Ahh, endgames. Perhaps the least understood and least studied part about chess among amateur players. It’s seen as something both mysterious and boring. Mysterious, because it has fewer pieces but if anything is even harder to calculate, and boring, because there are no attacks, sacrifices or tactics available. Games come down to winning weak pawns. Yawn.
Nonetheless, playing the endgame well really separates the good players from the average ones. Personally, I got fed up with winning a pawn or a piece in the middlegame only to struggle mightily converting it into a win in the endgame. I began to study the endgame, and though I remained (and still remain!) weak, I’m stronger than most of my opponents, which lets me win more games.
Let me tell you, studying endgames isn’t very fun, but getting that first win solely because of endgame play makes those hours of study feel worthwhile. In what follows are examples of how I’ve won via endgames. These are my games, and thus they are not perfect, but they show the basic idea in action. Continue reading