Chess Endgames and Their Hidden Secrets
Play chess endgames with poise and confidence
It's time to learn your craft and change the way you approach chess endgames. Here are some endgame nuggets to help you succeed in Material Face Offs
Make yourself at home with disciplines like opposition, zugzwang, triangulation and outflanking. These themes are the bread and butter of endgame strategy.
Other important ideas include play on the seventh rank, creating two weaknesses and the value of adopting a cat and mouse strategy. Discover the value of a passed pawn and how to exploit it.
Finally I can't stress enough the necessity of analyzing your chess games. But first let's talk about the fighting King in the closing stages of a game.
Chess Endgames - Tal vs Spassky 1965: Spassky (Black) to move likes the position but would prefer it was Tal to move as he would be forced to move his King and be condemned to defeat. Spassky triangulates his King between d2, c3 and back to d3 forcing Tal to resign
is the art of losing a tempo or losing a move. Sometimes in a position it would be far more advantageous to pass the move to your opponent.
So you fix it so the other guy has to move from the same position. You move your King three times in the shape of a triangle and return to the same position.
Meanwhile your opponent has been forced to move and return in two moves. The result is the board returns to the previous position only now your opponent must move.
It is in such a situation that triangulation is most useful. Triangulation is used to put the other player in zugzwang.
Chess Endgames: The attacking King eats into his counterpart's territory by outflanking him with Ke4
Sometimes when you have opposition you give it up momentarily to eat into your opponent's territory. In the diagram, White to move will not maintain opposition with Kc3. He has to make progress.
So he temporarily gives up opposition in order to make his way up the board. He does this with Ke4. Black will not keep opposition on the next move because he needs to keep his King in front of the White pawn. The move ...Kc4 would be a disastrous reply. He will retreat instead and White will regain opposition.
Outflanking is an integral feature of chess endgames. This technique is used repeatedly along with opposition, zugzwang and triangulation during the struggle to gain dominance in the final stages.
Chess Endgames: Analyze your games and the games of the masters
Endgame analysis and chess analysis in general are fundamentally important in your development as a chess player. When I first began to play my games were taking on the same basic patterns.
I was making the same unsound moves based on the same unsound assumptions game after game. The games I won were only won because my opponent would be at the same level as me and did not know how to take advantage.
When I did lose it was against people who did know. In retrospect I did not even know which of my moves (apart from the obvious blunders) were the bad ones.
It was only when I began to analyze each game that the engine was highlighting them. I still didn't always immediately know why they were bad but the database and endgame tablebase were able to show me better moves.
Get skilled in the art of positional strategy
And now we bring the curtain down on our endgame discussion. Key positions are very important and the principles and ideas involved in learning to play them well will help you play all positions well.
The ability to outmaneuver your opponents
no matter what material is left on the board in the endgame is another important skill. Learning how to handle each piece in each scenario is the secret behind these incremental improvements over time.Mastering these endgame themes
mentioned here provides you with all the skills and know how you need to navigate your way through the most difficult of endgames.
There's nothing better than winning a long hard game directly because of a skill learned on the training field. But you have more progress to make. Develop your skills in the middlegame