An unexamined life is not worth living.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

How to Study the Endgame in Chess – 10 steps

I have written a lot about opening preparation, so this may have created create an impression that openings is the only thing I care about as a chess player. However that focus is merely to compensate for the fact that that I have always liked endgames more and my opening preparation was way behind. So here are some tips to improve your endgame:

  1. Read a good book on endgame theory. I can recommend Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual
  2. Read a good book on endgame technique. Here I recommend either some of Dvoretsky’s books, or Shereshevsky’s Endgame Strategy
  3. Study your own games that included interesting endgames
  4. Solve endgame puzzles and studies
  5. Play practice games starting with endgame positions. Use time controls with increments.
  6. Specialize in some material e.g. rooks + knights, or bishops of opposite colour.
  7. Write articles about endgames for magazines or websites. A few years ago, I wrote a series of articles for ‘En Passant’, several of them were about endgames. I probably learned a lot more from that experience than any of the readers.
  8. Use a training endgame course with a software like Peshka
  9. Do a deep analysis of some selected positions and games. Trying to establish exactly whether a given endgame position is winning or a draw can help you to appreciate the whole complexity of chess
  10. Study the games of players, who are particularly famous for their endgame skills – Karpov, Andersson, Rubinstein, Kramnik

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