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wschmidt ♡ 72 ( +1 | -1 )
Novice Nook # 22 This week's article is called "K&P& vs. K". It's a good introduction to some basic endgame concepts, including a simple statement at the beginning of the article that is worth repeating: "You learn the openings forward since all positions stem from the opening move. You learn the endgames backwards (fewest pieces first). One reason is that when you learn more complicated endgames you will know which positions you can win after a possible trade, and which you cannot."

I'm not having much success at linking lately. It's the November 2002 article at and the link from there is /text/heisman22.pdf. If someone else can post the actual link here, that would be great. ws
thunker ♡ 10 ( +1 | -1 )
Link ->
ionadowman ♡ 108 ( +1 | -1 )
Very informative... ... article on endgame technique - anyone having trouble with endgames ought to read this! There's a kind of elegance to Chess in its endgames, as indicated by Podgiantz's study, involving K+P+P vs K. (In another thread, there's an ongoing discussion on endgame tablebases, the use of which will obviate any need to learn the basic techniques, and to difficulties extrapolating that learning. A great pity...).
Consider this ending, played against a strong opponent many years ago: WKd2, WPb2, WPb3, WPa5; BKe4, BPd4, BPc5, BPa6; White to play. In the game, White defended rather weakly: 52.Kc1? Ke3 (maintaining the diagonal opposition seemed indicated) 53.Kd1 Kd3 54.Kc1 Ke2 (giving Black's d-pawn a clear run to queen... so White tossed).
Could White have improved? Yes, he can certainly set Black more problems...
52.Ke2 d3+ 53.Kd2 Kd4 54.Ke1! Ke3 55.Kd1 d2 56.b4! cxb4 57.b3 (Can you see what White's after?) 57...Ke4!! 58.Kxd2 Kd4 leaves White in zugszwang: 59.Kc2 Ke3 and 60.Kb2 Kd2, or 60.Kc1 Kd3 leading eventually to the win of White's b-pawn, with the BK handily placed to force home his own b-pawn, using the technique indicated in Heisman's article.
wschmidt ♡ 15 ( +1 | -1 )
That's true, Ion, with regard to the use of tablebases in correspondence play. But OTB players will still have to know endgame technique.

Thanks, thunker, for the link. ws
ionadowman ♡ 87 ( +1 | -1 )
Fair comment, ws... ...and I admit mine is very much a personal point of view as I don't play OTB any more (haven't for years, except for 'pick up' games), nor, until I started GK about 16 months ago,any CC chess since the 1970s. But I don't mean to depreciate the value of Heisman's article: quite the opposite. Endgames can be a lot of fun. Just as well since I've been getting lots of them in my GK games, and usually they have contained some feature of interest... :-)
Actually, for OTB players, tablebases might turn out to be quite informative and instructive for one who knows how to apply what one finds on it. In the other thread I mentioned a K+B+N vs K ending. Setting up such an ending and playing it through, shows how the 3 pieces cooperate to herd the defending K into the appropriate corner, but also to explore the consequences of deviations from optimal defences. So from an OTB point of view I can see a potential value in tablebases.