I'm starting to become enthousiastic about pawn endings.
But I'm feeling a little weird.
When I talk to my chessfriends about it then I get a reaction like "o yes, rook endings, very important stuff. You have to learn that."
Rook endings? I don't understand pawn endings at all, how can I begin with rook endings?
It seems that a lot of people look down on pawn endings.
Well, maybe I am stupid, but I find it to be very complex matter. OK, I don't have feeling for it, but still I wonder how much people could solve the problems with for example Kpp against Kp well in all cases.
I worked my way for the first time through Euwes pawn ending chapter.
I have now a global understanding of opposition, triangulation, Reti manoeuvre, zugzwang, rule of the square, passed pawn etc. .
But that is something totally different than having the skills and technique to play the positions correct.
Because sometimes opposition doesn't matter.
Sometimes there are hidden resources.
Sometimes etc. . .
I get the idea I can work miracles if I master these skills.
Only I have no idea how often this can be applied.
Maybe I am over enthousiastic.
Maybe in 98% of the games end play is just straight forward and in only 2% of the games these skills are paying off.
But I can hardly believe that.
Here is a diagram from a game of I. Rogers (white) - A. Shirov (black) Groningen 1990.
Shirov has just traded everything off because he thought this position was a clear draw.
White to move and win.
After the first next move of white Shirov resigned.
If even he makes such mistakes in such seemingly simple positions, then a lot of half points could possibly be gained.
Why did I never came up with the idea to study endings?
I have for about a meter books on openings. I even worked my way thru most of them.
But I have only two books on endings.
And I haven't read them both yet. The Christopher said that most people find it boring. He is probably right.
I find it to be fascinating.
I have developed the plan to study pawn endings the rest of this year.
I think that the problem is that you have to study for about six months and that you then just have mastered only the basics.
Probably few points are going to be gained by just mastering the basics. So the pay off is going to be in the long term. When you master the different types of endings AND know how to trade pieces down towards a favourable ending.
You actually have to learn a game in a game.
Luckily I found that Jeremy Silman said:
A solid knowledge of pawn endings is essential for those wishing to understand endgames in general (Rook Endgames, Minor Piece endgames, etc.). In fact, if a player wants to seriously study the endgame, pawn endings are the place to start because many endgame positions are evaluated on the basis of the underlying pawn ending that might be reached.
So I assume I am on the right track. I'm looking forward to see how the results of my method compare to the system CD is going to follow.
More Tactical Sharpness
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