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Nathan Edwards
Nathan Edwards

Endgame Tactics ((EXCLUSIVE))

Welcome to the chess end game tactics page. Here you can find helpful tips on various end game concepts and positions, as well as practice against the computer to see how well you understand the ideas discussed here. The most important part of any chess game is the end game. You can have an overwhelming advantage but lose the game because of poor end game tactics. You can also be down material, with all hope lost, and come back and win with great end game tactics.

Endgame Tactics

Considering the original poster's rating, I would recommend Silman's complete endgame course. I love the way it's organized, into sections based on what you should know at each rating level. -Complete-Endgame-Course-Beginner/dp/1890085103

You are so right. I read the Silman endgame book up to 2200. But I worked (too fast) from 1800-2200. I am currently working on the 100 endgames on Chessable as the threadstarter is concidering. I wouldn`t had much clue about the 100 endgames if I hadn`t done the Silman stuff first. I guess the 100 endgames will be too hard for me.

Silman is claiming that the by far biggest chapter in his endgame book 1400-1600 ratinglevel is the most important chapter in any book you will ever read. But the guy who wrote 100 engames is writing and showing some stuff which takes 20 minutes of reading and a 25 quiz test on basic stuff since he think you already know quite much when you buy a book like that.

Do you like these lessons? There are plenty more by internationally renowned endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine, where you will also find openings articles and surveys, tactics, and of course annotations by the world's top grandmasters.

The endgame and tactics are two of the most important areas of study for players who are below expert strength. In this week's quiz, engame concepts are combined with tactical motifs to create some deceptively difficult problems. Only five problems because their degree of difficulty is high. All white to move and gain a winning advantage or checkmate.

If you miss extremely simple tactics that you would always find in puzzles (like keeping pieces hanging), your problem isn't tactics but rather things like focus, blunder checking, underestimating the opponent's chances and you need to work on those.

First things first, I think it's critical to distinguish between "theoretical" and "practical" endgames. They are two different stages of the game that require different skills and knowledge to be played correctly.

At a beginner stage, if you're capable of delivering the basic mates, plus know the basics of king+pawn-vs-king and rook+pawn-vs-rook, that's probably more theoretical endgames than you'll need for a long time.

On the other hand, there's practical endgames (say, a bishop+5pawns vs knight+4pawns type of position). These often boil down to tactics and strategy. Depending on your actual level, the time control you play at, the openings you choose and many other factors, you will encounter yourself in this type of situation more or less often. These positions are a great bootcamp for some fundamental strategical concepts (like bad bishops, the seventh rank, weak pawns and so on).

But I still think tactics will be a more important skill in the sense that they come before everything else. In practice, it won't matter how good you are with your "technique" to win an equal-ish knight endgame if you end up missing a fork. Good tactics (and precise calculation) are a tool that allows you to achieve your strategical objectives in a chess game efficiently.

For advanced beginners (rules, elementary mates, minimum opening priciples known), I train tactics, endgame and minigames intermixed. Again tactics will have the highest short time boost. But endgames will train a certain "feeling" for the handling of a single piece. (Without a certain amount of chess intuition, you never get really good, and it must be trained early.) I will not specifically train, say, rook bridge or Philidor defense. This will come after training them to survive the middle game, and too many games are decided by lack of specific endgame knowledge.

Addendum: Tactics you can very easily study on you own. Using an engine sparsely you don't really need a trainer (if you know a bit of methodology). You can also do this with endgames but I say a trainer is beneficial here. (The difference is the "why": a tactical move is more or less self-explaining.)

Knowing vancura's defence, concept of corresponding squares ,Steinitz rule, Botvinnik's principle of Knight endgame, Bahr's rule, Two Knight checkmate with pawn on board etc etc and etc are in vain if you overlook a 3-4 move long tactical variation and lose the game.

Once the graphs are smooth (either you beat you opponent slowly and steadily because you knowledge and understanding of the game is better than him or he did the same to you), you can put more effort into studying positional ideas, endgame theory and working on skills like calculation, visualization, evaluation etc.

For Endgame I would also recommend to consider endgame specific tactics (like this in lichess) and Books I would suggest to start with "100 Endgames You Must Know" by Jesús de la Villa and then the legendary one - Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual (There is also a very good chessable course on this book by GM Erwin L'Ami)

While tactical puzzles train this skill with a very immediate return-on-investment, endgames (with far fewer pieces on the board) are surprisingly effective at putting your mind through a deeper visualization challenge without the luxury of ONLY looking at forcing (checks, captures, unstoppable threats) moves to limit the lines you need to look at.

King and multiple pawn endgames are very exacting in this respect. You are presented a situation where a key pawn move or king move can drastically change the result of the game and concrete calculation (which requires visualization) is absolutely required.

It's not either/or. Endgames (being positions with few pieces) tend to make both tactical ideas and strategic concepts easier to see and understand. So a proper study of endgames will of necessity include tactical ideas and motifs. The basic checkmates, for example, are all endgames.

You're building a palace of chess knowledge, brick by brick. By starting with simple positions, you create a foundation you can later build on. For example, Q versus R endgames are replete with double attacks -- forks, pins, and skewers. But they're easier to spot and understand when the Q and the R are the only pieces on the board.

I've always considered endgames are where you really start to understand chess, as opposed to simply shifting pieces hoping for a chance to do something. Think about it: what good is it to win a pawn or two with a brilliant tactical coup, if you lack the endgame skill to bring the point home?

Understand please, I'm not saying study endgames exclusively until you can play all of them as well as Yuri Averbakh. I'm saying study endgames until you can reliably bring home the point you earn in the Middlegame (or, just as importantly, prevent your opponent from bringing home the point they earned). Eventually you will start using the tactics you've learned in your endgame study to gain advantage (or win) in your middlegames.

This fascinating and delightful book may not be the "best" endgame work ever written, but it's probably the most enjoyable book on the subject. The late G.C. van Perlo, who passed away in 2010, was a correspondence chess grandmaster and a terrific writer, and the first edition of Endgame Tactics won lots of awards when it came out in 2006. There were minor changes in the next two editions - corrections to mistaken analyses - but this latest edition has some significant additions - it's 25% bigger, according to the back cover. Van Perlo had finished a new book on rook endings that was similar in style to what he had done in the rook endings section of Endgame Tactics. The book hadn't yet been published, so it was decided to add it here as a new and large chapter to his already sizable masterwork.

For those who are new to the book, it consists of a huge number of endgame positions which mostly involve some tactical nicety or niceties (thus the book's title) - fine points which are often missed. A huge part of the book's charm comes from the author's writing. Van Perlo writes with a good deal of punchy humor and puts a psychological twist on many of the fragments, and both work well given the huge number of heartbreaking failures displayed in the book.

In all there are a whopping 1368 fragments, 75 of which are official exercises included in the material new to this edition. As in traditional endgame texts, the positions are divided by material (pawn endings, queen endings, rook endings, minor piece endings and so on, with further subdivisions as appropriate) and then often further divided by themes.

Anyhow, the book has been reviewed and praised many times over the past eight years, so rather than gild the lily and bring coal to Newcastle I'll stop here and join the chorus. It's a great book, and one practically every chess player of whatever strength can and will enjoy, whether he is a fan of endgames or not. The book can be used to help learn endgames, to practice tactics, and even just for the sheer pleasure of seeing beautiful tactical ideas and/or for the occasion guilty pleasure of schadenfreude.

As Van Perlo puts it, Many players consider the study of the endgame a necessary evil. Resignedly, they plough their way through one or more standard works, restricting themselves to basic positions or, on the contrary, a few exceptionally ingenious studies. Most of them do not find it very exciting.

200 Endgame Problems: Winning Tactics by Shirae Haruhiko is a collection of endgame problems split into two sections. The first section entitled Basic Problems and Application Problems. Techniques that should be learned from the Basic Problems section are further elaborated in the Application Problems section. One focus of the book is using sacrifice stones to change a local sequence from gote to sente. 041b061a72

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