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  1. 11 Jan '12 14:07
    Hey all,

    lately I seem to get stuck in either of these scenario's:
    - The game is going pretty balanced, often an exchange is forced and suddenly I'm in the endgame, which is not my best quality.
    - or, in order to avoid the endgame, I play a little more agressive (a sac or other risky move) but this gives my opponent an advantage to work with, so I lose unless he blunders later on.

    The first scenario is boring, and the second has its downsides obviously. Do you have any suggestions on how to change my style or what abilities I should improve? Please share your ideas if you have similar issues.

    (I use the RHP game explorer to check my moves in the opening and I sometimes practice tactics and endgames with chesstempo.)
  2. 11 Jan '12 15:25
    Originally posted by tvochess
    Hey all,

    lately I seem to get stuck in either of these scenario's:
    - The game is going pretty balanced, often an exchange is forced and suddenly I'm in the endgame, which is not my best quality.
    - or, in order to avoid the endgame, I play a little more agressive (a sac or other risky move) but this gives my opponent an advantage to work with, so I lose ...[text shortened]... check my moves in the opening and I sometimes practice tactics and endgames with chesstempo.)
    yeah that sounds like me, please consider this, you must overcome your perception
    that the endgame is boring, its not, in fact, its more double edged than any other part
    of the game, one single tempo can make the difference between winning and losing. I
    have faced many a relentless attacker whose attack simply falls into the sea like a
    castle made of sand and they are left in an inferior position, why? because all they can
    do is attack, they have no real understanding of a chess game.
  3. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    11 Jan '12 15:41
    you must simply learn to see the exchange as a normal move, and make the decision to avoid it (if necessary) BEFORE you get there, instead of how you apparently now ALLOW your opponent the option to exchange. if you don't want an exchange, you don't give it any more than you'd give up a piece. ONLY exchange if it's advantageous for YOU.

    low rated players will almost always exchange, given half a chance. don't really know why, but that's how it seems to be. except when it comes to queens, then they'll always avoid the exchange if at all possible, even when it's a bad move for them. the trick is to offer them a ridiculously bad deal, and if they bite, their loss. but never allow an exchange on even terms or unfavourable ones.
  4. 11 Jan '12 15:47 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by wormwood
    you must simply learn to see the exchange as a normal move, and make the decision to avoid it (if necessary) BEFORE you get there, instead of how you apparently now ALLOW your opponent the option to exchange. if you don't want an exchange, you don't give it any more than you'd give up a piece. ONLY exchange if it's advantageous for YOU.

    low rated players f they bite, their loss. but never allow an exchange on even terms or unfavourable ones.
    i think its a generality, but its true in practical terms, when we take an opponents piece
    it increases their mobility, for example when black exchanges a bishop on e6 for one
    on b3, white gets a free half open file for his rook, and black did it for him, ok, white
    gets doubled pawns, but so what, pieces are worth more than pawns and the now
    liberated rook will be happy on his new half open file, thanks to blacks exchange.

  5. 11 Jan '12 16:00
    I read somewhere that because b- to g-pawns can capture both ways, they can be regarded as materially slightly better than a- to h- pawns, to a value that more than makes up for getting a doubled pawn (if it doesn't leave your king too exposed, I guess.)
  6. 11 Jan '12 16:25 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Robin Johnson
    I read somewhere that because b- to g-pawns can capture both ways, they can be regarded as materially slightly better than a- to h- pawns, to a value that more than makes up for getting a doubled pawn (if it doesn't leave your king too exposed, I guess.)
    sometimes if a bishop exchanges itself for an f6 knight and white has already castled,
    rather than taking back with a piece, it might be an idea to take back with the g pawn
    and you get an excellent open g file looking right down to the white king.
  7. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    11 Jan '12 16:39
    Originally posted by Robin Johnson
    I read somewhere that because b- to g-pawns can capture both ways, they can be regarded as materially slightly better than a- to h- pawns, to a value that more than makes up for getting a doubled pawn (if it doesn't leave your king too exposed, I guess.)
    I wouldn't worry about that kind of subtleties, they're practically irrelevant compared to the 10x bigger issues of how the open file works for you offensively/defensively (biggest concern) and whether the pawn island with doubled pawn is strong or weak. as often the resulting pawn cluster is like a herd of buffalo that'll trample anything under it (like if white takes on e6 in robbie's sicilian). and often the open file simply strengthens rooks.

    I'd almost go as far as say doubled pawns are generally good for you, UNLESS it exposes your king (and even then it's sometimes a formidable offensive weapon) or the doubled pawn is easily attacked and difficult to defend. - but maybe that's stretching the idea a bit far. at least generally speaking. anyway, doubling the opponent's pawns should NEVER be taken lightly. there needs to be a good reason. "I'm burdening him with doubled pawns" etc is not a reason, it's just empty words.

    then there's of course the default: when in doubt, capture towards center. which applies always when you don't have a GOOD reason to do otherwise. centralize, centralize, centralize.
  8. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    11 Jan '12 16:42
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    sometimes if a bishop exchanges itself for an f6 knight and white has already castled,
    rather than taking back with a piece, it might be an idea to take back with the g pawn
    and you get an excellent open g file looking right down to the white king.
    exactly. the king can often be very safe tucked into the corner.
  9. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    11 Jan '12 16:53
    Originally posted by tvochess
    Hey all,

    lately I seem to get stuck in either of these scenario's:
    - The game is going pretty balanced, often an exchange is forced and suddenly I'm in the endgame, which is not my best quality.
    - or, in order to avoid the endgame, I play a little more agressive (a sac or other risky move) but this gives my opponent an advantage to work with, so I lose ...[text shortened]... check my moves in the opening and I sometimes practice tactics and endgames with chesstempo.)
    Endgames can be tricky. I have played in endgames in which I had
    a winning advantage, but quickly played the most logical moves
    and found myself tricked into a position that resulted in a draw by
    stalemate or else having to returning the gained material. I have
    also lost endgames that I should have won. There is no way that I
    know that you can play any of the main openings and have a forced
    win in the middlegame unless your opponent blunders.
  10. 11 Jan '12 17:24 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by tvochess
    Hey all,

    lately I seem to get stuck in either of these scenario's:
    - The game is going pretty balanced, often an exchange is forced and suddenly I'm in the endgame, which is not my best quality.
    - or, in order to avoid the endgame, I play a little more agressive (a sac or other risky move) but this gives my opponent an advantage to work with, so I lose ...[text shortened]... check my moves in the opening and I sometimes practice tactics and endgames with chesstempo.)
    Try out Silman's Compete Endgame Course.

    It is quite a good read as well as teaching you some critical, yet simple, endgame scenarios.

    For instance, did you know that a king and rook or a bishop pawn on the seventh can draw against a king and queen?
  11. 11 Jan '12 17:48
    "studying endgames is boring" is true.
    unfortunately, "studying endgames is neccessary" is also true.

    we cannot always rely on our abilities (relative to the strength of our opponent) in the opening/middlegame. inevitably we will all end up in an endgame from time to time.

    there's no quick fix to the problem. endgame studies are essential if you want to become a better player.

    A positive side effect of knowing your endgames is that your evaluation of the opening and middlegame becomes much better.
  12. 11 Jan '12 17:52
    Originally posted by tvochess
    Hey all,

    lately I seem to get stuck in either of these scenario's:
    - The game is going pretty balanced, often an exchange is forced and suddenly I'm in the endgame, which is not my best quality.
    - or, in order to avoid the endgame, I play a little more agressive (a sac or other risky move) but this gives my opponent an advantage to work with, so I lose ...[text shortened]... check my moves in the opening and I sometimes practice tactics and endgames with chesstempo.)
    Get better at your endgame. I think most people are afraid of the endgame and don't play confidently or agressively during the endgame. The way I used to feel about it was "uh oh, all my pieces are gone, now what?"

    So I read Yasser Seirawan's book on endgames, practised some puzzles and now I really look forward to the endgame. I've found it made a huge difference to the way I play - if I think I have an advantage (maybe up a pawn or two, my opponent has doubled pawns, my king is closer to the center) I'll exchange like a crazy man, simplify the game, and try to increase the size of my advantage. It doesn't always work but it made the game more fun for me.
  13. 11 Jan '12 21:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by tvochess
    Hey all,

    lately I seem to get stuck in either of these scenario's:
    - The game is going pretty balanced, often an exchange is forced and suddenly I'm in the endgame, which is not my best quality.
    - or, in order to avoid the endgame, I play a little more agressive (a sac or other risky move) but this gives my opponent an advantage to work with, so I lose ...[text shortened]... check my moves in the opening and I sometimes practice tactics and endgames with chesstempo.)
    here is a case which illustrates the point well, in a balanced position, the relentless
    attack must attack, he doesn't know anything else, the result is that his position,
    which was fine, becomes untenable,

    tuhatnelja v robbiecarrobie RHP blitz
  14. 12 Jan '12 11:56
    The overall advice seems to be studying the endgame. I was afraid so. The problem is that there are so many different types of endgames. The most common ones only deal with pieces and perhaps one pawn. However, actually the endgame starts sooner where there are still a lot of pawns (2 to 4 on each side), and it really gets complicated then. Certainly when you have only a knigth or bishop, which are not very strong in capturing extra pawns.

    Thanks all for the feedback!
  15. 12 Jan '12 12:43
    Originally posted by tvochess
    The overall advice seems to be studying the endgame. I was afraid so. The problem is that there are so many different types of endgames. The most common ones only deal with pieces and perhaps one pawn. However, actually the endgame starts sooner where there are still a lot of pawns (2 to 4 on each side), and it really gets complicated then. Certainly when y ...[text shortened]... h or bishop, which are not very strong in capturing extra pawns.

    Thanks all for the feedback!
    try the knight and bishop v king mate, that's quite enjoyable. It teaches quite a lot
    about piece co-ordination and restriction.