How to Develop Endgame Thinking

"Openings teach you openings, endgames teach you chess” Stephan Gerzadowicz

Endgame is the final part of the game, yet at the same time, it is as pivotal as the other parts of the game.  Mostly, the result of the match determined during the endgame.

You can flourish at the beginning and middle game and blow your advantage in the endgame. It is tough to play the precision of the endgame when you are off the mark and you do not know what to seek, which endgame to choose and how to rate your position. Quite another matter when you are familiar with a typical endgame and you patently know the ideas, and possible continuations of the game. 

Here is a great example of Knights Ending by Lasker and Nimzowitsch, 1934

The theories of endgames started to excel after FIDE started no longer to put off chess matches. Thus, time controls gradually changed and people started to simplify endgames, for there was a need to shorten the devoted time to the endgame. To strengthen your endgames some things are necessary to handle: many skills, typical positions, playing methods, and most important is to keep enriching your knowledge.

Jose Raul Capablanca, the 3rd respective chess world champion, claimed that endgames should be a priority for beginners as they make one to feel the harmony of the chess. There is a common misunderstanding. Chess players consider pawn endings, rook endings, and queen endings as a part of the endgame. The peak of a pyramid is the understanding of the game. Here is a great example of pawn ending.

That is a rule of thumb that analyzing some endgames played by chess masters will make your success imminent. Hundreds of famous masterpieces are must to analyze for making your thinking better. In these games, there are a lot of key ideas to absorb.

Rubinstein, Smyslov, Andersson and Jon Speelman are accepted as ‘’GOATS’’ of endgame by chess society. Their chess games are thrown in the net, yet that games are surely considered as gems of chess history.

Hard work of hundreds of hours must be done to analyze their games. It may sound like a dumb exaggeration but just keep in your mind that aftermath you will have a massive advantage over your opponent when the game reaches the endgame.

One of the most major factors for your endgame practice is the time you choose to pursue with that. You must practice for your endgames when you have no crucial tournaments on the horizon. You will not manage to wrap up all the things and will use your half done knowledge and fail in your tournament.

On the other hand, you have to keep up with nowadays novelties as endgames are changing day by day. For accomplishing this, just make sure you are used to analyze or at least follow all the big games tournaments. 

And also try to master your skills in particular endgames as well: Rook endgames, Queen Endgames, Pawn endgames, to name just a few. Find some book thoroughly about a single endgame and get in the depth of that. Let's have a look at one of the strong Pawn ending performed by Rubinstein and Brinckmann.

For example, Russian master Averbakh published a wonderful book about Rook endgames. If you have digested this book than you can say that you are able to ace rook endgames.

In the end, here are some tiny points which are supposed to work out like a snowball if you wish to combine them: Regularly solve some puzzles, miniatures and make sure that they are not far from reality.

Analyze your own games. This is the source of prosperity. Do not even think of giving a cold shoulder to analyzing your games. Analyze on a regular basis and your ELO will start skyrocketing.

Keep your favorite endgame ideas and positions in your Chessbase and revise them. Revise until you feel that they are a stick in your mind.

Mainly, make fun of your learning process. Improvise and create your own games. For example, take out Queens, Bishops, Knights and two pairs of pawns and start playing a Rook endgame with your mates. Yet, do not try to act like a lazy pig and analyze your games, try to find your errors and fix them. 

By the way, do not forget to train in an absolute silence and have a snack containing proteins and chocolate on your desk. This lets you refresh your mind and make an original approach every time you are seeking for new moves. To sum up, I would like to advise you not to seek new things and start making your endgame thinking wear the crown of the chess world.

Published on : 23 May 2018

Start the discussion...

Daily Puzzle