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  1. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    11 Jan '10 01:01
    Has anyone else found endgame books useful in CC chess? One of my goals playing at RHP is to improve my endgame technique for OTB play.

    I have found that GM Glenn Flear's endgame books have been particularly helpful for me, and I think I am actually making progress because the games on the site are giving me a chance to crunch actual endgames from openings I plan to play.

    My only negative was when I had a bishop and knight vs rook, and my opponent and I each had g and h pawns. I was using Flear's "Practical Endgame Play- beyond the basics" where Flear gives a sample stat with equal pawns where the rook won 0, drew 10, and lost 22 from a 25000 game database of players rated 2600 or higher.

    My opponent offered a draw more than once, but I played on, thinking I could figure out how to convert the point. Once I realized that I could not pass the g-pawn (insert joke here), that my bishop was the wrong color to promote the h-pawn, and he could sac his rook for my knight at will, I agreed to the draw.

    What bothered me was that I later read in a post that people who play on in drawn endgames because they have a slight material advantage is a "clear indicator of engine use", and I wondered if I could be falsely labeled that way.

    In any event, Flear's book is awesome, and I highly recommend it.

    Paul
  2. Standard member Wulebgr
    Angler
    11 Jan '10 01:23
    Several things:

    1. Tablebases have been declared engine use, so they are not permitted.

    2. Most discussions of database use here highlight opening databases, rendering the probably legitimate use of endgame books and database search tools potentially suspect.

    3. I found Jacob Aagaard's Excelling at Technical Chess inspirational in reorienting my attitude towards fighting in endgames with a minimal advantage. In a few correspondence games, one at Net-Chess and at least two at ChessWorld I converted theoretically drawn endgames where I had a slight advantage into wins. In two of these, my opponent offered a draw.

    4.My last completed RHP game Game 6804347, I offered a draw after some initial fireworks created an even looking position. My opponent, who was higher rated, refused the draw and we played an interesting endgame until the knights and rooks came off, then he offered a draw.

    5.Those that criticize the successful pursuit endgame play with marginal advantages should have their metacarpals violently separated from their keyboards and from each other. OTOH, that's certainly where some cheaters get their points.
  3. 11 Jan '10 01:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Has anyone else found endgame books useful in CC chess? One of my goals playing at RHP is to improve my endgame technique for OTB play.

    I have found that GM Glenn Flear's endgame books have been particularly helpful for me, and I think I am actually making progress because the games on the site are giving me a chance to crunch actual endgames from ed that way.

    In any event, Flear's book is awesome, and I highly recommend it.

    Paul
    Never used endgame books in CC.
    I know I should,my endgame skills suck

    I wouldn't worry about being falsely labeled.That ending is not a 'slight material advantage' but a difficult and interesting endgame.

    Furthermore,I don't think whoever said that meant it that way.If he did then I guess pretty much all under 1500's are suspect.
    How would you know anyway?Having more material doesn't mean that is the reason you continue playing.


    edit: playing black I had my draw offer refused in this position



    What does that indicate?
  4. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    11 Jan '10 01:35
    I should add that my opponent never made any claims at all, other than that he thought the position was drawn (and he was right- and he's on my buddy list now). It was just that when I read someone's list of how to tell a cheat, I read the one about endgames and immediately thought of this one.

    Without trying to be rude to my opponents, I try to test the theory as much as I can. That a position is theoretically drawn has no value to me unless I can prove the draw over the board against an opponent who is trying to win. Similarly, if I have a theoretical win, I have no problem with my opponent testing me- if I were THAT good, I'd have a chess title in front of my name, other than "patzer".
  5. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    11 Jan '10 01:42
    Originally posted by Ajuin
    Never used endgame books in CC.
    I know I should,my endgame skills suck

    I wouldn't worry about being falsely labeled.That ending is not a 'slight material advantage' but a difficult and interesting endgame.

    Furthermore,I don't think whoever said that meant it that way.If he did then I guess pretty much all under 1500's are suspect.
    How would you know ...[text shortened]... sition

    [fen]8/kp4R1/2p5/8/1P6/3K4/8/2r5 w - - 0 36[/fen]

    What does that indicate?
    I would play on as black for just a few more moves, maybe, but my first reaction is that white should be able to set up a Philidor position pretty easily, and draw. Why on earth he would want to play on is beyond me.

    At the same time, if the white player refuses a draw in that position, that's sort of like a "tell" in poker, indicating that he may know nothing about the Philidor position, and you may be able to win simply due to his lack of technique.

    What was the result?
  6. 11 Jan '10 01:48
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    I would play on as black for just a few more moves, maybe, but my first reaction is that white should be able to set up a Philidor position pretty easily, and draw. Why on earth he would want to play on is beyond me.

    At the same time, if the white player refuses a draw in that position, that's sort of like a "tell" in poker, indicating that he may ...[text shortened]... tion, and you may be able to win simply due to his lack of technique.

    What was the result?
    Smart thinking,didn't occur to me at the time.I should've tried for a win but didn't fancy sweating months over it and probably end up with a draw anyway.

    The game was eventually drawn by repetition much in the same position as when I offered.
    Game 6919947
  7. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    11 Jan '10 01:55
    My win to loss ratio on the site is really skewed in part because I have won many endgames I should have drawn.

    As an interesting aside, I have made several new friends out of opponents by sharing that the win should have been a draw, and showing them how. If my opponents get stronger, so will I- as the late US congressman Jack Kemp liked to say, "A rising tide raises all boats".
  8. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    11 Jan '10 02:00
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    What bothered me was that I later read in a post that people who play on in drawn endgames because they have a slight material advantage is a "clear indicator of engine use", and I wondered if I could be falsely labeled that way.
    that usually comes up related to theoretical dead draws, the kind all strong real human players would see. but there have also been some quite obvious cheaters playing on in ridiculous positions a strong human never would, some of which have even been posted here in the last few weeks, only to be deleted by the thought police.

    but those are really obvious cases, no human player needs to be worried about it. unfortunately we can't dig up any examples, as that would be the end of this thread.

    I can remember only one case where a player got kicked out because of his endgame. mary ann. and even 'she' got kicked only after public pressure. 'she' was one of the more blatant ones as I remember, scoring almost perfect match with fritz consistently. 'she's nowadays playing at GK. well, unless 'she's back with another name, which wouldn't surprise me. a lot of them seem to return.
  9. 11 Jan '10 02:03 / 2 edits
    Hi Paul

    "One of my goals playing at RHP is to improve my endgame technique
    for OTB play. "

    I think this is one area where computers can definetly help. Improving endgames.

    Possibly a better way of studying the endgame than hoping for an instructive
    ending appearing in one of your RHP games.

    Set the initial 'won/drawn' position up on the screen and play it from there.

    I screwed up some 'won' positions doing this but I know I pick up things using a box.

    However.
    That was when computers were not too good so it may be best to dumb the
    computer down.

    The reason I say this is because these things can now see mates in 20
    moves in the blink of eye, especially if there are few pieces on the board.

    So it may not make the best moves to, say stop a pawn from Queening, and
    give you the chance to employ your newly learned technique.

    It will be looking for ways to avoid getting mated in the least amount of moves
    and make moves no human would make.
  10. 11 Jan '10 02:27
    Van Wely is one of those who don't know when to resign

    Seriously,interesting fortress stuff to be seen here
    http://www.chessbase.com/cbm/cbm131e/cbm131-07/nakamura_vanwely.htm
  11. Standard member Kepler
    Demon Duck
    11 Jan '10 09:05 / 2 edits
    Here is an example where consulting a book might lead one to play on ad infinitum. The final position looks like a draw, the bishop is on the wrong colour. I should have taken a draw a few moves earlier but thought I'd chance my arm and see if he my opponent made a mistake, which he didn't of course.



    Edit: I was going to insert the whole game here but the PGN thing doesn't like my PGN.

    After the game I had a look at Fundamental Chess Endings and discovered this is a win for white! Apparently this has something to do with Rauzer's drawing zone in endings where one side has a bishop but the wrong rook's pawn. However, a quick look at the Shredder online endgame tablebases soon convinced me I had made the correct decision. White can win but it will take 47 moves. I would rather have taken the draw than annoy my opponent by dragging out an endgame that I would likely turn into a draw anyway.
  12. Standard member JonathanB of London
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    11 Jan '10 10:53
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Has anyone else found endgame books useful in CC chess?
    I found John Nunn's book on pawnless endings really useful when I had to defend KRB v KR.

    I thought it was going to be difficult but with Nunn's guidance (and, it must be said, an extremely favourable starting position) it was actually straightforward.

    As for playing on in drawn endings ... my opponent offered a draw about 20-25 moves after the last pawn was captured. Not an unreasonable thing to do but I'd have played on for the full 50 if the situation was reversed. Yes it was a draw and yes I was showing I knew how to draw it but I don't see the stronger side has anything to lose in playing on in this kind of situation.

    (OTB if I had to make a special trip to the playing hall to play out such an ending I might take a different view)
  13. Standard member JonathanB of London
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    11 Jan '10 10:54
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    My win to loss ratio on the site is really skewed in part because I have won many endgames I should have drawn.
    That's not skewing a win to loss ratio ... that's playing chess well.
  14. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    11 Jan '10 14:15
    Originally posted by Kepler
    Here is an example where consulting a book might lead one to play on ad infinitum. The final position looks like a draw, the bishop is on the wrong colour. I should have taken a draw a few moves earlier but thought I'd chance my arm and see if he my opponent made a mistake, which he didn't of course.

    [fen]8/8/8/8/p3K3/P3B1k1/8/8 w - - 0 1[/fen]

    Edit: I ...[text shortened]... n annoy my opponent by dragging out an endgame that I would likely turn into a draw anyway.
    Offhand, the trick here is that black can't get his king to a8- the "bishop is the wrong color" idea is based on the assumption that the opposing king can occupy the corner.

    I think you would be OK playing on as long as the win is theoretically possible- not being perfect does not make striving for it any less noble.
  15. Standard member Kepler
    Demon Duck
    11 Jan '10 14:42
    Originally posted by Paul Leggett
    Offhand, the trick here is that black can't get his king to a8- the "bishop is the wrong color" idea is based on the assumption that the opposing king can occupy the corner.

    I think you would be OK playing on as long as the win is theoretically possible- not being perfect does not make striving for it any less noble.
    True, but after 78 moves I was getting fed up with the game. I am not sure i could have lasted another 40+ moves just to prove a point.