Monday, January 01, 2007

Pawnless endings etc.

Pawnless endings are tricky. I now know all the basic mates versus the lone king, but last night I couldn't mate Fritz in a QK vs NK endgame! Egads. Wouldn't that be embarassing in a tournament. I assume this should be easy, so I hope to learn it (and QK vs BK) today. If it isn't easy, then that is just more confirmation that if you are ahead, you should fight like hell to trade pieces, not pawns!

I went through a few endgame problems in the Personal Chess Trainer trial version last night and it was all pawn endgames, which was very useful. Does the full version also include the classic rook endings like the Philidor and Lucena positions? Do the people using PCT for endgame training like it? Is there anyplace online where they list all of the endgame themes?

Watch out U1300 division of Team 45/45 League, a new group of patzers has rolled into town, The King Assassins!

Also, I finished my minicircles with Problem Set 2. It is nice to be doing a new problem set, slowing down, thinking a bit. Though not too much thinking: to simulate game conditions, and to give myself some time to work on endgames, I force myself to make a move within two minutes.

Two minicircle sets down, three to go:

# CirclesPercent Correct
Problem Set 11498-99-100-100-100-100-100
Problem Set 21590-93-96-99-99-99-99-99
Problem Set 30
Problem Set 40
Problem Set 50
NOTE: Circles done with CTB.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as I have done it the endgame section of PCT is very good. But you have to have an enormous will-power to do it because it is pretty boring. Besides that you must have a book like FCE or so for the theoretical background. Since I need all my will power for the strategical section, I didn't came very far with endgames. So far as I have seen it, it has all the basic endings (1440)

1/01/2007 05:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck with the Assassins.

1/01/2007 06:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PCT endgames is basically a reprise of Rueben Fines classic endgames book (the one revised by Benko). It has all the same problems, including the classic Lucena and Philidor ending.

I have been doing the endgames section for a few months and I can assure you this is a must do section for anyone.

Tempo is right that you should have a companion text to explain the theory - any book that explains the elementary mates would do - even Pandolfinis.

1/02/2007 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger wayward son said...

FCE has got to be a great book (I don't have it yet), but if you are truly interested in pawn endgames then "Secrets of Pawn Endings" by the same auther (Karsten Muller) is probably the way to go. I bought it cheap on ebay and am going through a chapter a week. I find Muller explains things very well and I am happy that after a year of muddling around completely lost any time I ended up with a pawn endgame, I am now starting to play those endings properly.

Are you still playing the open games as Black? I have decided to switch to them, instead of the Scandinavian. I noticed that Mihail Marin is coming out with two books on the open games. One on the Ruy Lopez in April and one on the rest of ...e5 later this month. Might be worth checking out, especially as Marin's other books have always received very high acclaim (chesscafe, Seagaard reviews, New In Chess reviews, Jeremy Silman's site). I am a little worried that they may be quite advanced. (My guess is similar to Emms Open Game book, but more advanced than Davies play e4 e5).

1/02/2007 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Wayward son: yep, still playing 1...e5. I've got lots of endgame books: for my first lesson Thursday night with Schroer I'm bringing them over to his house and we're gonna come up with a study plan.

1/02/2007 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For future reference in KQ vs KN you can just win the knight then mate. I'm sure you figured this out though.

1/02/2007 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Jeff: yes, but capturing the knight isn't trivial. If it stays close to the king, you have to slowly work the king and knight to the edge and only then is it possible to get a good fork. Unless your opponent plays incorrectly, that is. Then it's easy.

I've spent about three hours on it and am getting better at it, though it is a very tricky mate. Easier than mate with knight/bishop, but quite a bit harder than mate with two bishops.

1/02/2007 04:04:00 PM  

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