Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another draw

Another draw in a theoretically very good position for me can be seen here. This was my tournament game today. I think it looks like I'm gonna have to start learning about endings. I have noticed this in quite a few Knights: after finishing the Circles they are better than their opponents tactically, which gets them to more endgames, which they are not that good at. If anyone can explain how I should have been thinking near the end, when I was up, and we both had three pawns on the Kingside facing each other from our second ranks, please let me know.

I think I need a King and Pawn endgame book. Not an advanced one, but a baby one if it exists.

11 Comments:

Anonymous ookwelbekendalsemc said...

This looks pretty good. I am getting it myself. The free ChessBase Light (or any other ChessBase program) program will allow you to work with it.

10/27/2007 07:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Atomic Patzer said...

I use both Silmans's Complete Endgame Course and Just The Facts by Alburt and Krogius. I like both. The Silman book is organized by rating so you can read it in chunks as you improve.

10/27/2007 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

The problems you have in your games is finding the right plan. Therefore you need endgame strategy and no theoretical endings. So for instance Hansen's book or Shereshevsky.

10/27/2007 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Grandpatzer said...

Pandolfini or Alburt would be good starter one-volume works. Silman has a hard-to-find endgame book that I rather like, "essential chess endgames move by move, vol. 1". I'd say, if you can find it, get it.

I absolutely cannot recommend Soltis's "Grandmaster Secrets: Endgames" enough. I'd go through Alburt or Pandolfini first, and then that. If you don't already enjoy endgames, Soltis should make you.

The above books are the best places to start. The following are if you find yourself enjoying endgame study.

If you want to go nuts on pawn endgames, I recommend "secrets of pawn endgames" by Muller and Lamprecht, but read alburt/pandolfini first. You should know by heart the various K+P vs K endgames, and understand certain basics such as: for a white pawn on f5 and a black pawn on f6, the key (winning) squares for White's king are c6, d6, and e6. White tries to use the opposition to enter one of those squares, and Black uses the opposition to prevent that.

For pawn endgames, I personally got a lot out of "the final countdown" by Van Riesmsdijk and Hajenius, but that is a sign that you are an endgame freak. Especially enlightening on key squares, critical squares, and the interesting-yet-largely-useless-to-us-mortals concept of corresponding squares.

What you had was technically what Flear calls a "nuckie" or NQE (Not Quite an Endgame). I got his recent book on these, "practical endgame play-beyond the basics" but haven't gone through it yet. Not the place to start if you haven't done much for endgames before.

Silman's big recent endgame tome is excellent for showing how little endgame knowledge you need to know for a certain level. Personally, I say that if you can master endgame concepts, with just a little study, that are beyond the level that Silman considers them to be, then it can't be a bad thing, and I think studying endgames is good for your chess as a whole. But, if you're just trying to get by, it can help you focus on what's really important for your game at a certain level.

Finally, I have Muller's first endgame DVD, like it, and want more.

10/27/2007 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks for all the suggestions. I've got all the books mentioned (except the one by Tempo and a couple of the advanced ones mentioned by GP). I think I'll start with Silman. I don't like the position dump approach that typifies all the major endgame books. Silman I like because he explains things. Pandolfini explains each position but like all his other books it is like a dictionary. I work much better with a coherent overall perspective that someone has taken the time to build. I have the Muller DVD. Perhaps it's time to watch that.

Ookmeister that looks interesting let us know how it is.

I'll let ya'll know when I find what I'm looking for in the K/P department. There's some stuff out there that looks good that I haven't seen anyone here discuss.

10/28/2007 01:21:00 AM  
Blogger likesforests said...

If you know theoretical pawn endings, you can easily defeat Crafty and Fritz by letting them "win" your queen and a pawn for a bishop and rook after centralizing your king. It's a won pawn ending! Crafty went down in 6 moves, Fritz went down in 12 moves.

For pawn endings, Secrets of Pawn Endings is a great choice, but if you want something simpler there's also "Starting Out: Pawn Endgames" by Flear. But first be sure to read what Silman writes about K+P vs K and the opposition. :)

10/28/2007 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger Glenn Wilson said...

Maybe Basic Chess Endings with the idea of just reading the text introductions for each section. I am a big fan of Pandolfini's Endgame book but it does not address what I think you need right now.

This is a tough endgame. Black is up material but only has one piece versus two. I suspect this is drawn with best play (especially after the a-pawn is lost).

To win Black must threaten mate or threaten to queen a pawn. Neither of those are going to happen without advancing the king or pawns or, more likely, both. White has a permanent outpost for his Bishop at a4 and can improve that to c4. That can support the rook so there are no loose pieces. Those two can probably (?) keep black at bay.

10/28/2007 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Glenn Wilson said...

An interesting endgame site with videos:
Chess Endgames

Wikipedia on Fortresses, an idea that may be relevant in this endgame.
Fortress

10/28/2007 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Thanks Glenn for looking at the position. It felt tricky for the same reasons you mentioned. He was in lockdown with that Bishop, which coordinated well with his Rook. This is the kind of ending where Fritz is not all that helpful (indeed, my version of Fritz on my computer is really bad).

10/28/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

A Fortress: that's exactly what he had! :)

10/28/2007 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like you have amassed enough endgame material to review.

However, if you are considering more purchases, check out John Watson's recent review of endgame materials.

http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/jwatsonbkrev84.html

You circle guys might like to give Perlo's book a try.

Bill

10/29/2007 02:41:00 PM  

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