Every year in May, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chess Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina is organizing Individual national Youth and Junior Championship. This year organizer made event in Tuzla, nice city with chess tradition. By our rules in each category can take part maximally 10 players which successfully passed regional championship.
As arbiter there, during more than 5 full hours in playing hall, in last minutes I saw some very interesting games – this moment when arbiter must to watch chess clock on last seconds, moves made in nervous to make point or lose… Amazing conclusion is how young players are spending so much time trying to remember the most modern opening lines, and in same period how they forget about endgames almost at all.
As a chess coach who is working in Bosnia and Herzegovina last 10 years, a lot of participants worked with me in one period of their chess carrier. The main impression for me was how simple positions are so complicated to them and how without knowing the basics in endgames points are lost easily.
Trying to convince one young chess player to learn endgames is harder than to tell them that they must to live one week without internet connection. I still remember how I spend in my teenage years 8 months just to learn some basics endings, and after I broke mind and completely patience of my coach in that time, I finally made it. Result of our suffering was quite interesting – after few months I become champion in girls U20 with mine 14 years.
Endgames are still sore spot for a lot of chess players – from youth kids till strong grandmaster, just in different form – one are occupied with basics and other are about complicated.
First of all, I will show to you one game, which was played U12 open, and guy who had black must to score point for 1st place.
Second, this position is from game of two kids U8 open:
Yes, I know, you will agree that it is expected from youth ones to don’t know how to play well. But, these 2 upper games bring me to time when I was patzer about chess endings, and when I believed that the most important part of chess game is tactical play, because if I have piece up, I know how to make realization, otherwise I will give some nice and beautiful check-mate to mine opponent. This kind of thinking is working in very young categories, so from one side I can understood this small guys which are unlike to learn endgames. During one tournament, what make me kind of “sad” to see in games are underneath positions.
And one more interesting position:
As conclusion, there isn’t some great difference in understanding chess endgames between U8 and U20 kids (sorry, I know that some of them will say that 20 years old is not a kid, but I remember some of this guys from my school and 2009, so for me, they are ), main difference that U20 will not blunder some piece and that they will make less principal blunders in some classical endgame.