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# Endgame Percentages

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Dr. Karsten Müeller (born 23.11.70 in Hamburg, West Germany) is a German GM and author. He earned the GM title in 1998 and a PhD in mathematics in 2002 at the University of Hamburg. He had placed third in the 1996 German championship and second in the 1997 German championship. He's rated 2528 as of July 2013.

He is an authority on endgames. He has written several chess books His column "Endgame Corner" has appeared at ChessCafe.com since January 2001 and he has been a regular contributor to ChessBase Magazine since 1997.

co-author Frank Lamprecht has been an IM since 1999 and is rated 2393 as of 07/13

A tip o' the hat to Wafflemaster for contributing the following quote that directly precedes the table below in its original source Fundamental Chess Endings by GM Muller & IM Lamprecht © 2001

"You don't trust statistics?  You are probably right, but these are based on a well-edited database that contains nearly 1.7 million games mainly from the last two decades.  Our aim here is to see how often we can expect to get a particular type of ending in our chess career.  There is no definite answer as we are talking about probabilities and the answer might also depend on your style and choice of openings.  However, some endings are certainly m ore likely to arise than others.

We searched for endings that were on the board for at least two half-moves (a very short time: just one move by each player).  If you search for longer-lasting endgames the numbers drop rapidly.  Let's take all ending from the database as an example:

Half moves | Quantity
2   -------   142 488
10  -------  111 534
20  -------    80 990
40  -------    34 693

 Endgame frequency table Percent White Black 8.45 R R 6.76 R+B R+N 3.45 R+R R+R 3.37 R+B R+B (same color) 3.29 B Kt 3.09 R+Kt R+Kt 2.87 K+Pawns K (+Pawns) 1.92 R+B R+B (opposite color) 1.87 Q Q 1.77 R+B R 1.65 B B (same color) 1.56 Kt Kt 1.51 R B 1.42 R+Kt R 1.11 B B (opposite color) 1.01 B Pawns 0.97 R Kt 0.92 Kt Pawns 0.90 Q+B or Q+Kt Q 0.81 R 2 0.75 R Pawns 0.69 Q R+B or R+Kt 0.67 R+P R 0.56 R+2 Pawns R 0.42 Q Pawns 0.40 Q R 0.31 Q R+R 0.23 K+P K 0.17 Q B or Kt 0.09 Q+P Q 0.08 Q 2 minor pieces 0.02 B+Kt K 0.01 Q 3 minor pieces

TOTAL= 53% (see the "normalized" table below that adds up to 100%)

SOURCE: Fundamental Chess Endings by GM Muller & IM Lamprecht © 2001

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"The original data (GM Müeller &  Lamprecht, FCE, © 2001) had percentages were games that went into those particular endings, rather then the percentage of endings. I've (kwchess NOT NimzoRoy) normalised them to 100% so that it now shows the percent occurance of a particular ending if the game gets to that stage.Some of those are drawn, so they could be removed and the data re-normalised. It's nice to know, as someone new to ending theory, that by learning to deal with 5 of the most common endings that you will be able to apply it in ~50% games that get to that stage(note even taking into account the fact that you can deliberately force the game towards endings you know well)." kwchess

NOTE: Click on the above link to see the "improved" percentages.

The middle and right columns in the "improved" table DO NOT stand for White & Black instead they stand for the total percentage of occurences, ie B vs Kt (6.2%) is the percentage of this ending occuring no matter who has the Bishop (or Knight) - capiche? I deduced (?) this because if the 2nd and 3rd columns stood for W/B then there should be a separate listing for Kt (2nd col) vs Bishop (3rd col) - BUT there isn't.

ABBREVIATIONS used below inc

with/without = with or without          Pawn/s = Pawn or Pawns

B/N = Bishop or Kt ("/" slashes are used in place of the word "or")

MP = Minor Pieces (ie R vs MP = R vs 2B or R vs 2N or R vs B+N)

"ALL" general endings below inc. positions with/without pawns and/or with/without other pieces present, percentages are based on those obtained from the "improved" results discussed above.

All Rook Endings                 61.90%  1 or more Rooks   present

All Bishop Endings               35.44%   1 or more Bishops present

All Heavy Piece Endings       29.74%  Queen/s and/or Rook/s, no MPs*                                                                                                                                     with/without pawn/s

All Queen Endings                 9.29%   1 or 2 Queens     present

All piece vs pawn/s endings    5.83%  (inc. all one piece vs pawn/s endings)

Unspecifiied MP Endings         4.69%  (R vs B/N, Q+MP vs Q and Q vs 2/3 MPs)

Bishop Only Endings            7.10%   inc B vs Pawn/s

King    Only Endings            5.83%   inc K+P vs K

Knight Only Endings            4.67%   inc N vs Pawn/s

Queen Only Endings            3.69%   inc Q vs Q + Q vs P endings

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