Mastery: Endgames

Complete Scotch #1:The Mieses Endgames

Complete Scotch #1:The Mieses Endgames

This course is designed to help familiarize you with the most commonly reached endgame positions through the Scotch Game Opening: Mieses Variation. We have also taken a detailed look at a number of "critical" Scotch Game positions: From Opening Theory; to Middle game Strategies; to converting into Endgame advantages. We have created a MUST READ lecture if you are an aspiring Scotch Game player, and we have shown how many critical situations should be approached.

  • A Theoretically Important Position

    This position is a critical one in terms of opening theory. I have played this position, as well as variations and different forms of it, many times. The important thing to try and evaluate is exactly how white should complete his development in preparation for black to "blow open" the center via e5. From this position, we will be heading into similar situations from the Mieses Variation to try and help you understand the critical concepts! The game in review is Rensch, D.-Lenderman, A. -- K-12 National Championship 2004.

    • 6 challenges
  • Two Pieces Outplay the Rooks!

    Here we continue our study of this Unbalanced Material Ending (meaning a position where points are roughly the same, but the pieces play totally different). In Unbalanced Material Positions it is extremely important to keep pressure and the initiative against your opponent. Because what the pieces "want" is totally different, generally the first person to really establish pressure and the initiative will go on to win the game. Here we continue our review of my win against Alex Lenderman from the K-12 National Championship in 2004. We start off at the critical position where white was first able to achieve a substantial advantage with the minor pieces.

    • 3 challenges
  • Technique and Caluclation

    Here we see the climax of my advantage against the young Alex Lenderman from High School Nationals roughly 5 years ago. The key thing to understand about converting an advantage against any strong player in the endgame is: They will NOT make it easy for you! Most good players will find some way to put pressure, create complications, and at the very least MAKE you calculate. If you are not ready for tricks and tactics than you may see yourself lose the advantage. Try to finish this game off quickly!

    • 7 challenges
  • Mieses Endings Continued...

    Here we continue our study of the typically reached Unbalanced Material Endgame, via the Mieses Variation. Notice the main difference between our next few lessons and our previous studies (the Lenderman game): Black has now castled his king to the Queen-side which, in general, is a much better placement of the king. The reasons for this will become apparent throughout the Course, but quickly I will point out some of the obvious ideas: 1-- On the Queen-side, the king is much closer to the isolated a-pawn, helping his defense. 2-- The king, from c8, will have an easier time backing up the central passed pawns. 3-- The white knight will have a harder time utilizing the weak squares c5 and d6 later on. Please enjoy, and be prepared to think!!!

    • 5 challenges
  • Converting the advantage...

    As we continue our theme of studying this ultra-important Scotch Ending (Mieses), I would like to reiterate an important point that I mentioned briefly but can now elaborate on further. In positions with material imbalances (Knight + Bishop vs Rook -- Three Minors for Queen -- Two rooks for a queen, etc) There are two very key factors when evaluating just whom is better: The first one is the pawn structure. For example, because the pieces will play very differently (meaning yours and your opponent's) the person who has more "targets" or "weaknesses" in his or her camp (meaning pawns) will often find be the one struggling. The second important factor is a little more advanced, but still important nonetheless. That is KING SAFETY. Especially in positions where the queen is battling against the unbalanced trade, if your king is weak (or your opponents) that will be a key factor in calculating who will get the initiative and the ability to create "decisive" threats.

    • 6 challenges
  • Rook In Its Element...

    Not to give the impression that the two pieces will always outplay the rook, here is a perfect example of a situation where the rook dominates the two pieces. The main thing to remember about the Mieses Ending (as well as other positions with the material imbalance of two pieces vs. a rook) is that the two pieces will fair well most of the time (and at least hold their own) as long as the helping (same color) rook is still on the board (so don't trade it). But, if the position becomes open, pawns get pushing, and the rook(s) gets active, the Minors will struggle. "Rooks are kings of the open board."

    • 8 challenges
  • Theoretically best...

    Don't worry, we only have 4 more lessons from this wonderful ending! Hopefully this hasn't been overkill, but I can say coming from experience that I have played many strong players in several critical games of my tournament career in this particular variation. So, if you truly can "master" these concepts and themes, you will be ready for games against the best of 'em!

    • 7 challenges
  • Rook In Its Element #2

    As we near the conclusion of our course, we take some time to see two lessons displaying the power of the rooks when they control the open board, create the threats, and just reap havoc for the White pieces. Enjoy! Truly take to heart the dangers white can face in this endgame without the proper approach and accurate calculation!

    • 6 challenges
  • ROOKS In Their Element...

    The basic idea behind the "Principal of Two Weaknesses" concept is this: Against tough defense, even if your advantage is clear in one area, you generally need a second target or point of attack. It is one of the most important practical concepts to understand in trying to improve your winning technique. For example, even if you are in a position where your one advantage might be good enough, if you take the "Two Weaknesses" approach, your opponent's defense often crumbles. Keep that in mind...

    • 8 challenges
  • Mieses Finale

    Finally we have reached the Finale... In our climax position we are covering a sideline of the Mieses that is of extreme importance. Black can try this variation in an attempt to take White by surprise and achieve good attacking chances; however, if White reacts in the correct manner, Black usually finds the roles reversed. White is the one with the initiative and long term attacking chances. Please enjoy!

    • 8 challenges
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