Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Plan--Endings

There are two aspects to ending preparation. There are the positions in endings books with clear winning/drawing lines, and practical endings where you use such knowledge to gain winning/drawing positions.

I purchased Silman's Complete Endgame Course (by Silman) to help with the former. It is really good! It's chapters are laid out with essential knowledge for each class of player. You memorize the material up through the chapter of your current rating range. There are quiz positions at the end of each chapter. I thought I was good at endgames, because of the number of games I have rescued in the endgame, but I found material in the earlier chapters, I did not know. The final chapter has a bunch of endgames to play over from great games.

For the latter, beyond playing master games and trying to understand the endings, I have taken to playing endgames where master level players have resigned and trying to win them against Fritz. I am not sure how I got these settings, but Fritz is annotating the game with its evaluations of my moves. I can note where the evaluation worsens and review my decisions at these points.

Here is an example of an internet game, where I escaped a loss, because of the simple knowledge of the King needing to be in the square of the pawn. I saw this position several moves earlier and worked to get here. White to move and win:

White is quite willing to trade queens in this position, no only because his king is more vulnerable, but also because the black king is outside of the square of the a-pawn and the white king is inside the square of the h-pawn.

I just found this site with 398 endgame studies.

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