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how to study endgames

  • #21
    mxiangqi wrote:

    @bpavan. Interesting article. However, while there are certainly other options out there, I don't see anything wrong with studying books to learn endgames.

    For one, there are actually numerous books which are quite accessible to amateurs. You listed two (which frankly I haven't looked at before), and there are others like "Just the Facts" by Lev Alburt.

    One "big book" which you didn't mention and which is both deep enough for masters and accessible to amateurs is Reuben Fine's "Basic Chess Endings". The coverage is very thorough and systematic, and easy to follow. There are also main positions for each material balance/method, and ancillary positions for further examples.

    Regarding engine use -- this is problematic unless endgame tablebases are installed and the endgame is simple enough that the engine can reach a position in the tablebase. Otherwise, the engine may not make optimal moves. I would not recommend learning what the engine does, but rather studying the approach recommended in the book and then playing that side vs. the computer to see if you can implement the approach.

    Another idea is to look up the "key endgame positions" recommended by the book GM-RAM, by Ziatdinov.


    Reuben Fine's "Basic Chess Endings".   

    There are many errors in Fine's work.  I have all of the Larry Evans corrections and analysis which were published in Chess life and Review and later in Chess Life.


  • #22
    mxiangqi wrote:

    @uhohspaghettio --

    I know exactly what you are talking about re Dvoretsky. My impressions are similar -- although I would describe his style more like:

    "Here's an endgame between two GMs. Although I am only an IM, because I am so awesome, I can clearly see

    that the fool playing white should have played the OBVIOUS Kd4 walking into

    an apparently lost endgame but actually winning because of the next ten pages of analysis I worked out in in my super-de-duper training sessions I give titled players and later checked using the latest Nalimov tablebases. "

    Rather than spend your time on esoteric endgame knowledge.  Stick to the practical endgame technique for OTB play:


    #2 23 days ago

     Endgame visualization pattern memory bank.  1 hr. per day.  Start with checkmate endgames (K+Q vs. K, K+R vs. K, K+2B vs. K, K+B+N v. K)  Practice  those  until you can  do the corralling technique in your sleep. Move to Lucena and  Philidor positions.  Do those until you can do them  in your sleep. Do K+p(s) endings until you can do them in your sleep.  In the process you will learn about the Queening square, opposition of Ks, distant opposition of Ks, and triangulation with K.  Do  K+R+p(s) vs. K+R+p(s) until you can  do them  in  your sleep.  Learn that Rs belong behind enemy pawns.  Do K+B+p(s) vs.  K+B+p(s) until you can do  them  in your sleep. Learn how to drive the enemy B from the long diagonal to the short diagonal in order to win K+B+p v. K+B until you can do it in your sleep.  Then do  K+N+p(s) vs, K+N+p(s) until you  can do them  in your sleep.  With the minor pieces(B,N) you will learn that Bs can gain or lose a tempo in zugswang positions and Ns cannot.  Then do K+B +p(s) vs. K+B+N+p(s).  In all the K+R+B+N +p(s) vs. K+R+B+n+(s) you will learn about how the B is  superior is to the N in open pawn positions and the N is  superior  to the B in closed pawn positions, etc.  You will learn that when  there are pawns on both sides of the board more than a Ns  move distance apart The B will outmaneuver the N and win even though N has outpost square in center of board where it cannot be driven away. (B gets across board in one move, wheras N takes 4 to 5 moves to do the same.) When pawns are all on same side of board and N can establish and outpost in center of board from which it cannot be driven away the result is a draw You will learn that stalemate and self stalemate are excellent drawing weapons in lost positions.  There is more but you get the idea.

    Publications;  Rueben Fine, Basic Chess Endings. (I have all the chess magazines Larry Evans article corrections to Rueben Fine)

    Yuri Averbak Endgame series 3 volumes

    Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual 

  • #23
    TheSonOfSorrow82 wrote:

    Study endgames? What a waste of time. Why on earth would you put yourself through that kind of torture? It's a BOARD GAME LOL! Play what you feel like and if it works, great. If it doesn't, great. It's just a stupid game. There's no reason to "study" lol. You don't see people studying Pinochle, do you? 


    Why don't you just let people become as strong a chessplayer as they want so  they can enjoy playing chess the way they like.  And, you do what you want to play the kind of chess you want to.

  • #24

    An old Soviet quip has it that Western amateurs "play the opening like grandmasters, the middlegame like experts, and the endgame like beginners.” You need to study some endgames to learn more about chess.

  • #25

    I think the book of Silman is really good for beginners up to a level of at least 2200. I also use some of the elementary endgames in it for teaching my students. If you're stronger than 2200 I definitely recommend Dvoretzkys famous Endgame University and Aagards Endgame Play for more calculation. I hope this helps you! happy.png

  • #26

    bpavan wrote:

    if someone is trying to buy some endgame book then 100 endgames you  must know is a vey good books for advanced and itermedia. the author is jesus de la villa if u want some more interesting forums then join your wining plan.    and if u want to be a member then don't forget to give me ur e-mail ID then only  i can send some books. (your wining plan is a group)

    bpavan wrote: if someone is trying to buy some endgame book then 100 endgames you  must know is a vey good books for advanced and itermedia. the author is jesus de la villa if u want some more interesting forums then join your wining plan.    and if u want to be a member then don't forget to give me ur e-mail ID then only  i can send some books. (your wining plan is a group)
  • #27

    Very interesting article, I always go for book analysis of old games though, there is nothing quite like going back for almost ancient matches happy.png 

  • #28
    You forgot to mention he most important and helpful endgame book of all.
    GM Andrew Soltis (inventor of the Soltis variation of the Sicilian Dragon) wrote a very helpful and comprehensive endgame manual called
    "Grandmaster Secrets-the endgame.
    Everything you need to know about the endgame.
    It has a huge chapter on each piece and it's role in the endgame, and it also has chapters on what rules to follow, what rules not to follow, and many other subjects.
    I just read it, and have found it exceedingly helpful.
    It's name sounds like a book for a beginner, but that isn't so.
    I have spent hours reading it with a chess board, and, though I have just finished it, I feel the need to reread it a second time.
    Highly recommended
  • #29

    I'm not sure everyone will agree with the 'most important and helpful endgame book of all' but it does sound like a good book Smile

  • #30

    I rephrase.

    "is is the ,out important book of all in my opinion, because it has helped me a lot

  • #31

    The worst part of studying is studying the endgame. Why, what we want are simple tactics like forks, mate in two, skewers etc... I don't study endgames. I just study hard tactics.

  • #32

    I like Irving Chernev's Practical Chess Endings for practice.  Euwe and Hoopers A Guide To The Chess Endings is also good.

  • #33
  • #34

    The end game is to chess as putting is to golf. All the masters and grandmasters do it very well.

  • #35

    Don't study endgames.. Study tactics.!!!

  • #36

    Study endgame tactics too. They will help you with other situations.

  • #37

    I think tactics and endgames are equally important to study. What if, one day, though a tactic you'll run into that one perfect endgame you studied? wink.png


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