Friday, 20 April 2012

Endgames and their importance

On one of the past Wednesday evenings at the Club, Arthur Huynh was demonstrating a few endgames to Greig, Alan and myself. We all agreed on the importance of learning the endgames well but being amateurs club players with limited time and limited memory, endgames can be tough. But what if you are a GM? Even if you are an amateur GM? Shouldn't you know the basic endgame theory? This lesson was brought home today when I read the Chessvibes report on the Bangkok Open.

At the recent Bangkok Open, English GM Nigel Short, on his way to winning the event, played GM Farrukh Amonatov in the penultimate round. On move 78, Short played Ra8, reaching the famous Vancura position but with Black's rook and king in the wrong position to achieve a draw (have a look at the notes on Chessvibes).

This is the earlier position after White's 69th move (69 a7). What would you play if you were Black to draw?

As a matter of serendipity (I am a fan of serendipitious events), I was reading the newish Chess Evolution Weekly Newsletter (which was started in February this year). The newsletter is a great subscription, as it contains 4 well-annotated GM games, an annotated classic game, puzzles and Edngame theory by GM Csaba Balogh. In issue No 3, GM Balogh dealt with the Vancura position! (The first edition is free for download.)

It is important to know the endgame positions but even more important to know how to transition to the known endgame position.

If club members are interested, I can post some well-known endgame positions (plagiarised from CEWN but only the positions, not the notes and solutions) on this blog as an ongoing exercise ...... Perhaps we can get a discussion going on this blog ......

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