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Expert: Endgame

IM Bryan Smith & IM Danny Rensch Avg Rating: 1260 Expert

The expert endgame course deals with more advanced endgame techniques and tactics, such as Zugzwang, tricky opposition positions, various promotion tactics, and "fortress draws".

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  • Zugzwang Rook vs Bishop

    As you've already learned, "Zugzwang" is a German word meaning "move compulsion". Zugzwang occurs when a player is in a situation where every move is bad, yet if he could skip the move, the position would be okay. This happens quite frequently in the endgame.
  • Rook vs Bishop Fortress Draw

    In the last lesson you saw how a rook could win against a bishop and king trapped in the corner using Zugzwang. But if the defender's king is in the OPPOSITE color corner to the color of his bishop, then the same position is an easy fortress draw.
  • Promotion Tactics #2: Blocking the Defender

    The endgame is usually about promoting passed pawns - especially if all other things are close to equal. Here we will see another typical way of ensuring the coronation of a new queen!
  • Endgame Tactics: Back Door Rook

    There are certain tactics which recur in endings. Here we will see one that is fundamental to rook and pawn endings with a distant passed pawn.
  • Queen vs. Bishop Pawn

    In the Advanced Endgames course you learned how the queen wins against a passed pawn on the seventh rank. However, there is an exception - when the pawn is a bishop pawn (f- or c- pawn) the defender has a surprising drawing resource that every chess player must know.
  • Queen vs. Rook Pawn

    Not only is the ending with a queen versus a bishop pawn on the seventh rank a draw, but also when there is a rook pawn (a- or h- pawns). In both cases, the enemy king must be very close in order to preserve a win for the queen, but in this endgame, the black king is once again too far.
  • Blocking the King's Path

    Even when the defending king is within the "square box" to catch a passed pawn, sometimes the king's path can be obstructed by a clever opponent.
  • Promotion Tactics #3: Confusion/Interference!

    Here we will see a rare but important tactic: interfering with the opponent's pieces.
  • Advanced Opposition Example 1

    Earlier we learned about the basics king + pawn vs king endgames. We saw that it is crucial to get the "opposition" (to have it be your opponent's move when the kings are facing each other so that he must give up some "room" or a specific square). Now we will see a more advanced example, where you need to calculate carefully to make sure you will have the opposition later on, as the kings approach each other.
  • Advanced Defensive Opposition

    Knowledge from the king + pawn vs king ending helps you in more complicated positions as well.

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