Endgames, Boy I Don't Know
Shout out to West Wing for anyone who gets the reference.
If there is one thing that I have learned this year it's that endgames truly are difference makers. In January a friend of mine told me that if I just studied rook endings I'd add 200 points to my rating.
At the time I shrugged that off thinking that I don't reach enough endings to really make that much of a rating difference. After all, my games tend to have a wild flavor to them at times and rarely do I seem to make it to an endgame which is either equal or only slightly better for one side or the other.
Go figure that after I so arrogantly thought that to be the truth that I have noticed just how often I get into endgames where technique really matters.
I can think of four games in the last few months off the top of my head where endgames factored in a big way.
Mariano-Wainscott 48th Northeastern Open January 2013
In this game my opponent and I adjourned in a rook ending that was won for me. However, I sealed a drawing move rather than the winning move. Luckily for me my opponent blundered and I still won.
I will post this game later.
Wainscott-Cooper Waukesha Memorial March 2013
In this game I missed a draw against a master. Had I played 47. Rxc6 I can draw the game.
See this game here.
Wainscott-Corcoran Waukesha Chess Club Championship April 2013
In this game my opponent blunders terribly with 28...b6, giving me an easy win in a king and pawn endgame.
See this game here.
And then just this past Thursday I had a club game where I was in an equal bishop and pawn ending and threw away any winning chances by locking up the kingside in a position where I couldn't break through on the queenside. The game was likely to be a draw, but I didn't do myself any favors by removing all of my chances through inaccurate play.
Here is that game:
See more of my games and information at http://ontheroadtochessmaster.blogspot.com/