Chess in Black and White Issue 18: Free Endgame Course

Chess in Black and White Issue 18: Free Endgame Course

Jan 1, 2015, 7:00 PM |

Me: I am finishing college this year and going into education. I am the president of the Grove City Chess Club. I have been playing chess for 16 years and teaching chess for more than 5 years. I am rated in the 1700 OTB and any other questions about me or my qualifications can be discussed and dealt with on your own time. If you feel I have nothing to offer you then you are free to pass up this free course and have a good rest of your year. That being said I am always open to suggestions for the future. The information for this course will be my own and will be from my chess experience. As a result I will try to bring in examples from my own chess career. Please note that the lessons have copyrights and are not to be duplicated without the expressed written permission of Chess in Black and White.


Intro: This will be an endgame course that will go on for several months, but you may jump in at any time. Each Tuesday I will post the lesson in my blog and the week will be spent with you guys completing the lesson and discussion taking place in the course group. If you have yet to join the class group you can do so here


Each week will cover a concept or game. You will find some ideas you already know, some you have mastered, and others will seem completely new. This means that some lessons will be easier and others much more challenging. There will be several levels in each lesson starting at basic and building upwards. I highly suggest that even if you are advanced you glance onver the early sections as each section builds upon the last. You should do as much of the lesson as you can on your own and feel satisfied in your progress. Then a couple times later in the week try it again and see if you can get further, and ask for help from me or the group.


The levels loosely will be

Basic (<1300) : While you may have heard some of the endgame concepts and even recognize what the concepts are, you rarely have a plan in the endgame other than a broad goal of “queen a pawn” “win material” “win game” and if you have a more detailed goal it is often is without taking your opponents plan into consideration. Your main goal is to learn how to consistently use the knowledge you have since it may not be organized in your head during the game, and consistently finish victorious when you go into the endgame winning by a few pawns or a piece. Building this base of endgame knowledge will save you from many frustrating results.


Intermediate (1300-1800) : While you know that you no longer just a beginner at chess, the endgame may be an area you avoid studying or have yet to really understand. You may survive endgames mostly through tactics and going into them already winning. But those small advantages for either side or equal positions largely escape your understanding. Learning to identify the advantages and disadvantages on the board and coordinating your pieces to win the endgames more accurately and consistently are your goals. Learning this is what really made me feel that I wasn’t just moving pieces and tricking my opponent, but really outplaying them. With some hard work anyone can get to this point.


Advanced (1800-2100): You have arrived, but you are no longer content with just being good at chess. For some you may be aiming to get a title, become an expert, win a tournament, or better understand the art that is chess. In each of these the endgame has now become, I believe, essential. For you this course aims at the following: a. to make sure that moving forward you have a solid and well-rounded base of knowledge of the endgame b. challenge you so you better understand your own areas of strength and weakness c. help you start building long term goals in your games that will lead to more success. Does your opening lead to a middle game that fits your strength and allows consistant transition into familiar endgames that you feel your understanding will allow you to win? How is move 6. of your game going to affect move 60.?

Challenge (open to all but geared to those 2100+): For this group you are beyond my ability to effectively teach you endgame so there will be a section in each lesson where you will be challenged and your skills honed. In addition I believe the advanced section will be helpful still, especially for those looking to focus on OTB play this year or in the future.


The lessons will be structured as follows

A.      Intro Section and summary of concept.

B.      Beginner section with more information and tasks for the student to complete.

C.      Intermediate section building on the knowledge from the beginner section and added some more advanced concepts. Students will then have tasks to complete.

D.      Advanced section building off intermediate section and adding advanced concepts. Students will have tasks to complete.

E.       Challenge section. A challenging task for those who have mastered the given concept.

F.       Reflection section with several questions for students of all levels to reflect on their own ability in this area of the endgame.



The schedule for the course is subject to change


The preliminary schedule is as follows


Section 1

Week 1: What is the endgame? Why does it matter? What should I be looking at?

Week 2: Pawns! Structures, importance, winning with them!

Week 3. Power of the King!

Week 4. Example game and reflection


Section 2

Week 5: Bishop vs. Knight

Week 6: Rook and Rooks

Week 7: The Queen

Week 8: Example game and reflection


Section 3

Week 9: Space, ranks, files, and important squares

Week 10: Principle of multiple weaknesses

Week 11: Concluding endgame ideas

Week 12: Example game and concluding reflection


If as a group you would like to reorder the lessons or suggest other subjects to be covered

Please comment with any questions or suggestions.



Thank you and don’t forget to join the class group!


-Michael Porcelli