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  1. 02 Apr '17 17:01
    Years ago Boris Spassky said (I'm paraphrasing here) "Studying endgames is like quitting smoking, it's a smart idea, but it's not very enjoyable" I admit to feeling the very same way, for myself, analyzing the finer points of B+2 pawns vs N+2 pawns endgames holds all the thrills of a bag of fertilizer, and I've not done it for a long time. I understand over the board tournament players need endgame study, since they have little time to analyze a position compared to correspondence players, but do correspondence players need these exercises to become strong players, or should they simply analyze the positions in their games as the occur?
  2. 03 Apr '17 08:20 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by mchill
    Years ago Boris Spassky said (I'm paraphrasing here) "Studying endgames is like quitting smoking, it's a smart idea, but it's not very enjoyable" I admit to feeling the very same way, for myself, analyzing the finer points of B+2 pawns vs N+2 pawns endgames holds all the thrills of a bag of fertilizer, and I've not done it for a long time. I understand over t ...[text shortened]... become strong players, or should they simply analyze the positions in their games as the occur?
    I used to be like that but now I have the opposite view. I love endgame studies that have an outcome. Q+K v R+K is amazing or N+B v K mate. I admit that the minor piece and pawn endgame are not the most thrilling and often super tricky but half the fun is trying to work them out and failing and trying again. One gets a real sense of accomplishment when we finally 'get it'. This is the entire 'trick', getting a sense of accomplishment!
  3. 03 Apr '17 14:07
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I used to be like that but now I have the opposite view. I love endgame studies that have an outcome. Q+K v R+K is amazing or N+B v K mate. I admit that the minor piece and pawn endgame are not the most thrilling and often super tricky but half the fun is trying to work them out and failing and trying again. One gets a real sense of accomplishment when we finally 'get it'. This is the entire 'trick', getting a sense of accomplishment!
    Good reply Robbie. Thank You.
  4. 03 Apr '17 14:19
    Originally posted by mchill
    Good reply Robbie. Thank You.
    No worries i use the chessvideos tv endgame simulator to try to solve the problems. I wish someone would post a good article on queen and king verse rook and king though.
  5. 03 Apr '17 14:47 / 2 edits
    Shortly after joining this site I had the N+B+K vs K ending come up. I used to work on this as the instructional books I used decades ago all said it was worth working on as practice in manipulating minor pieces. Tempting as it was to just concede the half point and be done with it, I went ahead and got the win. It helped that the opponent's King was already at the edge of the board near the favorable corner. But yes, studying does help convert half points to full points occasionally, or save games that might otherwise be lost. But they are difficult and even grandmasters make huge mistakes in endgames.
  6. 03 Apr '17 17:07
    Reuben Fine's 15 rules for endgames from "Basic Chess Endings" and some King and Pawn work should go a long way.
  7. Subscriber BigDoggProblemonline
    The Advanced Mind
    04 Apr '17 00:33
    The most common endings are Rook endings, and Pawn endings. Studying those gives the best practical benefit.

    For minor pieces, you can usually get by with knowing what they generally like and don't like in endgames (Bishops like pawns on both sides of the board and unlocked pawns, etc.)
  8. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    06 Apr '17 06:48
    There is a very good reason to study end games: at a certain level of proficiency, one cannot expect to deliver many more Morphy-style knockout blows, because one's opponents no longer make the sort of positional errors Morphy’s opponents made, where Morphy was in his element and which made his knockout blows possible.

    Studying end games is necessary to reach the next level of proficiency, because knowing which end games are winnable tells you when to trade down in the middle game (after Morphy-style knockouts are no longer on the board).

    It is a less spectacular way to win than the Morphy-style knockout blow, but it does bring a different kind of satisfaction. I dare say, any 2400+ player today would have mopped the floor with Morphy.

    One comes to appreciate the power and the weakness of the minor pieces in particular when the position is reduced to just minor pieces and a few pawns. Good knight vs. bad bishop endings were a revelation to me, for example.

    This requires putting in some study. Yup, it’s boring, but it pays off in the end (game).
  9. 06 Apr '17 14:37
    Originally posted by moonbus
    There is a very good reason to study end games: at a certain level of proficiency, one cannot expect to deliver many more Morphy-style knockout blows, because one's opponents no longer make the sort of positional errors Morphy’s opponents made, where Morphy was in his element and which made his knockout blows possible.

    Studying end games is necessary to r ...[text shortened]... le.

    This requires putting in some study. Yup, it’s boring, but it pays off in the end (game).
    Thank You. Your opinion makes good sense. I'll have to decide how badly I want to improve.
  10. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    07 Apr '17 08:04 / 2 edits
    Chess will take on a new dimension of meaning for you when you move into the 1800 - 1999 range. Trust me.

    I expect it takes on yet another dimension of meaning in masters ranges. I will let you know if I ever make it that far. Time's a wastin.