Training this week
This week, and the coming weeks, Endgames! Articles!
To start, I continued to go through the 1600-1800 chapter in Silman's Endgame Course book. More rook endings, and Triangulation. This was the first chapter which featured, as Silman put it, a "realistic endgame"- although this was a simple example to work out, it was a good refresher in Triangulation, and reinforced his Chicked Coup motif. To follow that up, I headed back here to chess.com in search of Chess Mentor Rook endings. I found more Silman.
Last night I went through a lot of rook endings in chess mentor:
- % Complete: 38.17%
- Avg. Score: 97.14%
- % Complete: 100%
- Avg. Score: 88.1%
I really enjoyed Silman's Rook and Other Endgames course here, I don't know whether he set it up that way, or if chess.com does it, but the lessons kept repeating, and it really reinforced the key ideas for both winning and drawing ideas.
Tonight, Article time! I was looking for some endgame articles, and something else rather caught my eye.
What caught my interest was this position.
And actually just THIS idea
I did occur to me that b4 might be a good idea, and between all the moves, a3 did make the most sense to me, as I also play the Modern on occasion where this is a somewhat common theme (a6 c6 b5). However, in this case it also prevents the annoying Nb4 to trade off the Knight for the Bishop, to get the pair, and open up the position.
I wanted to remember this idea, so I am cataloging it here.
I have almost completely stopped studying openings in the past week or two, as I am finding less and less do my games resolve themselves in the openings. Usually I am ahead against equal strenthed or slightly higher, but I have not (I think) lost outright in the opening in quite some time. Controversely I lose LOTS of games in the endings, even being more than 2 pawns up. Studying the openings is meaningless if I cannot hold the win. Therefore, it makes no sense to waste valuable study time on more openings.
I will continue to "blitz" through Chessbase games though, I liked reading this recommendation (I beleive also from Silman) on how he used to optimize his time when he was younger doing this (but its much better on an app!)