Sunday, January 06, 2008

How to Play Endgames Brilliantly

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What have I been up to? I read "Improve Your Opening Play" and "Dealing with d4 Deviations" over vacation. Opening study is one of the least rewarding types or study, but now I have a basic idea of what to do when faced with the Trompowsky, Torre, London, or Colle.

This week I've been reviewing pawn endings. I analyzed 632 K+P vs K, 505 K+P vs K+P, and 90 K+P vs K+2P endings as a refresher. Very entertaining. :)


Sciurus said...

Wow, 2 books and 1000+ endgames, that deserves some applause! I actually find opening study quite effective for myself. But then, I don't look at many variations. I just take a position where I went wrong in a game and play through a master game to learn how to improve. But most importantly, playing through the whole game gives me some ideas for attacking plans.

Anyway, where do you find your training problems for the K+P etc. endgames?

likesforests said...

That's generally the approach I take for openings. But it bugged me that I knew squat about openings I never play like the Scotch, Vienna, and Ponziani. And then there are the openings I scored well against but didn't understand like the Trompowsky and Colle. :)

Where to find endgame positions?

I opened Chessbase and searched for all 2007 K+P vs K, P vs P, and 2P vs P endings. You can do the same with SCID (free).

I like that real positions keep me focused on the practical. Eg, my pawn endgame book doesn't cover Q+P vs Q but you must know that to solve many 2P vs P positions.

I rounded out my study with some studies from a pawn endings book.

Sciurus said...

Good idea, like so many things I wonder why that did not occur to me ;-) Taking positions from real games also gives the moves GMs choose for free as a benefit.