Monday, April 23, 2012

You should study endgames

Yes. And why should you study endgames? Because nobody else does! It looks like a silly answer, but maybe it makes sense. Nowadays chess players are obsessed with which opening system they should play and how to find complicated tactical shots in the middlegame. While the endgame looks like that boring place you end up in if you did not manage to win material or checkmate the opponent in the middlegame.

But if you are a club player and have played classical games, you would agree that endgames matter. Many of your games did indeed go into endgames and many of your points did get lost after move 40 or even move 60. So what types of endgames are there anyways?

Pawn endgames with bare kings. Knight endgames. Bishop endgames. Rook endgames. Double rook endgames. Rook and light piece endgames. Other mixes of light pieces and one or two rooks. Queen endgames. The list is not too long actually! And some of these you will get more often than others!

Pawn endgames! Yes! Rook endgames! Yes! These two you should start with! Knight endgames are similar to pawn endgames. While bishop endgames can be tricky and they are also relatively rare. Queen endgames are great to know! You can win many points there!

Again. Why learn endgames? Well, let's say you did not get much out of the opening and the middlegame looks dull. Then you can grab your chance and push the game towards an endgame where you know more than the opponent! Push into a queen endgame, get a passed pawn and win! That's how it goes sometimes. Not every game is all tactics and fireworks. Sometimes an edge in endgame knowledge is enough and you suddenly promote a pawn and the game is over. Thanks for reading!