PRACTICAL CHESS ENDGAME

*www.chessending.com*

Editor: Brian Gosling

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


I have decided to add further endings to the site on a monthly basis. The new position will appear at the beginning of each new month. You are invited to solve it. I will be pleased to receive feedback about the positions and the analysis. The solution will be published the following month with the new position. Some of these positions will come from actual historical games. Others will be composed endgame studies, but they will be relevant to the practical game. The site has over 400 chess endings and endgame studies and and has been running for over eight years. An explanation of the different types of endings is given below.

A database of chess endings.
Thanks to Bill Frost and to Antonio Senatore
THIS MONTH

POSITION 371

White to play and WIN

FEN:6n1/8/6Pk/3P3P/8/7K/8/8 w - - 0 1:

It is good training to try initially to solve the endings without the assistance of a chess playing programme.

Solution for the above, plus new position: 1st FEBRUARY 2006.


LAST MONTH, POSITION 370

Emanuel Lasker, (1868-1941). 

German Grandmaster. World Champion from 1894-1921. The following ending is of historical interest because for the first time the world sees Lasker's great skill in the final phase of the game. In his day his superb endgame play stood out from among his contemporaries. Experts might argue about various aspects of his playing style but they all were all agreed about his brilliant endgame play. The secret of this success was his positional awareness, deep calculating abilty, fighting spirit (no early draws) and his endless patience. He had no equal in this phase of the game, that is until Capablanca arrived on the scene.

White to play and WIN

Em Lasker vs P. Lipke

Breslau, 1889 

FEN:8/1ppkn1Q1/p2p2Bp/3P1p2/4qP1P/2B3PK/1P6/8 w - - 0 1:

Lasker with the following exchanges heads for the queenless ending. Although he will be a pawn down, he has calculated that Black will not be able to contain the advance of the kingside pawns and he has no counter chances on the other side of the board. It is commonsense chess. The main line are the moves played in the actual game.

1.Bxf5+! Qxf5+

2.Qg4! ...

Lasker has seen deeply into the position. The Bishop vs knight ending is winning for him.

2... Qxg4+

2... Ke8? 3.Qxf5 Nxf5 4.Kg4 Ne7 5.Kh5 +-;

3.Kxg4 Nxd5

4.Bd2! ...

Another deep move. Black must not be allowed to get active with the Knight.

4.Bg7? Ne3+ 5.Kh5 Nf5 6.Kg6 Nxg7 7.Kxg7 d5 8.f5 d4 9.f6 d3 10.f7 d2 11.f8Q d1Q and Black still has a lot of play.

4.Kh5?? Nxc6 5.bxN a5 and Black has at least a draw;

4... Nf6+

5.Kf5 Ke7

6.g4 ...

White's pawns prove unstoppable.

6... Kf7

7.g5 hxg5

8.fxg5 Nd7

8...Nh5 9.Kg6 Ng3 10.h5 Ne4 11.h6+-;

9.g6 Kf8

10.h5 d4

11.h6 Kg8

12.h7+ Kh8

13.Ke6 Nf8+

14.Kf7 Resigns.


8X8 Basic Endings for Success

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vancura Drawing Position

Josef Vancurra, 1924

1.Kb5 Rf5+ 2.Kc6 Rf6+ 3.Kd5 Rf5+ 4.Ke6 Rf6+ 5.Ke5 Rb6 6.Kd5 Rf6 7.Ra7+ Kg6 8.Ra8 Kg7; White cannot make progress. The ending is drawn.

 

 

I would like to briefly summarise the type of endings found on the site. These are; (a) Basic endings. (b) Practical chess endings. (c) The Endgame study.

All these are interrelated and important and you cannot understand (b) or (c) without a knowledge of (a).

(a) Basic Endings. These are theoretical positions in which we know the correct result with optimum play by both sides. They may consist of three pawns or less and also include all the non-pawn and five piece endings which have now been extensively analysed by computer and of which we have tablebases. In the days when we had adjournments some of these endings could be looked up in text books to give us some idea how to play the position. As we no longer can do this, knowledge and memory of these endings has become important in practical play. Fundamental Chess Endings (2001) by Muller and Lamprecht and Basic Endings (1992) by Balashov and Prandstetter and the earlier A Pocket Guide to Chess Endgames (1970) by David Hooper are good introductions to these endings.

(b) Practical Endings. These occur in over-the-board play where usually more pawns are present. The above ending is an example of this type. Some of these endings are in the process of being transformed to basic endings but often they finish before this stage is reached. Endgame strategy is very different from the middlegame and has its own set of rules and exceptions. Fine's book Basic Chess Endings (1941,2003) recently revised by Pal Benko and Batsford Chess Endings (1993) by Speelman, Tisdall and Wade are about basic and practical endings and both can be recommended.

(c) Endgame Studies. These are positions which have been composed and will contain elements of one or both of the above types of endings. But there are important differences between these types and the study, such as artistic form and economy of construction. An endgame study has to follow strict rules of composition, especially if it is entered into a composing competition. One of these rules states there should only be one solution. If there is an unintended second solution then the study is unsound and said to be "cooked".

Endgame studies are important to the practical player because they enhance his imagination and help him learn and enjoy areas of theory without too much effort.

John Nunn's Endgame Challenge (2002) is an excellent introduction to using endgame studies as a training tool. Walter Korn's American Chess Art (1995) is a basic introduction to the endgame study and a more comprehensive work is John Roycroft's Test Tube Chess (1972).
Pre 17/10/04 Archives

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