Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Boiling down

I have collected about 96 quotes from annotated master endgames. I will put that together with my 47 endgame maxims and Takchess' braindump in a percolator to see if I can brew some endgame strategy. Expect that it drools from trivialism ("queen a pawn" or so:)

Maybe you can still remember what I came up with after 3 months study of middlegame strategy? [PIECE ACTIVITY!!]


  1. Just did a post on new braindump on Mednis K and P ending tape and will continue posting these for a little while longer.

  2. I doubt the endgame will be able to be distilled down like the middlegame.

    The problem is, like in biology, the endgame deals with very concrete factors. For instance, most endgame principles actually mention specific pieces or pawns (square of the pawn). Plus, there are usually exceptions having to do with what file you are on ('unless you are on the rook file').

    The principles of middlegame play, by contrast, are very general, they don't mention specific pieces.

    So those who like simple laws from which all else can be derived will prefer middlegame study (physicists). Those who like messy rainforests of facts will like the endgame (biologists). And when a physicists comes over to biology and tries to formulate laws, the biologists laugh and point out five hundred counterexamples to his naivety. (And the physicist gets really angry because he feels the biologist isn't even interested in real science, but stamp collecting).

    Since I don't know how things work in chess, I'm not sure this analogy holds, but perhaps...But don't let me be a Debbie Downer. Perhaps you will find a small set of ideas that will help us all: your stuff on piece activity caused a major change in my thinking about the middlegame.

  3. I like the idea of your analogy. But I would substitute "middlegame" and "endgame" by "practical endgame" and "theoretical endgame". And now you see what the so called endgame books are: encyclopedial reference works for stamp collectors. That's why the rare exquisite positions of Grigoriev are so beloved.

    But in a few days we will know it. I have good faith.