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  1. 31 Aug '08 20:56
    inspired by one of wormwoods games and ivanhoes quote "Openings teach you openings. Endgames teach you chess! " Stephan Gerzadowiczhi, can anyone suggest some good endgame resource, either in book form, online or in software, regards in advance Robert.
  2. 31 Aug '08 21:06
    * Pandolfini's Endgame Course is first step. You must learn how to deliver checkmate.

    * In Mastering Chess Danny Kopec gives you several mating patterns. You must learn to coordinate your pieces. These examples explain how to do so.

    * Jeremy Silman will then take you on a journey in Silman's Complete Endgame Course teaching you the essential knowledge necessary to achieve each class level ranging from an Elo of 1200 - 2200. Silman is a master of words. His material, unlike Dvoretsky, is very easy to understand. He avoids a lot of material concentrating only on the essential information you need at each level. While I may not have learned more from this book than any other I think it is by far the best chess book ever written for the majority of chess players. See, you have to understand, as you get better and better there are fewer and fewer players at that level. So if you are a writer you will make more money if you write for players less than 1700. As you get better the stuff you need the most is not in print -- it's in the games of grandmasters. I'll say this -- you can learn more from Jeremy Silman in 30 minutes than you could learn from any other writer in 5 hours.

    * Practical Chess Endings by Irving Chernov presents lots of endgame studies composed by Nikalai (Nikolay) Dmitrievich Grigoriev, and many of the brilliant studies by Luigi Centurini who formulated the principles of bishop endings. The format of this book is the best I've ever seen for chess problems. It has one diagram per page, history about the problem, and then it tests your skills in finding the answer. I tried reading this book several times before reading the books mentioned above. Each time I'd get a few pages into it and then abandon the project. I couldn't understand how anyone could actually calculate moves in problems of such depth as the one solved by the Spanish priest F. Saavedra, or even what I now consider basic position like the Lucena Position, or the Philidor Position (which ironically is not listed in this book). I keep this book with me almost everywhere I go. I really didn't appreciate studies until I read this book. Now, I understand the importance of learning the information. We have to learn from studies, grandmaster games, our own games (why we lost), and from frequent position that you will find in almost any endgame book. Each of these sources provides a different type of information, but each is important and you will find information presented from each of these sources in your own games after you understand their importance.

    * Test Your Positional Play teaches you how to think and tests your middlegame skills in planning. Don't even pick this book up if you haven't read the books listed above, but once you have read them then you are ready to learn how to think. It's all about evaluating positions, setting objectives, formulating plans, and validating those plans.

    * After you have read Bellin and Ponzetto's book and have a basic understanding of how to think you need to subscribe to GM Gabriel Schwartzman's publications on-line called the Internet Chess Academy. He presents some of his own games, and many famous games played throughout history teaching you how to think, how to plan, and how to solve problems on the board. Anatoly Karpov, Lev Albert, and many other GMs publish articles in this series as guest columnists. It is a great collection. I wish it was also published in book form.

    * Technique for the Tournament Player by Mark Dvoretsky teaches you how to study the endgame. He dedicates an entire chapter to the study of a single endgame: Capablanca - Alekhine, 1924. He expands on Centurini's rules for handling bishops of opposite color and reveals secrets of same color bishop endings that he discovered as a chess trainer. He has trained Kasparov, Anand, Topalov, Bareev, Lautier, Van Wely, Yusupov and many more. In this book Dvoretsky teaches you the lessons he taught several students who became Junior World Champions.

    * The Endgame Manual by Mark Dvoretsky is a great source of material, but it is a reference material. I've tried to sit down and read it. I can do it if I study only a page or two a day, but I can't read it through and through. It is filled with some of the greatest analysis on the endgame I've ever seen. Everyone need a copy of this book within arms reach. Just don't expect it to read like an Erle Stanley Gardner novel. If some of you don't know, he was the guy who created Perry Mason. He was so prolific that sometimes he wrote more than one novel in a single day. He was a lawyer who had a staff of secretaries. Sometimes he would just sit around and dictate story lines all day long. John Grisham, originally from Black Oak Arkansas, is the modern day Erle Stanley Gardner -- just not as prolific. Two things came from Black Oak: Jim Dandy and John Grisham. There are so many things that come from this book ... you'll just have to get a copy to know what I mean.
  3. 31 Aug '08 21:24
    i have a piece of software with some of Silmans work on it, chess mentor its called, i hardly ever use it and get quite bored with the endgame principles although i can perceive that they are incredibly practical, the supplementary course on the Sicilian and the Kings Indian are quite good. the feeling that i have is that while the latter may be more exciting, one is trying to learn to run before one can even walk. Josh Waitzkin on his chessmaster stuff says that it is beneficial to learn endings first and foremostly, his reasoning i think is that you get a better understanding of what the pieces can do unencumbered and given space. surely the learning of delivering checkmate belongs to the realm of tactics and not endgame, naturally i am willing to concede that i could be wrong and stand corrected. regards Robert.
  4. 31 Aug '08 22:37
    Endgame Motifs



    There are less than a dozen endgame motifs that are used in the vast majority of all chess endings. And only a few of them are used in any single endgame.

    1. Cutting the enemy king off.

    2. Promoting your pawn to a knight to force a draw in a rook ending.

    3. Stalemate.

    4. Zwischenschach to win a tempo. Zwischenschack is an in-between check. Sometimes you can use it to force the enemy king back down the board to guard his pawn.

    5. Shoulder charging with your king to push the enemy king away from your pawn. By the way, this seems to be one of the most misunderstood principles by players less than 2000. It seems natural to place your king as far away from the enemy king as possible to lead your pawn to promotion, but doing so often times leads you into a drawn endgame. Guard your pawn from the enemy king by placing your king between it and the enemy king. Then even if you don't move it it takes several more moves for the enemy king to circumvent your king (interference).

    6. Take the side route. This may include shouldering.

    7. Mating threats. I've seen lost endings with two pawns on the 6th against a rook where you just start checking the enemy king and find that he can never advance a pawn in fear of being mated.

    8. Rooks are best behind the most advanced pawn. This is a general rule, but I have won endgames with a rook and two pawns versus a rook where the rook is best using the Philidor technique by attacking from the side. The point is you can't simply learn a rule from memory and use it expecting it to work. You must study these motifs and learn how to apply them.

    9. Zwischenschach before capturing a pawn. This is common when the enemy king is approaching with two conntected passed pawns. Given the opportunity to take one of the pawns may cost you the game. If you first check the king, driving him away, then you can capture the pawn while pinning the other pawn. Then taking the other pawn saves you from a loss. All games don't have to be won! I remember many games that ended in a draw better than games I have won.

    10. Knowing which pawn to move. This is difficult. You have to learn the principle of opposition and how to calculate corresponding squares before you can answer this question.




    References

    Dvoretsky, M. (1995). Technique for the Tournament Player.
    New York: Henry Holt and Company, Batsford Chess Library.




    Mark Dvoretsky is the greatest trainer the world has ever known, but his books are hard to read. He is not verbose. Every sentence, every word means something. You can't browse his material. You must study it with great concentration. You won't understand anything you are reading the first time throught, but the second or third time it starts making sense. Then, finally, you will start seeing what he is talking about in your own games. That's when you know you understand something anyway -- when you can reproduce it in your own games.