it out.

  • 12 months ago · Quote · #1029


    where's the rest of the game?

  • 12 months ago · Quote · #1030


    brian97 wrote:

    where's the rest of the game?

    Thats where he resigned

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