Thursday, April 20, 2006

Just-in-time endgame study

The last game from my second correspondence chess tournament
got me into a - from my point of view - rather complex endgame (After posting this, several people commented that this position should not be called endgame, see comments to this post. No comments on the position itself, please, we are still playing!). This made me think that I should really start some kind of endgame study as planned. Will the long time scale of the games on turn-based chess servers give me enough time for a just-in-time study program?

"Pandolfini's Endgame Course" by Bruce Pandolfini contains 239 problems. If I manage to do 10 of them each day from now, I only have to "survive" the next 3 or 4 moves, assuming that I use the full week I have per move and that my opponent responds fast. But would studying basic endgames really help a beginner like me in a position like this one? I believe it will in the long term but it would probably not help much to win one particular non-trivial endgame such as this one. Therefore, I will simply give in to my chess curiosity (I really do want to know if I can win this one) and continue moving without extra delays for just-in-time-study. Nevertheless, it motivates me to finally study some basic endgames. I will post the game result when it is over.

Correction: seems that this position shouldn't be called endgame, see comments to this post.

5 Comments:

Blogger DreadPirateJosh said...

I think with the Queens on the board this is still considered Middlegame, however I could be wrong.
Endgame study will help you to realize when to "trade down" and when not to....I suck at endgames myself.

4:54 PM  
Blogger sciurus said...

I am not sure when the endgame starts and when not. I just looked into Pandolfini's "Endgame course" and found some examples called "Queen vs. Queen", so it doesn't seem to be necessary to get rid of them to call it an endgame.

I like the idea of knowing when to trade down. Unfortunately, recognizing when a won endgame situation can be reached by trading down pieces will require a lot of experience. But who said it would be easy to learn chess?

9:31 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

I'd say you're still in middlegame. You won't find a chapter on Q+R+N vs Q+R+B endgames.

When it's safe to march the king out to the middle of the board, that's when you're in the endgame.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Trooper said...

The boundaries between opening, middle, and endgame are somewhat blurred... although I like what Patrick said... once it's safe for the King to move out onto the board, it's definitely endgame.

3:54 PM  
Blogger sciurus said...

I like that definition of being able to safely bring the king out once the endgame is reached. I definitely don't feel really comfortable doing this in this position.
Thanks for the comments!

5:34 PM  

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