Bad endgame


So I played this game against someone ranked a couple of hundred points higher than me.  Was happy until the end of the game.  I deliberately exchanged down to try and get an endgame with an extra pawn.  This happened, and because I am not great at endings, I lost!

In writing down my analysis, I think I lost the game when I castled.  At that stage, I now think it wasn't needed, and left my King well away from the action.

Also some errors with the pawns afterwards.

Any thoughts appreciated.


Here is what Rybka has to say:


Note at move 17 you could have won a piece by force


Ah, I certainly did not see that.  I think I had decided that I wanted to see how I was with an extra pawn, and lost sight of actually trying to win.


Castling on move 20 I think is fine since it's the best way to get the rooks together. Your king probably won't be safe in the center unless some rooks get traded.

22...Bxf3 is definetly not the best move. You're a pawn up in a symmetrical postion with pawns on both sides so the bishop is going too be better than the knight.

22...Rac8 might be better becasue White's king can't get in the way. After 22...Rad8 23.Rhd1 you could have a harder time getting open files. White's king can cover the e2 well enough.

25...Kf7 looks more convinient. You cover e7 without committing the rook and you get your king closer to the center.

31...h5 was bad and doesn't take advantage of why 31.g4 was bad. 31.g4 is bad first because White is playing on the side that Black is better. White can't move those kingside pawns much if he wants to survive. Secondly it pretty much puts him in zugzwang sooner or later and you'll just win on the kingside which was probably less reason to move that pawn. 31...h5 loses a pawn and probably draws. I'm not really sure.

The rest of the game was 100% calculation that had to be done. 33...g4 looks like a toughie otb.


yes did you resign here? why?


but even if he didn't know, he should have played on...


It can be debated whether there's something better than 20... 0-0 but I don't think it's too bad and you certainly didn't loose because of that. If the centre would be more closed then directly centralizing the king would most probably be best but here the central files are open and all rooks still on the board so black needs to be somewhat carefull.  Personaly I would also probably play 0-0 (altough I might also consider 0-0-0). Black should be the only one playing for win after that.

However later on you should try to bring the king closer to centre. For example 25... Kf8 instead of 25... Rd7 (but again black is still the only one playing for win after Rd7 also).


I think he may have loss on time? I am terrible with endgames as well; with winning positions, given games away.

Anyway, Rybka did all the work already, but I was thinking when playing through the game that 17)...Be6 would be better than just trading, it's a free move. After Qd3, Bf5, Qc4, b5 (The actual suggestion was b5 first).


Haven't looked at the game, but as pointed by others, the final position is drawn. So you may want to look at some basic pawn endgames (K+p vs. K) Smile


Bugger.  I thought it was a stone cold loss - also I think I was in a bad mind set as I knew I had played quite well and stuffed it up.

Am trying to learn more from my losses though, and I know my endgames are weak.  Thanks for the comments.  Interesting that the castling has brought out mixed opinions.


...and in the pawn endgame, centralizing the king is important : I think the position after the rook trade should be won for black.



So my lessons are:

Castling after a few pieces are off the board is perhaps not as cut and dry a good idea as early on in the game.

I really need to get better at playing with pawns in the endgame.

I missed a chance to go a full piece up - need to examine positions more deeply.

Cheers all.